This is actually a multi-purpose post. First, as the title indicates, it is Challenge #7 in the 52 Weeks to Better Genealogy series from Amy Coffin at We Tree. This challenge calls for playing with Google Maps and basically learning to use it as a genealogy tool. Second it is also good for 2 tasks in the Winter 2010 GB games. In Category "Expand Your Knowledge", Task A calls for using Google Maps to map out a ancestral location, create a map and embed it in a blog post. In Category "Write Write Write", Task F calls for participating in a "52 Weeks To Better Genealogy Challenge".
I've used Google Maps for directions, getting an idea of how an area looks or even locating a cemetery that doesn't have an address by using the satellite view but the "My Maps" functions opens up a whole new way to use this site. I created the map below in less than 30 minutes by clicking on "My Maps" and then "Create New Map".
The house icons indicate the 8 locations where my great grandparents, John and Emma Jane Taylor, lived starting when they were married in 1900. Paw and Granny always lived in Rockcastle County, Kentucky in Mt. Vernon or just outside town. If you zoom out one click you should be able to see all 8 locations in the box. If you click on a house icon, you will get a balloon with information about that residence (some have pictures so check them all) and if you click on the link under the map "John and Emma Jane Taylor's Residences" it will open in a full version of Google Maps. There is an option to make your map unlisted which mean only people you give the link will be able to access it. This couldn't be much easier to use.
View John and Emma Jane Taylor's Residences in a larger map