If your staff team is planning a trip or if you are planning a MPD trip, you might like to use the My Map feature on Google maps. [UPDATE: 05/01/2014: Using TntMPD as an address book automatically maps everyone. this is a much more effective way than the process below. Read How to Check on Your Donors when Disaster Stirkes using TntMPD.]
This video is easy to understand, so after watching it, log in to Google and follow the video’s instructions to make a “My Map”. To adapt this for a MPD trip, try the following ideas. (You will, of course, want to make your “My Map” private for MPD and shareable for team trips.)
- Decide if you want one large MPD map or regional maps. I recommend regional maps if you’ll have a lot of donors to map.
- Just use the Google map icon in TntMPD to locate your donors’ homes (or cut and paste your motel and appointment locations into the Google Map search area labeled “search maps”).
- Choose which map to add your donor to and click “Save to map” (under the photo of the home).
- Click the “view map” link in the yellow highlighted message that the address was saved.
- A list of addresses will build on the left side. Click edit at the top of the list and then click on the address to edit it.
- I put the donors’ name in the title and the street address in the description.
- I recommend saving your map periodically if you’re working through a lot of names.
- Open the map back up and all your locations are listed down the left side of the page. You can change the icon if you want to use a color coding system. Google also adds a photo of the house in the information window for many of your locations.
- Now you are ready to mark airports, motels, rental car pickup, restaurants, and more.
- You can also mark driving routes and drag the yellow man icon to the map to get a street view. It’s helped us on a number of trips to a new area to “drive” online so we are familiar with the streets and where to take our turns.
- If you are getting ready to make appointments you will easily see who lives near each other so you can plan your visits and driving routes.
- Take a screenshot of your map and make a binder of all your trip information to pack for your trip.
Of course, you could just print a map and hand mark the house locations and any other information you need. However, I don’t think this would take that much longer and then you would have your maps ready for the next time. Also, if you have a laptop or smartphone with you on your travels, you could change an appointment location or pick out a detour, if needed, after you check the “traffic” feature of your online map.
“By the way, what WAS the name of that hotel with the great hot breakfast?” …. It’s on your map!
Google Your Trip to find motels and other destinations using Google Maps
The Road Less Traveled about the “Traffic” feature on Google Maps
Bing Is Not Google explains how to find the best hotel rates and airfares using Bing.com