Make a Neighborhood Garage Sale Map

Coordinating a neighborhood garage sale — be it large or small — is not an easy project. However, there is one important task that can be easy: making a neighborhood garage sale map. A map will ensure you and your neighborhood close out the sale with the most payoff. Bargain hunters will have access to all the information they seek in one place and they’ll easily be able to navigate your sale.

While a neighborhood garage sale map certainly makes it easier for buyers, it also makes it easier for sellers to make a profit. A neighborhood garage sale map you share on social media or even embed on your website can draw more savvy second-hand shoppers to your sale, increasing the odds your stuff sells. For all its benefits, it can be hard to believe any organizer of a neighborhood garage sale wouldn’t utilize a map. Putting together a neighborhood garage sale map is likely the easiest task of the whole project. Just gather the garage sale location data you probably already have, copy and paste into a customizable map, and you’ll be able to share it with the world!

View Neighborhood Garage Sale in a full screen map

Gather Your Garage Sale Data

The first step in making a neighborhood garage sale map is gathering your data. If you are the person in charge of your neighborhood’s garage sale or you’re sharing the coordination duties, you likely already have all the stops of the neighborhood garage sale noted somewhere.

You’ll want to move your data into a spreadsheet if it’s not already. Perhaps other organizers put all the locations in an image. While this makes sharing on social media easy, it adds one step to the map-making process. If you have all the garage sale locations in image form, the simplest way to move them into a spreadsheet is to use a JPEG to Spreadsheet converter. If you have the locations in a document, you can skip the image conversion and simply copy and paste the data into a spreadsheet. 

Easy Image to Spreadsheet Conversion

JPG image of garage sale addresses

A tool like Easy PDF’s OCR converter will have your image data converted into a spreadsheet in no time. Just upload an image that includes locations of the garage sale and it’ll be converted to an Excel file to use with Excel or with Google Sheets for a more collaborative option. We’ll show you the minor adjustments you may need to make to the spreadsheet in a bit.

Document or Notes App to Spreadsheet

Perhaps instead of an image, you have a list of addresses of neighbors shared in an email or a community forum. Or, perhaps they’re in a Word Document or other place where you store notes. That data can be copied and pasted into your spreadsheet of choice. You’ll need to make some adjustments to get it to the correct format, but doing so won’t take much time at all.

The Best Spreadsheet Format for a Map

You’ll want to have your spreadsheet sorted into at least one column: an address column. This column is what we will use to map the points, so you’ll want to be sure it contains only addresses. If you’d like to specify a city, state, or country, add those in as separate columns.

Example of a great spreadsheet

An optional column you can add is a short description of each garage sale. Say each household participating in the neighborhood sale has let you know the specific things they’ll be selling. You can add that information to its own column to help buyers discern the spots they’d like to hit. You may also decide to add a numbered order column. This can give garage sale goers an idea of how large the neighborhood sale will be or make it easy to say “meet me at garage sale #27”. BatchGeo can also create numbered markers for you via Advanced Options > Label each marker.

You can also make it so map viewers have the ability to sort your map by the different categories of garage sales. This will allow treasure seekers to more easily hone in on the sales most up their alley. To do so, assign each location in your spreadsheet a category. For example, if you know one garage sale will mainly sell furniture and household items, you can add a column to your spreadsheet and assign this garage sale “Home goods”. Keep categorizing each sale so that when you make your map, it will be sortable by category.

Make and Customize Your Map

Once your data is in the best spreadsheet format for a map, all there’s left to do is map it! To ensure you accurately plot each and every sale, stick with a mapping tool that uses parcel geocoding instead of the less accurate interpolation. Our mapping tool uses the preferred method. Just copy and paste your data into the tool, and you’ll be able to move on to the fun part: customizing your map.

As our Introduction to Map Making on the Web tutorial highlighted, BatchGeo allows you to customize your map design and map markers. For map makers, you can choose from seven marker colors for the free version of BatchGeo and 10 marker colors with BatchGeo Pro. In both versions of BatchGeo, you can select from one of three marker shapes. To further customize your map, BatchGeo offers you the choice of five base map styles. Pick the one that stands out the most to you!

Share Your Map with the World

Now that you’ve finished making a neighborhood garage sale map that contains all the information a bargain hunter could ever need and more, it’s time to share your completed map with the world!

You can share the map to your Facebook page, Twitter, or Instagram, or other social media sites. To share a public or unlisted map on social media:

You can even embed your map into your website, or really, anywhere. We also have the option to make your map a mobile map, which will help your bargain hunters to easily identify where they want to go on the day of the sale. Wherever you wish to share your neighborhood garage sale map is up to you, but wherever you want to share it, BatchGeo makes it easy.


BatchGeo’s mapping software allows you to easily and accurately plot each and every sale of a neighborhood garage sale, no matter the size. Our users love that the maps they create with BatchGeo are customizable and totally shareable, as you can see:

Make your own neighborhood garage sale map today or check out how we make use of our mapping tool for other maps like building a Google Maps store locator without code.

Sweetheart Towns Named for Valentine’s Day

We’ve come to the conclusion that the Earth isn’t flat nor spherical: it’s heart-shaped! Supporting this geological finding are the 185 towns around the world named after Valentine’s Day themes. With names like Heart’s Delight, La Rose, Lovers Leap, Valentine, and others, what’s not to love?

We like to think all of these towns were named in honor of the February 14th holiday. However, some got their namesakes elsewhere. What we are confident about is that at least the most common Valentine’s Day town names were selected with the February 14th holiday in mind. We’re also pretty certain the U.S. states with several sweet towns and the overall countries with heart-eyes for their town names must have chosen them on behalf of Valentine’s Day.

View Valentine’s Day Town Names in a full screen map

We got our lovely data from the Accuracy Project. You can sort by the most common Valentine’s Day town names or find more information about them below.

