How to Create Route on Google Maps?

keyKey Takeaways:
  • Google Maps provides a user-friendly tool for identifying multiple destinations and finding the most efficient route suitable for basic routing needs.
  • To create a route on Google Maps, sign in to your Google account, navigate to “Saved” > “Maps,” and click “Create Map.” Choose your transportation mode, enter start and end points, add stops if needed, name and save your map, and then share it.
  • To draw a route on a separate layer, click “Add directions,” choose your transportation mode, enter start and end points, and save each route with a unique name to maintain organization.
  • To draw lines and shapes on Google Maps, select “Draw a line” and opt for “Add line or shape.” Click on the map to create lines or shapes, adjust as necessary, name them, and save, with options to customize properties and add details like icons or labels.

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

While Google Maps has always been a go-to choice for those looking for the shortest route between multiple destinations, its utility doesn’t stop there. Using Google Maps Route Planner goes beyond simple navigation and allows you to create a custom directions map to fit your specific needs.

This blog will guide you on how to find the shortest route between multiple stops on Google Maps. It also walks you through the steps to create a route on Google Maps and customize it. It further discusses the challenges associated with Google Maps and how an efficient route planner software can help overcome them.

How to Choose the Shortest Route on Google Maps

Google Maps is a widely trusted tool for route planning, whether you’re a delivery driver, a truck driver, or simply seeking driving directions. It offers a set of handy features that allow you to input multiple destinations and help you find the shortest and fastest route.

So, the following steps can help you find the shortest route between multiple destinations on Google Maps:

Step 1: Open Google Maps and begin mapping your route

Start by opening the Google Maps app on your iOS or Android mobile phones. You can also access it by visiting the website: To begin mapping out your travel route, click on the “Directions” button.

Open Google Maps and begin mapping your route

Step 2: Set your starting location and add multiple destinations

Google Maps often uses your current location as the starting point. You can simply change this location by entering your preferred start location in the search bar.After setting your starting point, add multiple destinations on Google Maps by clicking on the “Add stop” option in the app. If you are using the website, click on the “Add Destination” option.

Set your starting location
add multiple destinations

Step 3: Evaluate the default route

Google Maps route planner usually suggests route options depending on the order in which you entered your stops. While this may be the most direct route, it is not always the shortest.

So, review your mapped route and make a note of the estimated time of arrival (ETA).

evaluate the default route

Step 4: Manually rearrange stops

Google Maps does not automatically optimize routes for efficiency. You may need to experiment with various stop sequences and modify the stops manually until you get the shortest route. 

Click the three dots in the upper right corner of the screen, and then click “Edit Stops.” After that, drag & drop stops to reorder them so that your route makes the most sense. 

Manually rearrange stops

Step 5: Start your journey

Once you’ve successfully optimized your route, you’re ready to hit the road. Click the start button in the bottom right corner of the Google Maps app and let it guide you on your journey.

Now that you know how to find the shortest route between multiple locations, let’s understand the steps to create a custom route on Google Maps.

How to Draw a Custom Route on Google Maps

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

To draw a custom route on Google Maps:

1. Open your preferred web browser and go to Google Maps: 

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

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. Click “Untitled map” to 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.


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 your map a name. At the top of the page, where it says “Untitled map,” click on it to type out a descriptive name of your choice.

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.

Now that we understand the steps to draw a custom route on Google Maps, let’s learn how to create it on a separate layer.

Click on

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How Do I Create a Custom Route on a Separate Layer in Google Maps?

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, such as road trips with multiple stops or optimizing delivery routes for businesses.

So, here are the steps to create a custom route on a separate layer in Google Maps:

1. After finishing your initial route, click “Add directions” to start a new route session on a new layer. This will add a new directions layer for you to build custom routes.

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 can unlock the full potential of Google Maps trip planner or logistical optimization.

The next section discusses the steps to draw lines and shapes on Google Maps in the desktop version.

How to Draw Lines and Shapes on Google Maps (Desktop Version)

To draw lines and shapes in the desktop version of Google Maps, follow the steps below.

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” ( formerly “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.

Now that you know how to draw lines and shapes on Google Maps in the desktop version, let’s understand the steps you can follow to create lines and shapes.

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. 

To draw lines and shapes on Google Maps mobile:

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 step-by-step directions provided in the previous section for adding and editing lines and shapes.

The following section discusses how to add a marker on Google Maps.

How to Add a Marker on Google Maps

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

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 own route on Google Maps but also add markers, lines, and shapes to make your custom map truly unique.

After learning how to add a marker on Google Maps, we can understand how to access Google Maps custom routes on mobile phones.

How to Access Google Maps Custom Routes on Mobile

After crafting your custom map on Google Maps, you can access and view custom routes 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.

