Tracking boats with Google Maps

It’s been a two years since I built the “Where is” map service to allow others to follow along, when I was a crew member on Belage, sailing to Hobart. Since then, Google has made it much easier for mere mortals to mark up a map and sharing it with others. Also, the resolution of satellite imaging on Google has much improved over that time.

So here is a short tutorial showing how simple it is to build your own “Where is My Boat” page. The only thing you’ll need is a Google login (a Gmail account), which is easy to get and free.

Step 1

Go to and click on My Maps


Step 2

Click on Create new map


Step 3

Login to Google


Step 4

Name the map Title and use the map controls to zoom and display either map, satellite or a combination.


Step 5

on the “marker” symbol and a “balloon” will open up where you can name
the item (in this case “Te Moana”) and a description and click OK.


Step 6

customize the “marker”, click on the marker icon inside the “balloon”
and a window with many optional icons opens up. Click on the preferred


Step 7

Just click Done and you’re done!

Click on “Link to this page” and copy the highlighted link into an
email for friends and relative to find the page. To return to the page
yourself, simply go to and click on My Maps.


And that’s all there is to it. Let me know how you get on by emailing me at  “skipper at”.

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