How to Create Route on Google Maps (Step-by-step Guide)

To create a route on Google Maps, follow these given steps:
  1. On Desktop: Open Google Maps
  2. Click “Add Directions”
  3. Choose the Transportation Mode
  4. Select and input the start point (ㅇ) in the “Start Point” search bar
  5. Select and input the endpoint in the “End Point” search bar
  6. Click on one of the different route options either in the side panel or on the visual map to get the desired route

When it comes to navigation, Google Maps has become an indispensable tool for millions. It provides turn-by-turn directions and real-time traffic updates. 

However, Google Maps isn’t just about getting from point A to point B. Using Google Maps Route Planner enables you to go beyond simple navigation; it allows you to create custom maps tailored to your specific needs.

This blog will guide you on how to create route on Google Maps and also delve into the various other features that go beyond the conventional turn-by-turn directions.

How to Create a Custom Route on Google Maps (Windows or macOS)

Whether you’re planning a scenic road trip, organizing efficient delivery routes, or simply exploring your city on foot, Google Maps offers tools for drawing routes.

Here are the detailed steps on how to plot or draw a custom route on Google Maps:

1. Open your preferred web browser and go to Google Maps: https://maps.google.com/ 

2. Sign in to your Google account if you aren’t already logged in.

3. Click on the menu icon (three horizontal lines) in the top left corner.

Click on the menu icon (three horizontal lines) in the top left corner.

4. From the menu, select “Saved” (previously “Your Places”) and then navigate to the “Maps” tab.

Note: Previously, the tab was named “Your Places” and has been updated to “Saved” in a recent Google Maps update.

navigate to the "Maps" tab

5. In the “Maps” tab, you will see any previously saved maps. If you have never saved any maps before, then the list may be empty. Scroll to the bottom of this tab and click on “CREATE MAP.”

Create map in Google Maps

6. A new Google Maps window will appear with an “Untitled map” page.

7. On the “Untitled map” page, you can choose the map style by clicking the dropdown arrow next to “Base map.” Select the map style that suits your preferences.

select the map style that suits your preferences

8. Below the search field, you’ll find an icon that looks like a Y-shaped road. Click on it to initiate the route planning.

find an icon that looks like a y-shaped road

9. Click the icon resembling a car, bicycle, or walking person to choose your preferred transportation mode.

choose your preferred transportation mode

10. Click in the “A” field to enter your starting or departure point (address or location name), and choose from the search results.

11. Repeat the process for the “B” field to enter your destination.

12. If your journey involves multiple stops, click “Add destination” and enter the addresses or location names for additional waypoints.

click "Add destination" and enter the addresses

Note: You can add up to a maximum of 10 stops to your route.

13. Once you have added all your desired destinations, it’s time to give our map a name. At the top of the page, where it says “Untitled map,” click on it and give your map a descriptive name.

14. After you have given the name, click on “Save” and your map will be saved.

click on save and your map will be saved

15. Click on “Share” below the map’s name. This will provide you with a shareable link that you can send to others for collaboration or reference. It’s that simple!

Click on "Share" below the map's name

How to Add Multiple Routes Utilizing Layers on Google Maps (Desktop)

Google Maps not only enables you to draw a single route but also empowers you to create multiple routes on a single map, organized neatly with the use of layers. 

This feature is handy for those planning complex itineraries, be it for a road trip with multiple stops or optimizing delivery routes for businesses.

So, let’s explore how to plot multiple routes by leveraging layers on Google Maps.

1. Once you’ve completed drawing your first route following the earlier steps, you might want to create a new route. For that, click on “Add directions” as you did before. This will add a new directions layer for you to initiate a fresh route-planning session.

2. Choose your preferred transportation mode for this new route – whether it’s driving, cycling, or walking.

3. Enter the starting and ending points for your new route, and feel free to add waypoints if needed.

4. Save each route with a distinct name to easily identify them later.

5. Layers act as a virtual overlay on your map, allowing you to organize and manage different elements.

6. Below the search field, find the option to “Add layer.” Click on it to create a new separate layer for additional routes.

click on it to create a new separate layer for additional routes

7. Once you’ve created multiple routes, assign each route to a specific layer. This helps maintain clarity and organization.

8. Click on the layer name to customize it. Use descriptive names such as “Trip Route,” “Delivery Stops,” etc., making it easy to identify the purpose of each layer.

9. Use the visibility toggle to switch layers on or off. This feature is handy when you want to focus on a specific route without the distraction of others.

10. Ensure each new layer is saved by clicking on the layer name and providing a descriptive title.

11. Just like with a single route, you can share your multi-layered map by clicking on “Share” icon below the map’s name.

By creating multiple routes and organizing them with layers, you unlock the full potential of Google Maps for comprehensive trip planning or logistical optimization. 