To access custom routes on Google Maps using a mobile device:

1. Download Google Maps and open it 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.

The next section discusses some challenges while drawing routes on Google Maps.

6 Challenges You Can Face While Creating Routes on Google Maps

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

Here are some of the challenges that you can face while creating routes on Google Maps:

  • 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.
  • Doesn’t fully eliminate backtracking: When optimizing a route manually, it can be challenging to eliminate backtracking entirely. Google Maps’ route optimization feature is not designed to effectively minimize travel time in all cases.

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How to Overcome These Challenges of Efficient Routing?

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

This is where Google Maps alternatives come in handy. One such multi-stop route planning software is Upper which provides a competitive edge over Google Maps in the following ways.

Why Upper’s route management software is better than Google Maps:

  1. Easy address entry: Bulk import stops from CSV/Excel files or scan addresses, eliminating tedious manual entry.
  2. Unlimited stops: Plan routes with as many stops as needed, not just 10 like Google Maps.
  3. Optimized routes: Upper’s multi-vehicle route optimization ensures efficient stop sequences, unlike Google Maps.
  4. Customization: Set priorities, time windows, service times, and other constraints tailored to your needs.
  5. Team coordination: Easily plan and manage routes for multiple drivers/vehicles simultaneously.

Additional Upper features:

  • Schedule routes in advance for dispatching
  • Automated customer notifications (ETAs, updates)
  • Live driver tracking
  • Proof of delivery (photos, signatures, notes)
  • Detailed reports and analytics

With powerful planning tools, customization, and team coordination capabilities, Upper provides a seamless and efficient route planning experience superior to Google Maps.

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Frequently Asked Questions

To create a route with multiple stops on Google Maps, simply open the Google Maps navigation app or website, click on “Directions,” enter your starting point and destination, and then click “Add destination” to add additional stops along the way. You can add up to ten stops, including the starting point and destination.

While Google Maps doesn’t have a specific feature for creating running routes, you can still plan your running route by selecting walking or cycling directions and manually plotting your desired path.

To plot a route on Google Maps, consider factors such as traffic conditions, distance, and any specific stops or landmarks you want to include. Use the directions feature to customize your route accordingly.

To find the shortest travel route, utilize mapping tools like Google Maps or Bing Maps. After entering your destination, check the suggested routes. Manual adjustments to the proposed path might be necessary for the shortest route, as these services tend to prioritize quicker travel times.

No, the Google Maps app doesn’t support planning custom routes with multiple stops on the phone. Google My Maps is not available for iPhone or Android. It is available only for desktop users.

When organizing a route with multiple stops, consider the following factors:

  • Order of stops
  • Distance between stops
  • Stop priorities
  • Traffic conditions and road closures
  • Time constraints
  • Avoidance preferences (avoiding highways or toll roads)

You can create unlimited custom routes in Google My Maps. Unlike the 10-route limit in the regular Google Maps app, Google My Maps allows you to design and save as many personalized routes as you need.

Google Maps automatically calculates the fastest route based on current traffic conditions and other factors. Simply enter your starting point and destination, and Google Maps will provide the quickest route.

To plan the shortest routes, consider using Google Maps, MapQuest, OpenStreetMap, or specialized route planning apps, like Upper, that allow you to prioritize distance. These tools can offer more flexibility than standard GPS services.

To save routes on Google Maps for offline use, simply select the “Download offline maps” option from the menu while viewing the desired route. This will allow you to access the route even without an internet connection. This is useful if you frequently visit the same destinations.

Yes, Google Maps allows you to input destinations and plan an optimal route with multiple stops. However, it may not optimize the route for the shortest path.

Google Maps provides driving directions for multiple stops but may not optimize the route for the shortest distance or time. Users will need to rearrange the stops for an optimized route manually.

Google Maps offers the option to share a route with others. You can send the route to your mobile device or export it to your go-to navigation app, such as Google Maps, Waze, or Apple Maps.

Google Maps is optimized to find the fastest route, not necessarily the shortest in distance. It doesn’t offer a specific ‘shortest route’ option, but the fastest route often coincides with the shortest route.

To find the shortest driving distance, use a mapping service like Google Maps or Waze. Just enter your destinations in the app and examine the proposed routes. To ensure the shortest distance, you may have to modify the route manually, as these apps usually focus on reducing travel time.

Author Bio
Jeel Patel
Jeel Patel

Jeel Patel is the Chief Executive Officer at Upper. With 5+ years of experience in dev, outbound, and inbound sales, He is committed to growing conversion through inbound and outbound activities. Outside the office, Jeel loves to spend time with his dog and take him on long walks. Read more.