Informative geekery on software and technology

Add WebCams to Google Maps

April 6th, 2007 by

Google Maps has added a feature that lets you add information to a local map region. Points of interest, directions, annotations, whatever. These maps can be set to “public,” making them viewable and searchable for anybody looking in the area with Google Maps or Google Earth.

The great thing is that you can also put in arbitrary HTML in a placemark, thus allowing you to embed images, thus allowing you to use webcam image feeds.

A while back I created SpringsCam using the Google Maps API to plot out the various camera locations and image feeds for Colorado Springs traffic. Some people talked to me to do the same thing in their city, but they didn’t have the Javascript skills needed to put it together.

The new Google MyMaps makes it really easy for anyone to do the same thing, but without any JavaScript necessary.

To test it out, I recreated SpringsCam with a Google MyMap, resulting in a map of the Colorado Springs traffic cameras.

Here’s how simple it is, provided you have a Google account (For GMail, Calendar, etc.):

  1. Go to the map location where you want to add a webcam image.
  2. Click on the MyMaps tab on the upper left. Click the “Create New Map” and give it a name and description.
  3. Select the placemark tool () in the top left toolbar and then click on the map where you want the placemark to appear.
  4. An empty placemark bubble will open up with a field for title and description. Give your webcam a title.
  5. Press the Insert Image button (3_3_insertimage_icon1.gif) above the description box, then enter the URL of your your webcam image.
  6. Press OK to finish the placemark.
  7. Save your work!

You can add more webcams, as I did with the traffic cams, or annotate the area with shapes and drawings as needed. Your map will now be viewable and searchable for anybody looking at your area with Google Maps or Google Earth. Here is the one I created in just a matter of minutes.

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6 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Aggie // Jun 26, 2007 at 6:29 pm

    Hi. I was just wondering how you would go about searching for all of these webcam maps that people have made. For example, when I just find Colorado Springs on google maps, it doesn\’t automatically show the little markers that come up when I follow your link. How would I find these in other cities, if they exist? Thanks!

  • 2 Mark Woodman // Jun 26, 2007 at 9:29 pm

    Google seems to have dropped the ability to see other people’s maps in a given area… bummer.

  • 3 Aaron Holverson // Apr 19, 2009 at 6:43 am

    It appears that Google is publicly showing webcams only from Click here: to add your webcam address (after creating an account of course).

  • 4 Gautam // Mar 15, 2010 at 11:18 am


    I have just added a few webcams using the steps in your post. But, I do not see the thumbnail when I turn on the webcams. Is there something I’m missing?

  • 5 Noah // Mar 15, 2010 at 11:34 pm

    Same as above

  • 6 iugrehc // Jul 2, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    Une webcam dans Maps