How to Create & Print a Custom Wall Map Using Google Maps

Written by angela schnaubelt
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How to Create & Print a Custom Wall Map Using Google Maps
Plan a road trip with Google Maps. (Road map image by Ellanorah from

If you want to create your own wall map you can do it by making and printing a customised area of Google Maps. With such a wall map, you can read it more easily than a fold-out map on a desk or table.

If you find yourself frequently referring to the same geographical area on Google Maps, then print out the map and put it on your wall for easier reference. Wall maps are great to refer to at a glance when talking about geography, teaching, or for planning trips.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

Things you need

  • Internet connection
  • Printer
  • Paper
  • Thumbtacks, nails, or tape

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  1. 1

    Determine the purpose of the map. Determining the purpose of the map can help you plan on the size of the wall map, the method in which you will display the map, and the scale in which you will create the map.

    You can create a map as a teaching resource tool, as a sales tool, marketing planning tools, wall decorations, vacation planning, and more.

    How to Create & Print a Custom Wall Map Using Google Maps
    Decide on the purpose of your custome wall map. (Map image by Stephen VanHorn from
  2. 2

    Familiarise yourself with the features of Google Maps. You can sort by real estate, street map, or bike route in addition to the traditional map for driving directions. You can view Google Maps in satellite images, terrain, and current traffic patterns.

    Play around with the other features of Google maps such as photos, webcams, videos, and locations with Wikipedia entries.

  3. 3

    Pick the scale of the map. To do this you'll need to figure out if you want to see individual streets or neighbourhoods, cities or all of the suburbs in a metropolitan area.

    If you want a lot of details showing street names and local businesses, then you may have to print out multiple maps in order to show a wider area when you create your wall map.

  4. 4

    Determine the size of the map that you want to print. Your requirements for scale and final printed size of the map go hand in hand. For example, you cannot print out a detailed street map of the entire state of Iowa on a 60-inch-by-80-inch map. You will either have to choose a smaller geographic region to print or change the scale of the map that you want to display.

    How to Create & Print a Custom Wall Map Using Google Maps
    Printed map size and map scale go hand in hand. (USA states series: Iowa. Political map with counties image by Stasys Eidiejus from


  1. 1

    Go to the Google Maps website and either type in a location in the search field, or use the cursor to zoom in to the area you want to print.

    How to Create & Print a Custom Wall Map Using Google Maps
    Google Maps zoom tool is fun to use. (map image by Victor M. from
  2. 2

    Center the map on the area you want to create as a map. The cursor will become a hand when you pass it over the map, so you can click and drag to centre the map where you want it.

    Zoom in and out of the area by using the zoom tool on the left upper corner of the map. The plus symbol zooms in on the map and shows more detail, whereas the minus sign makes the map zoom out with less detail but a wider area. You can also use the rolling wheel on your mouse (if you have one) to zoom in and out.

  3. 3

    Print the map on your printer. If you do not have a printer, then print the map at the library, or use a print shop.

    You can enlarge the map, too. Go to a local print shop or to a chain printer like FedEx or Kinko's to enlarge your map to the size you need.

Tips and warnings

  • Tape together multiple adjacent maps if you want to show lots of zoomed-in detail over a wide geographic area.
  • Display the map on the wall by either hanging it in a frame or by attaching it to the wall with scotch tape or thumbtacks. Use a level to make sure that the map is straight, or you can use a ruler to measure the distance from the floor to the bottom corners of the map.
  • If you use a printer shop, make sure to ask how much it will cost to print your map or maps before you place your order.
  • Don't use masking tape to hang a map to the wall, as it will leave marks on the wall.

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