5 Free Websites and Extensions to Make Google Maps Incredibly Useful


5 Free Websites and Extensions to Make Google Maps Incredibly Useful

Google Maps is the best and most popular online map service. But that doesn’t mean it’s without flaws. These free websites and extensions make Google Maps better than ever and fix some of its annoyances.

Of course, these tools require a Google account to get the most out of them. For example, you can fix annoyances like getting the shortest route for multiple destinations or removing the cluttered boxes in Google Maps. In the meantime, you can use Google Maps on websites with others to research locations or create and embed your custom maps.

1. Routora (Chrome): Add multiple destinations in Google Maps and get the shortest route

Routora essentially solves the traveling salesman problem in Google Maps. Suppose you have several destinations that you want to visit. You have to manually arrange them in the best route according to your estimates. But Routera does that automatically.

Here’s how it works. First, you open Google Maps and search for your first destination and get directions to get there. Next, add all the destinations you want to visit to the directions list in any order. When you’re done, click on the Routora extension to analyze all your visit points. After about two minutes, you will be given the best possible route to save time and fuel costs.


This is done in Google Maps itself, so you can send your new directions to your phone and save the route. Note that this only works for car routes, not other modes of transport. All in all, it improves navigation on Google Maps.

Routora works with up to 10 destinations in Google Maps. In the premium version, the developers also build their own Routora maps, allowing for up to 25 stops and adding hiking and cycling modes.

Downloads: Routera for Chrome (Free)

2. Top Rated.Online (Web): Discover the most rated places on Google Maps in each city

Nowadays every local business is represented on Google Maps. It’s one of the first places people look for reviews and leave a review about their experience. Top-Rated.Online scoured Google Maps to list the most rated places in each city.

Search for a city and find places with the most Google Maps ratings. You can filter them by Bars and Pubs, Beaches, Cafes, Health Clubs, Hospitals, Hotels, Hostels, Jewellers, Lakes, Museums, Restaurants, Parks, Landmarks, Shopping Malls and Tourist Attractions. Next, you can sort the list by top rated or most rated. And Top-Rated.Online also provides a ‘hidden gem’ and ‘worst rated’ list for each city.

The list includes the rating, the total number of reviews, and a short description if the original owners added it. You can click on any location to read more information from google maps page, e.g. B. Address, website and reviews. On a place’s page you can also find other places with the most reviews nearby. And of course you can open any location on Google Maps at any time.

The website is a great way to find places in any city you visit or even rediscover your own city. And if you’re a business owner and feel like you’re being unfairly put down, remember that you can delete reviews on Google Maps at any time.

3. PureMaps (Chrome): Remove clutter and boxes from Google Maps

Open Google Maps in a web browser and you’ll likely see everything but the map. Google has added so much clutter and unnecessary boxes it’s a mess. PureMaps is here to give you a clean Google Maps experience.

Install the extension and you can show or hide all elements in Maps. Current options include:

  • Show search cards (top left)
  • Show user information (top right)
  • Show minimap (bottom left)
  • Show map options (bottom right)
  • Show scale (absolute bottom right)
  • Show Google logo (bottom center)
  • Show preview box (below the search bar)
  • Show widget area (entire left side)

For most users, you should show the search card and turn off everything else. Most of the time you don’t use any of the other options and it’s just clutter. If you need it, you can always turn it back on in PureMaps.

Downloads: PureMaps for Chrome (Free)

4. Rocket Map (Chrome): Map widget for looking up locations in articles

When you read an article in the news or Wikipedia, you often come across geographic locations. Normally you wouldn’t bother looking them up on a map because there are too many steps. But Rocket Map adds a widget to each page, which makes it much easier.

Once you install the extension and click on it on any webpage, you will get an overlaid widget in the bottom right corner. Here you can search for any location and view it on the small map embedded in the widget. It’s full Google Maps, so you can zoom in and out and choose between a normal view or a satellite view.

Downloads: Rocket Map for Chrome (Free)

5. EZ Maps and Snazzy Maps (Web): Easiest way to create embeddable custom Google Maps

EZ Maps is the easiest way to create custom Google Maps with markers the way you want and then embed them on your website. You don’t need to be a developer or access the Google Maps API to do this. It’s totally free forever.

Once you create an account, you can start customizing the map. First choose its size in pixels and whether it should react to the screen width. Choose between street, terrain or satellite maps and set a default zoom level. Then you can start adding markers by dropping a pin or adding a marker directly to an address. You can also add hotspots by choosing their opacity and radius.

EZ Maps lets you customize how users interact with the map. They can choose whether they can scroll, zoom, get street view, etc. Once you are happy with the final product, you can preview, copy and paste the code into your web page. It couldn’t be easier.

Also, EZ Maps allows you to add skins and themes through Snazzy Maps. Snazzy Maps is a free and copyright-free place for designers to add custom overlays on Google Maps, e.g. For example, to make Google Maps look like the map from your favorite game or TV show, or to give different colors to streets, landmarks, and terrain.

Learn tricks to master Google Maps on mobile

While these five great tools go a long way toward making Google Maps better on computers, they’re not of much use on phones. But if you use Android phones, you should learn these Google Maps Android tricks that will make it much more powerful, like making lists of locations or saving faster routes that Google doesn’t know about.


8 Tricks to Use Google Maps Like a Pro

continue reading

You May Also Like