How to edit a public Google map

I was looking for a new apartment for when I go back to school, and wanted a listing of all apartments in the area. Thankfully, someone had already mapped out every apartment complex in a Google Map. Unfortunately, however, I also wanted the prices associated with those, but was not able to edit the listings to include them. I worked around this by downloading the map data and uploading it into my account, essentially making a copy of the public map that I could edit. Here’s how to do this:

  1. Open the public map on your screen.
  2. Copy the URL and paste it into a text editor (like Notepad if you’re on Windows).
  3. Add “&output=kml” to the end of the URL.
  4. Copy the new URL and paste it into your browser.
  5. You’ll be asked where to save the KML (map data) file. Choose a location and download it there.
  6. Back in Google Maps, go to “My Maps”–>”Create New Map.”
  7. Click “Import,” then upload the KML file that you just saved.
  8. Save the map, and now you’ll be able to edit your copy of the public Google map. Enjoy!
Written on July 16, 2010