MenuMenu Image

Custom Mapping Resources

Creating Custom Maps

Growers may find value in generating their own custom maps of their property for a variety of reasons including communicating with workers, maintaining land management records, or communicating conservation plans.  Additionally, maps can help estimate measurements of area for production purposes.  Whatever the reason, there are some options for free online software to help a grower develop their own custom maps.


For those looking to explore making custom maps, the CCD suggests trying Google’s MyMaps software, which launched as a feature of Google Maps back in 2007 and has come a long way.  It does not require any downloading or installation of software and runs through your web browser.  All a user needs is a free google account to get started creating and sharing maps.

Official Google Support/Help for MyMaps:

Google’s support documents for creating and sharing maps is comprehensive, but a recommended short, beginner-focused video developed by the Cooperative Extension Service at Oregon State focused specifically on creating a property map and sharing it can be found here: 


Creating property field map in Google Maps



For those looking to go deeper into map making, we recommend QGIS.  QGIS is the international standard for digital mapping and, importantly, is free and open-source software.

While QGIS is mapping software, it still requires data to generate maps.  Data includes things like points of interest, lines, shapes and boundaries, and imagery. 

Data for mapping (sometimes referred to as “shapefiles”) are available at various sites on the internet.  Some are freely available, and some are maintained by companies charging a premium.  Included here is a list of websites offering valuable map making data at no cost to users:

Natural Earth is an organization that maintains and updates data for generating maps in the public domain (free).  It includes data for administrative boundaries (countries, states, counties), rivers, infrastructure (roads, highways), populated places and much more.

The Kentucky Geography Network (aka KyGeoNet) is the Geospatial Data Clearinghouse for the Commonwealth of Kentucky. A variety of datasets can be located and downloaded, static map products can be viewed, and many web mapping applications and services are easily accessible.  Through this site one can be connected with all manner of Kentucky-specific mapping data and even overhead imagery.