by Patrick Bradley: Use these free community mapping tools to help you do the hard missionary work of learning your community. Taking notes and marking things down on a saved online map will become invaluable as your network, serve and get the word out in your community.
Radius Around an Address
Use a radius map for figuring out which of these are within a given distance of your target:
potential worship gathering facilities
colleges, universities and local schools
Draw your own radius map at FreeMapTools.com
How to Import a KLM File
Once you’ve played around and drawn a radius that is meaningful and worth saving, FreeMapTools allows you to export a KLM file. You can use that file to create a layer on your saved My Map by Google.
Here are the quick steps:
Click on the Generate KLM button to save your radius
Create a new layer on your Google My Map
On that layer (left-hand side), click Import
Find the KLM file that was saved to your computer and upload it
That’s it! Now you can turn that layer on and off in your map when you need to use it or hide it.
Drive Time Radius
But we all know that a 5-mile drive could mean 10 to 45 minutes of drive time depending on conditions. This map approximates how far you could get in 20 minutes averaging 30mph from Mariners Church.
This is a great tool to figure out the drive time to your potential worship facility. Use this in conjunction with the average commute data you can find at DataUSA to know what people are used to. Put in your zip code or major metro area and scroll all the way to the bottom of the page for commute drive times.
Create your own drive time map at FreeMapTools.com And you can export a KLM file of this one, too.
All Zip Codes in a Radius
Another great tool from FreeMapTools is their Zip Code Radius Search Map. It’s basically the same as the radius tool above, but instead of a KLM file, you get a list of zip codes that fall within the radius you draw.
Use that list to pull more specific demographics and find lists of organizations (above) to network with in your community.
Zip Code Overlay Map
Sometimes you need to know what the zip code boundaries are in your region. So use US Naviguide’s Zip Code Map to see them overlayed on a Google map. They’re labeled and color-coded.
Use all of these free community mapping tools to get started on your research and record your findings. I’d love to see the maps you create – give me a shout on social media!