How to Create a Map of Your Neighborhood

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There are a number of reasons why you might want to create a map of your neighborhood. If you have children, you might want to create a simplified map of your neighborhood, including landmarks and points of reference, that can help them find their way home if they get lost. Another reason to create a simple neighborhood map might be to offer a community watch map for volunteers. Whatever your reason, here is what you need to do to create a basic neighborhood map.

  • Photoshop or Other Graphics Program

1 Go to Google Maps

Go to Google Maps. Then enter your address in the search engine. A map of where you live should pop up.

2 Zoom and pan the map to get to the area

Zoom and pan the map to get to the area you want to cover in your map. Hit print, and then cancel the print. A larger version of the map will be on the screen. Click Print Screen on your keyboard.

Open Photoshop or some other graphics editor. It's best to use one like Photoshop that can handle layers. Create a new document. Photoshop will automatically make this new document the same size as your Print Screen capture. Paste the contents of the clipboard into the document. Use the selection and crop tools to remove everything in the image you don't want in the map.

Create a new layer above this one. Now use the Brush tool to paint in the streets, the house, trees, and so on, using the layer underneath as a template. Change the colors to suit what you are painting. Try to stress things that children might notice, like putting an image of a dog where there is a large dog is in a neighbor's yard, or the corner stop sign where they get picked up by the school bus.

Delete the original map layer, save your work, and print your new, simpler version of the map.

Daniel Ketchum holds a Bachelor of Arts from East Carolina University where he also attended graduate school. Later, he taught history and humanities. Ketchum is experienced in 2D and 3D graphic programs, including Photoshop, Poser and Hexagon and primarily writes on these topics. He is a contributor to sites like Renderosity and Animotions.