How to draw a route on Google Maps on desktop or mobile

  • You can draw a route on Google Maps that includes a driving, walking or cycling route and save it or share it with others.
  • To create a route, open “Your Places” in the Google Maps menu, then select “Create Map” on the Maps tab.
  • Google also allows you to draw lines and shapes on your saved maps in the Your Places menu.
  • Visit the Insiders Tech Reference Library for more stories.

Google Maps is perhaps best known for its ability to provide turn-by-turn directions, but it has another useful purpose: You can use it to create maps where you can draw routes, lines, and shapes. You can then save these cards or share them with others. It is a convenient way to pre-plan a trip or share driving directions with anyone without the need for an internet connection.

How to draw a custom route on Google Maps on a computer

Google Maps provides the tools you need to draw a route on a map and save it for future reference – you can open it whenever you want or share a link with others.

1. Open Google Maps in a browser and make sure you are signed in to your Google Account.

2. Click the three-line menu in the upper left corner, and then click in the menu Your places.

[draw-route-google-maps1.png:/ Your places in Google Maps.]

Open your locations on the Google Maps website.

Dave Johnson


3. click on Map tab at the top of the page. You should now see all the cards you have already saved. If you have never used Your places before, this list may be empty.

4. Click at the bottom of the page Create map.

[draw-route-google-maps2.png: / The Maps tab in Your places in Google Maps.]

Within your locations, go to Maps and create a new map

Dave Johnson


5. On it Card without name page, you can now select the type of map you want to place the route on. Click the drop-down menu to the left Base card and select the card style you prefer.

6. Click below the search box at the top of the page Add directions (the button looks like a Y-shaped road. You should now see one Layer without name with fields for entering driving destinations.

7. By default, you get driving directions. If you want to make a different kind of route, e.g. Cycle or walk, click the car-shaped icon and select the route you want to draw, then click x to close the flyout window.

[draw-route-google-maps3.png:  / Drawing a route in Google Maps.]

Adding a route to a custom map in Google Maps.

Dave Johnson


8. Click in ONE field, and enter an address or location name, and select it when you see it appear in the search results.

9. Repeat this process to select a location for B.

10. To add additional waypoints or destinations, click Add destination and keep adding new locations.

11. When you are done, click Card without name at the top of the page and give it a name.

[draw-route-google-maps4.png: / Drawing a route in Google Maps.]

You can specify the destinations to draw a route on the map.

Dave Johnson


To draw a line or shape on Google Maps on a computer

Google Maps has a few simple drawing tools you can use to customize a map that you’ve saved to your locations. To draw a line or shape (like a square, triangle, or polygon) on a map:

1. Open Google Maps in a browser and make sure you are signed in to your Google Account.

2. Click the three-line menu in the upper left corner, and then click in the menu Your places.

3. click on Map tab at the top of the page.

4. Open an existing map or click Create map at the bottom of the page to create a new one.

5. Click below the search box at the top of the page Draw a line (the button looks like three lines and three dots). click on Add line or shape in the drop-down menu.

[draw-route-google-maps5.png:  / Customizing a map with lines and shapes in Google Maps.]

You can add lines and shapes to a custom map.

Dave Johnson


6. Click on the map where you want the shape to begin. Then:

  • To create a single straight line, drag the mouse to create the line and double-click where the line should end.
  • To make a line with multiple intermediate points, make a series of single clicks where you want the line and double-click the last point to end the line.
  • To make a polygon (any shape with three or more sides), click on the map each place you want to put a corner. To close the figure, double-click on the starting point.

7. Name the line or shape in the dialog box and click Saving.

[draw-route-google-maps6.png:/ Customizing a map with lines and shapes in Google Maps.]

A single click adds a node, double-clicking completes the form.

Dave Johnson


You can edit the shape once you have created it. Place the mouse cursor over the line or shape – when it changes from an open hand (which you can use to drag the card around) to a closed hand with an index finger, click. You will then see the edit window. Use the tools in the lower right corner to change the color, rename the shape, and upload an image to attach to the shape.

[draw-route-google-maps7.png: / Customizing shapes in Google Maps.]

Once you have added a line or shape, you can change its color.

Dave Johnson


To draw a line or shape on Google Maps on a mobile device

It’s easiest to draw lines and shapes on maps in a browser on your PC or Mac, but if you need to work on a mobile device, you can use Google’s My Maps, a web app that you can access from both Android and iOS.

1. Open My Maps in a browser on your mobile device.

2. If necessary, press Get started.

3. Press Create a new map or tap an existing map to edit.

4. Click below the search box at the top of the page Draw a line (the button looks like three lines and three dots). click on Add line or shape in the drop-down menu. Then follow the instructions in the previous section to add and edit lines and shapes on your card.

Leave a Comment