Mapping a Reforestation Site

with Google My Maps

-Visit, sign in or create Google account, and “create new map.”
-Open your My Map on mobile device, walk project site

1. Map trees
  • with “Add Marker” (top toolbar), mark tree locations
             - name each point with tree species, height and DBH (Diameter of tree at Breast Height, or 5')
  • with “Style” (toolbar of selected point) match their icon and color scheme by species or category of interest [image 1]
Image 1: matching "Style" of data points by tree species
2. Map areas
with “Add Line or Shape,” highlight areas of interest, such as
  • hazards (power lines, dump sites, invasive plants)
  • large areas of similar conditions (e.g. blackberry patch with scattered sweetgum/persimmon seedlings) or ecosystems (wetland, mature forest)
  • other themes depending on research objectives
Selecting an area shows its size in acres and square feet.

Image 2: marking plant communities with "Add Shape"

3. Other useful functions
  • with “Add Image,” upload photos from camera or documents
  • with “Add New Layer” (toolbar in legend), divide data points into categories to be viewed seperately [image 3]
  • with “Base Map” layer in legend, select terrain map for topography (useful for marking ridgetops, riparian or wetlands), or select basic map to conserve phone data in field.
  • Your Map can also be opened in data tables, embedded in a website, exported to a KML file, or shared by link.

Image 3: turning "layers" off to view single categories
See the project mapped here at Assisted Natural Reforestation at Modern Harvest, as well as Guides on Soil Testing and Identifying Trees.

Guides made in collaboration with Pura Vida Conservation.

Here's the Mapping guide in video form:


  1. Wow I didn’t know that I could use google map an create my own map too thanks for sharing this info with us. I will tell this to everyone in my school too