Once you've put your business on the map with Google Maps, customising that map to suit your customers' needs is a piece of cake.

Follow our simple eight-step walkthrough to add extra information to your own version of Google Maps, and even to upload that information to the main Google site.

1. So far we’ve covered the basics of adding a map to your home page, but there’s much more you can do. You can provide additional information about the location by adding the code map.openInfoWindow(map.getCenter(), document.createTextNode(“Hello, world”));.

Step 1

Step 1

2. Placing this code beneath the map.setCenter instruction will display a balloon on the map with the text 'Hello world'. To provide something more useful to your visitors, change the text in brackets to something that better describes the location. This text will then be displayed at the centre of your map.

Step 2

Step 2

3. Google Maps can be viewed as normal maps or as satellite images. To change the view of your map from standard to satellite, add the following line of code underneath the co-ordinates: map.setMapType(G_SATELLITE_MAP);. Changing the instruction to G_HYBRID_MAP creates a combination of both views.

Step 3

Step 3

4. To create an overlay that allows you to zoom in and out of your map or to pan from side to side, add the code map.addControl(new GLargeMapControl());. Using the code GsmallZoomControl instead, however, inserts more discreet plus and minus buttons to control the zoom levels.

Step 4

Step 4

5. Using the Google Mapplets API rather than the Google Maps API we’ve outlined in the above steps will allow you to create applications that are installed on to the Google Maps site itself. Visitors to the main Google site will then be able to view the content that you’ve created and installed.

Step 5

Step 5

6. The first step is to add the Developer tools to Google Maps. Follow the link to 'Install the Developer Mapplet'. The Developer Mapplet will then appear under the My Maps tab when you visit maps.google.com. You can also install a scratchpad and reference guide.

Step 6

Step 6

7. To start writing your own Mapplet, follow the instructions at click here. Here you’ll be provided with a simple extensible markup language (XML) example that you can modify to suit your needs. Most of the instructions are similar to those for the general API, but you’ll need to include some additional lines of code.

Step 7

Step 7

8. Your Mapplet must be available on a public web server to be viewed. Put the link maps.google.com/ig/add?synd=mpl& pid=mpl&moduleurl= on your site and visitors who click the link will be prompted to install the Mapplet. Alternatively, you can submit it to the Google Maps directory.

Step 8

Step 8

See also: How to add a Google map to your web page