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ENG 168B: Plotting Inheritance

Google My Maps workshop guide for Prof. Faith Smith's Spring 2024 offering of ENG 168B: Plotting Inheritance

Add Details to a Data Table

As you add point, line, and polygon features to a map layer, you can also add details about these features to the layer's data table. The data table functions like a spreadsheet. You can add new columns and rows to the data table as needed. The information you add to the data table can be used to change the style of the layer's symbols, the content that appears in the features' pop-up windows, etc.


  1. In My Maps, go to the map layer that you want to edit. Click the layer options icon, then select Open Data Table.

    Open data table.
  2. Each point, line, and polygon feature that you've added to the map layer will have a corresponding row in the layer's data table. The data table includes two default columns: name and description. You can add additional columns to the data table to supply more information about the individual features.

    Data Table Column Settings.
  3. If you want to add a new column, you'll need to add a column name and choose the type of data that the column contains (e.g., text, numeric, yes/no, or date). Then click Add to add the column to your data table.

    Add new column. Column name is book quote. Data type is text.
  4. Once you've added the new column (e.g., book quote), you can add any relevant information to your data table. 
    Book quote for Matthews Lane. Characters Ethyl, Hampton, Pao. Quote: "All I could do was walk up to Barry Street to fetch the next bottle. Then one day Hampton comes in the yard and him got Ethyl follow behind. This is the first time Ethyl ever come to Matthews Lane..." (Young, 171).

Edit Features from a Layer's Data Table

If you decide you want to replace a line feature with a point, etc., you can make these edits from within the layer's data table (or by right-clicking the feature on your map).

  1. Right-click on the row for the feature that you want to edit. Select Location, then choose replace with marker or replace with line.

    Location > Replace with Marker.
  2. The cursor will switch over to a crosshair icon and you can draw on the map where you want the replacement point or line marker to go. Note: Select the line marker option if you want to draw a polygon on the map.