How to easily capture large maps from google maps

Google Maps is a great place to find vastly detailed street maps. But it is basically an online tool and Google doesn’t offer a way to save a map.

You could use the Print option to save the map as a pdf file but the limitation is that you would be able to print only what is visible on the screen. That means, if you want to cover a larger area, you would have to zoom out far, losing out on the details. And, if you zoom in to a comfortable level to view the details, you would lose out on the size of the map.

This tutorial will teach you how to capture a map as large as you want.

Tools Required:

  • Firefox Browser.
  • ScreenGrab extension for Firefox : It will capture what you can see in the window, the entire page, just a selection, a particular frame… basically it saves webpages as images – either to a file, or to the clipboard.
  • Notepad.

Let’s Start:

1.  Open up Firefox and install the Screengrab extension.

2.  Go to http://maps.google.com/ and open a map of the location you want.

3.  Zoom to a level that would be right for whatever purpose you are finally going to use the map for. Just don’t bother about the size of the map now. We will deal with that later.

4.  On the top right hand side of the map you would find a link called…..’Link’. Click on it. In the little pop-up that appears, click on ‘Customize and preview embedded map’.

googlemap_link

5.  A new pop-up window opens up where you can customize the size of the map. Select the ‘Custom’ option and enter the width and height (in pixels) that you want your final map to be. For example, you could change the values to 5000×4000. The preview map will change to reflect the new size.

googlemap_customsize

6.  Once you are satisfied with the size of the map, copy the html code that appears below the preview map.

googlemap_htmlcode

7.  Open Notepad and paste the above code. Name the file anything you want but make sure you save it with the extension .html. For example, you can call the file mymap.html.

(Tip: In the Save dialog box enter the name as “mymap.html” including the quotes to force Notepad to save the file with the extension .html and not .txt)

8.  Open the html file you created in step 7 in Firefox. You would see your map displayed in the same size you selected in step 5. Of course, much of the map would probably be beyond the screen and you may have to scroll horizontally and vertically to view the hidden area.

9.  Now that we have the map of our desired size, all we need to do now is to capture and save the map as an image file. Here is where the ScreenGrab extension for Firefox comes in handy. Assuming that you have already installed ScreenGrab, you would find the ScreenGrab icon at the bottom right corner of Firefox. Click on the icon and choose Save>Complete Page/Frame. After a moment, a save dialog appears. Save the image as a PNG or JPG file.

googlemap_screengrab

That’s it. Your large size map is ready.

The above trick can be most useful for grabbing maps for use with your GPS enabled mobile phones . Of course, you would need to calibrate the image file before use with the GPS device.

Comments

  1. Rob3 says

    Since this time, Firefox has revised itself to the point that ScreenGrab is EOL, its owner couldn’t keep up with the revisions, he says. Any other ideas on how to do this?

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