How to Draw a Route on Google Maps (Desktop)

Beyond the fundamental task of creating routes, Google Maps offers a creative dimension that allows users to draw lines, shapes, and personalized markers directly onto the map. 

So, let’s understand how to draw routes and add creative elements to your maps.

How to draw lines and shapes on Google Maps

1. Open your previously created map or start a new one following the steps outlined in the above sections.

2. In the menu, find and click on “Saved” ( previously “Your places”).

3. Navigate to the “Maps” tab and open your desired map.

4. Below the search bar, locate the “Draw a line” option. Click on it; you will see a dropdown menu.

5. From the dropdown menu, select “Add line or shape”. This action activates the drawing tool.

From the dropdown menu, select Add line or shape

6. Click on the map where you want the line to begin. Then, drag the cursor to create the line. Double-click where you want it to end.

7. For a line with multiple points, make a series of single clicks to mark each point along the desired path. Double-click the last point to complete the line.

8. To create a polygon (a shape with three or more sides), click on the map to mark each corner. Double-click on the start point to close the shape.

9. On completing the line or shape, a text box will appear. Name your line or shape and click “Save.”

10. You can also edit color, rename, or even upload an image. Just position your mouse pointer over the line or shape, click when the cursor changes, and use the tools in the lower-right corner.

How to add a marker on Google Maps

1. Click on the map where you want to add a marker.

2. Below the search bar, select the “Add marker” tool.

select the "Add marker" tool

3. Click on the spot where you want to add a marker and enter a name for it. The marker will be pinned to your map.

4. Edit the marker by changing its icon, renaming it, or adding additional details.

By mastering these features, you can not only draw your routes on Google Maps but also add markers, lines, and shapes to make your custom map truly unique.

How to Draw Lines and Shapes on Google Maps (Mobile)

While it is more convenient to draw lines and shapes on a computer, you can still perform this task on your mobile device using the Google My Maps web app. 

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to draw lines and shapes on Google Maps:

1. Open your mobile browser and navigate to My Maps.

2. Tap on the “Get Started” button.

3. Then, either you can start creating a new map, or select an existing map.

4. Under the search field, tap “Draw a line” (represented by three lines and three dots).

5. From the dropdown menu, select “Add line or shape.” Then, proceed to follow the directions provided in the previous section for adding and editing lines and shapes.

How to Access and View Google Maps Custom Routes on Mobile

After crafting your custom map on Google Maps, you can access and view it seamlessly on your mobile device. While editing capabilities may be limited on mobile, you can efficiently view and navigate your customized routes on both Android and iOS. This can be done using the Google Maps mobile app.

All you have to do is:

1. Open the Google Maps navigation app on your Android or iOS device.

2. Tap on the “Saved” icon located in the menu at the bottom of the screen.

3. Within the “Maps” section, open the specific map containing your custom route.

4. Your custom route will be properly displayed on the map interface.

Drawbacks of Google Maps that Make Creating Routes Troublesome 

While Google Maps is a popular navigation tool, it may fall short in meeting the specific needs of both individuals and businesses requiring efficient route planning.

The drawbacks of Google Maps for route planning include:

  • Manual input overload: Google Maps requires manual entry of each stop, making it cumbersome for individuals and businesses with multiple destinations.
  • Limited stops: Google Maps allows adding only a maximum of 10 stops, including the starting point and the final destination point. 
  • Lacks route optimization: Google Maps lacks built-in route optimization capabilities for multi-stop journeys. It creates routes without considering the most efficient sequence of stops.
  • Customization constraints: Google Maps offers limited customization options for setting priority stops, time windows, and other constraints, limiting its flexibility.
  • Doesn’t support multiple drivers: Google Maps lets you plan a route for one driver only. It lacks the ability to efficiently optimize routes for a team of drivers or a fleet of vehicles. 

Plan Your Routes More Efficient with Upper: A Superior Alternative to Google Maps

As businesses and individuals seek a more efficient and tailored route planning experience, Google Maps often proves insufficient due to its inherent drawbacks.

Recognizing these limitations, Upper emerges as a superior alternative, providing a comprehensive solution for all your route planning needs.

Why Upper excels over Google Maps:

1. Streamlined address input process:

  • Google Maps challenge: Manual entry overload can be daunting for those with numerous stops.
  • Upper solution: Enjoy the ease of bulk stop import through CSV or Excel files or OCR address scanner, minimizing the manual input burden.

2. No more limits on stops:

  • Google Maps challenge: Restricted to only 10 stops, including the starting and ending points.
  • Upper solution: Say goodbye to limitations—plan routes with as many stops as needed for your journey or deliveries.

3. Optimization for efficiency:

4. Tailored customization:

  • Google Maps challenge: Limited customization options for priority stops, time windows, and other constraints.
  • Upper solution: Prioritize urgent deliveries, assign service time, and set time windows for on-time deliveries, ensuring your routes align with your specific needs.

