Whether you're comparing local demographic trends over time, setting the scene in a broadcast story, or looking to display before-and-after satellite imagery of a disaster area, a map or chart can help bring your data to life and make it easy for your readers and viewers to understand your story.
Google My Maps
Highlighting shelter locations during a flood? Or writing a city guide with restaurant recommendations? Create a custom, interactive map in minutes with My Maps, a free tool that lets you draw and style points of interest, lines and shapes on a map—no programming required. You can also import your map data from Google Drive spreadsheets, or as CSV files, Excel files and KML files. Upgrade to My Maps Pro to display more points and layers; add custom custom icons; and manage and communicate with mobile teams using Maps Coordinate. When you’re ready to publish your My Map, copy the provided HTML and paste it into the source code of your website or blog. View and edit your maps on the go with the My Maps Android app. Learn more about getting started with My Maps in the Help Center.
Google Maps API
The Google Maps API lets you build customized, immersive maps to fit the look and style of your website. Access our comprehensive map data—classic maps, global satellite imagery, Street View—then use Styled Maps to customize the display, from colors to elements like roads and parks. Further engage your audience by visualizing your data with symbols and heatmaps. Get started with the Google Maps API documentation and check out the developer showcase for inspiration. Note that our generous billing structure ensures that many news uses of the API can be done for free.
Google Crisis Map
Share critical emergency information with your audience by embedding the Google Crisis Map, which is maintained by the Google Crisis Response team and provides relevant, up-to-date information from authoritative sources throughout a disaster. Past Crisis Response work includes the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, and Superstorm Sandy in the United States. Learn about more Crisis Response tools under Additional Resources.
Take your audience anywhere in the world with Google Earth’s visually distinct, extensive database of satellite and terrain imagery, 3D imagery and models. We frequently update our imagery database in an ongoing effort to accurately document the state of the world. You can also access historical imagery for timelapse and before/after animations, or to see various seasons. There’s much more you can do with Google Earth, and we invite you to learn about these features in our Help Center.
Note that there is both a free and paid-for version of Google Earth. Google Earth Pro gives you the ability to export high-definition movie files of your touring animations (great for television and online video) and save high-resolution images (great for print and websites). Purchase a new license or renew an existing license directly from the Google Earth Pro website.
Google Earth Engine
Google Earth Engine is a cloud platform for environmental data analysis, used by scientists and researchers worldwide to detect changes, map trends and quantify differences on the Earth's surface. Timelapse, a project built with this technology, uses more than a quarter-century of images of Earth taken from space, compiled for the first time into a zoomable, interactive time-lapse experience. Since launch, people around the world have been using Timelapse to tell stories of our changing planet, from urban growth to deforestation, and much more. Embed Timelapse on your website using the Share button beneath the map, or create a custom tour using the Timelapse tour editor. Want to perform your own data analysis? Learn more on the Earth Engine website.
Google Fusion Tables
This web application lets you host, manage, collaborate on, visualize and publish data tables online. Fusion Tables takes large volumes of spreadsheet data and makes it easy to read, present and share. Create charts and maps, and embed them on your website. Use the Fusion Tables Layer Wizard to further customize your map, and Shape Escape to import shapefiles.
Stay up to date
Want to learn the latest Google Maps and Google Earth tools relevant to journalists? Sign up for our mailing list to learn about news-related satellite imagery, Google Earth b-roll, new Crisis Maps and more.
Permission and Licensing
Learn about Google Maps and Google Earth usage guidelines by visiting the Google Permissions website. If you’d like to use our maps on television or in film, apply for our free broadcast license.