Map your photos using Google Maps

Using Google Images and Google Maps you can easily create a map using an album of geotagged photos. Geotagged photos are those that include data on the location they were taken. Most modern mobile phones have this feature as do some digital cameras. If you are not sure a quick search on the Internet will tell you if this option is available and how to enable it.

Below is a map showing the location of a number of images taken in and around Hornsea on the Holderness Coast using an iPhone and a drone.

Looks complicated? Don’t worry, it’s not! Just follow the steps below.

To begin with, you will need to upload your geotagged photos to a new album in Google Photos. To do this login to your Google account and go to Next create a new album by clicking +Create in the top right corner, then select Album.

Give the folder a title then upload the images you want to map.

Next, go to and select +Create New Map (top left corner). Your new map will open and be called Untitled map. Give your image a suitable title by clicking untitled map in the top left window.

Rename your map

Rename your map.

Click Save.

Next click Import (under the first layer which is called Untitled layer).

Click import

Click Import

Click the Photo albums tab. Next, locate the album where your photos are stored. Select all the images you want to import onto the map.

Select images you want to import

Select images you want to import

Next, click Select. The photos will then be copied onto your map.

This will create at least one layer containing your images and an icon of each image will be displayed on the map.

Imported images and new layers

Imported images and new layers

You will notice that each photograph has been given a title based on the location it was taken. You should go through these and rename them as appropriate. Once you’ve finished you can share your map with others by clicking Share > Change > On. You can then share the URL. You can also embed the map on a website by clicking the three dots next to the map title. Then select Embed on My Site.

Creating a case study map in Google My Maps

Creating a case study map in Google My Maps

Google My Maps is a great way of collating and displaying case studies in one place. Below is an example that includes some of the case studies on Internet Geography.

To get started on your map log into your Google account then head over to Google My Maps. Click New Map and give it a suitable title and description.

Edit map title and description

Edit map title and description

In this map, we are going to create a series of layers. This is so that we can group case studies by themes. By doing this we can filter case studies by type and display them on a base map.

Rename the Untitled layer that has been automatically created. In this case, we will name it Natural Disasters. To do this click the icon showing 3 dots and select Rename This Layer.

Rename Layer

Rename Layer

Give your layer an appropriate name.

You are next going to add a marker to show the location of a natural disaster. In this case, we will add the Sendai earthquake and tsunami in Japan. To get started, locate the place where the natural hazard occurred. Then click the marker icon (it looks like an upside down droplet) then click the location where you want to place it. You can then rename the marker as shown below.

Adding a marker

Adding a marker

Next, you can add images and videos (such as those on YouTube) to the marker. You can also include hyperlinks to web pages that could be used for revision. Below is an example of a marker with a Youtube video embedded and a hyperlink to a case study on Internet Geography.

Marker with embedded YouTube video and hyperlink

Marker with embedded YouTube video and hyperlink

You now need to repeat this for all the case studies you want to include in this layer.

You can then create another layer and repeat the process. You can edit the colour and style of markers by theme. This will help differentiate the different markers. To do this click the bucket and select a colour of your choice, then click more icons to choose an appropriate icon.

Edit marker style

Edit marker style

You can filter your map by turning layers off to show the location of a particular category of case study. To do this de-select the tick next to the layer name.

Once your map is finished you can share it by clicking the Share icon. Then click Change. Select an appropriate option. Once you’ve done this copy the link and share.

Link sharing options

Link sharing options

How to show physical changes over time using images in Geography

Illustrating physical changes over time is a great way to demonstrate the impact of processes in geography. The good news is that there are lots of free, easy to use tools online to do this.

A good starting point is creating an animated GIF. An animated GIF is an image which contains a number of images or frames in a single file. The frames are presented in a specific order in order to convey animation. The animated GIF below shows changes along the coast to the south of the sea defences at Withernsea on the Holderness Coast.

An animated GIF showing changes along the Holderness Coastline

An animated GIF showing changes along the Holderness Coastline

Creating the animated GIF above involved capturing two aerial images from Google Earth which were then combined using free, online GIF making software. The steps for creating this image are listed below.

Step 1 – Download and install Google Earth

Step 2 – Open Google Earth and choose the location you want to create an animated GIF for.

Step 3 – Go to View > Historical Imagery

Step 4 – Use the slider to select your first image.

Step 5 – Click the Save Image icon (it looks like a pin on a map). This will download the image to your computer.

Step 6 – Give the image an appropriate title. Choose the resolution you want to use. The higher the resolution the clearer the image (and the larger the image file).

Step 7 – Click the Save Image button.

Step 8 – Use the slider to select the date of your next image. Repeat steps 5-7.

Step 9 – You can capture any number of images for your animated GIF.

Step 10 – You now need to create your animated GIF from the captured images. To do this go to

Step 11 – Click Upload Images and upload the images you want to use.

Step 12 – Experiment with the Animation speed slider. Once you are happy with the speed click the Create GIF Animation button.

Step 13 – Click download the GIF

Another technique to illustrate changes over time is to superimpose one image over another. The image below shows the coastline south of Withernsea in 2017 with the coastline from 2007 superimposed over the top.

2007 and 2017 Withernsea Coastline merged

2007 and 2017 Withernsea Coastline merged

The image that has been superimposed (2007) is partially transparent to reveal the 2017 coastline. If you have two separate images to merge then head over to

VR in Geography using Google Poly

How can coastal fieldwork data be presented on Google My Maps?

How can river data be presented on Google My Maps?

Using the measurement tool in Google My Maps

Create a landuse map in Google My Maps

Using Google My Maps in Geography – part 1

Create a proportional circles map in Google Sheets