5. Team coordination made easy:

  • Google Maps challenge: Cannot efficiently support multiple drivers or fleet management.
  • Upper solution: Seamlessly plan routes for multiple drivers or vehicles simultaneously, making fleet management a breeze.

Additional features of Upper that redefine route planning:

  • Route scheduling: Schedule routes in advance and dispatch them to drivers seamlessly, streamlining your delivery operations.
  • Automated customer notifications: Keep your customers informed with estimated times of arrival (ETAs) and delivery status updates through automated email or text notifications.
  • Live driver tracking: Track your drivers in real time to know their whereabouts and delivery status.
  • Proof of delivery: Collect proof of delivery with photos, notes, and e-signatures, ensuring accountability and transparency.
  • Comprehensive reports and analytics: Access detailed reports and analytics for performance evaluation and strategic decision-making.

Overcome the Drawbacks of Google Maps by Making a Switch to Upper

With streamlined address input, no stop limits, efficient route optimization, and tailored customization, Upper is your solution to create most efficient routes.

FAQs

Yes, you can create your own route in Google Maps. Here’s how:

  1. Open Google Maps in your browser.
  2. Click the menu icon (three horizontal lines) and choose “Saved”.
  3. Navigate to the “Maps” tab and click “CREATE MAP.”
  4. Then, click “Add directions” to create a new route layer.
  5. Choose your transportation mode (driving, cycling, walking).
  6. Enter start and end points (A and B).
  7. Add destinations if you have multiple stops.
  8. Click “Untitled map” and give it a name.
  9. Share your custom route using the provided link.

Yes, Google Maps allows you to build custom routes for different transportation modes, including walking and cycling. Simply choose the preferred transportation mode to create custom directions.

After creating a custom route, you can share it by clicking on the “Share” button. Google Maps will provide a link that you can copy and send to others.

While it’s easier on a PC, you can use Google’s My Maps web app on both Android and iOS to draw lines and shapes on Google Maps.

Yes, you can download offline maps on Google Maps. This feature is handy for accessing your custom routes in areas with limited or no internet connectivity.

Google Maps allows you to add up to 10 stops along your route.

Yes, you can access and view custom routes on both Android and iOS devices using the Google Maps navigation app.

When finalizing your route, you’ll have the option to name it. Simply click on the map’s title, enter a name, and click “Save” to store your custom route.

You can plan routes with multiple stops or destinations for all modes of transportation, except public transit or flight.

  1. Open Google Maps.
  2. Navigate to Directions.
  3. Add your start point and destination.
  4. On the left, below the destinations entered, click Add.
  5. To add a new stop, select another destination.
  6. This way, you can add up to 9 stops.
  7. Click on a route to get directions.

Tip: You can also search for places along your route.

You can follow the following steps to change your sequence of stops.

  1. Find the destination you want to move.
  2. Drag the destination.

Google Maps allows you to save an area from it to your phone or tablet and use it when offline.

  1. Open the Google Maps app on your device (phone or tablet).
  2. Ensure you have a stable internet connection and are signed in to Google Maps.
  3. In the search bar on top, enter the name of a place, like Los Angeles.
  4. Navigate to the bottom, and tap the name and address of the place.
  5. Tap More, tap More
  6. Click on the offline map.
In case you search for a place like a bakery shop or restaurant, tap More > Download offline map > Download.

Save offline maps on an SD card

  1. On your phone or tablet, insert an SD card.
  2. Open the Google Maps navigation app.
  3. Navigate to your profile picture or initials and select Offline Maps.
  4. On the top-right corner, tap Settings.
  5. Under “Storage preferences,” click Device > SD card.
  6. Tap Select your own map.
  7. Adjust the map according to the area you want to download
  8. Tap Download.

Tap the Map icon on your iPhone to launch the Google Maps application. Click ‘Directions’. Add the start point and destination (or ending point) in the Start and End fields, respectively. Tap “Route” in the bottom right of your phone screen. Google Maps displays the shortest route between your origin and destination.

The answer is NO. MY Maps is not available for iPhone or Android. It is available only for desktop users.

Go Beyond Basic Route Planning With Advanced Routing Solutions

When we think of a navigation tool, Google Maps stands as a reliable ally, offering more than just directions. From creating routes to adding creative elements, it caters to diverse needs. 

However, when it comes to advanced route planning, Upper emerges as a better alternative to Google Maps. It lifts the constraints of manually inputting addresses and stop limits while providing tailored customization and team support. So, explore the limitless possibilities of route planning by taking the of Upper.

Author Bio
Rakesh Patel
Rakesh Patel

Rakesh Patel, author of two defining books on reverse geotagging, is a trusted authority in routing and logistics. His innovative solutions at Upper Route Planner have simplified logistics for businesses across the board. A thought leader in the field, Rakesh's insights are shaping the future of modern-day logistics, making him your go-to expert for all things route optimization. Read more.

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