Most Common Valentine’s Day Town Names

There are 70 unique town names that have ties to Valentine’s Day on the map. However, seeing as we mapped 185 total towns, there must be some overlap. So, which Valentine-related town names are the most common? Discover the names in the double-digits below.

Diamond

Diamonds are a girl’s best friend so it makes sense that towns named Diamond are the most common. There are 23 Diamond towns throughout the world. Four are located outside of the United States while 19 are within. Additionally, there are six towns with Diamond-adjacent names. These include Diamond City, Nevada, both Diamond Corner and Diamond Valley, Barbados, Diamond Creek, Australia, Diamond Harbour, India, and Diamond Rock, Honduras.

Daisy

Just as you’ll find no shortage of daisies in stores around February 14th, there’s also no shortage of towns named Daisy, all of which are located in the U.S. Alabama is home to two Daisy towns, and using BatchGeo’s measuring tool, we were able to identify the distance between the two. The towns of Daisy in Butler County and Daisy in Etowah County, Alabama are nearly 170 miles apart. In total, there are 14 towns named Daisy (an apt number considering the February 14th holiday) but that doesn’t include towns like Daisy Hill and Daisy Park, Australia.

Valentine

You’ll find 12 out of the 13 towns named Valentine in the U.S. Nebraska’s town of Valentine was named for Edward Kimball Valentine, a judge and three-term Republican Congressman who represented Cherry County from 1879-1885). Another Valentine town, Valentine, Arizona, is notable for being one of the historic locations you can still find on Route 66.


Valentine, Arizona

The one international town of Valentine is located in Midi-Pyrenees, France. Other similarly-named towns are those named Valentines (with an s). There are two towns called Valentines, the first in Brunswick County, Virginia and the second in Treinta y Tres, Uruguay. Then there are the international towns like Valentine Island and Valentine Plains, both located in Australia, along with Valentine Creek, Maryland and Valentines Beach, New York.

Rose

Rose is the last common Valentine’s Day town name. There are twelve towns with this name, nine of which are located in the U.S. and two of which are in the state of Idaho. As with the two Daisy towns located in Alabama, we were curious how close Bingham County’s Rose and Caribou County’s Rose were to each other. The answer, thanks to the map’s measuring tool, is about 95 miles. There are also towns named Rose in Croatia, Italy, and Pakistan, along with over a dozen other Rose-related towns like:

  • Rose Hall
  • Rose Harbour
  • Rose Hill x4
  • Rose Lake
  • Rose Prairie
  • Rose Valley x2
  • Roses x3
  • Roses Well

The last town name on the list above, Roses Well, Nevada was originally a stagecoach stop on the Las Vegas to Beatty route. Located southeast of Beatty, it was abandoned in 1919. For more historical facts from over 100 years ago, check out 100 Years Later: Major 1919 Events Mapped Out.

Other flowery town names include Bouquet, Carnation, Flowers, Orchid, and Lily. Lily, South Dakota was founded in 1887 and named for Lily, the sister of Ross Parks, the town’s first postmaster.

U.S. States Struck by Love for Sweetly-Named Towns

Virginia may be for lovers as their town Love (located in Augusta County) proves, but there are other states home to more romantic towns than the four in Virginia. Tennessee, Alabama, Oklahoma, and Kentucky are the states with loads of lovely town names.

Tennessee is home to eight towns with names related to Valentine’s Day. They include Arrow, Daisy, Flowers, Gift, Love Lady, Loveville (historical), Mount Juliet, and Romeo. We’re left wondering if the town of Romeo enlists the towns of Arrow, Daisy, Flowers, and Gift to unite with the town of Love Lady.

Then there are the seven Valentine’s Day towns located in Alabama. These include Candy (historical), Daisy x2, Diamond, Flowers, Love Hill, and Valentine. There’s no doubt Daisy is one of the most common Valentine’s Day town names; it’s already appeared three times in two states. Alabama’s other common town names include Diamond and Valentine.

There are also six lovely towns in Oklahoma: Cupid (historical), Daisy, Loveland, Loving, Romance, and Rose. Like Oklahoma, Kentucky also has six towns named after Valentine’s Day themes. These include Arrow, Daisy, Diamond, Lily, Love, Loving.

Countries With Heart-Eyes for Their Town Names

Overall, the map shows that the U.S. is saturated with sweetheart towns (136). But which international countries are also engaged with Valentine’s Day, so much so they name their towns after it? While it depends on if the country celebrates the holiday or not (find out via the Valentine’s Day celebrations around the world map), there clearly are a few countries with heart eyes for their towns based on some of their names.

Canada boasts seven lovingly-named towns, most of which are named after hearts or roses, like Heart’s Delight, Heart’s Content, and Heart’s Desire or Rose Harbour, Rose Lake, and Rose Prairie. Australia is home to five towns named after V-Day, most of which are are related to daisies or Valentine, such as Daisy Hill and Daisy Park and Valentine Island or Valentine Plains.

Four sweet towns are located in Jamaica while both Honduras and Barbados are home to three. South Africa, India, Haiti, Guyana, and France each have two Valentine’s Day towns, and there are 17 other countries that have one each.


Well, sweet! Now that you know all the lovely towns named for Valentine’s Day, you can package up your Valentine’s Day cards (pre-stamped) to the closest sweetheart town. If you send them to the postmaster with a note, they can be postmarked and stamped from places like Valentine, Arizona. Or you could just be tickled pink you got Valentine’s Day facts to your heart’s content. Speaking of V-Day facts, learn more about the cities that break the bank on Valentine’s Day as well as 36 hours of #love: mapping Twitter and Instagram Hashtags.

Introduction to Map Making on the Web

You don’t have to be trained in the art of cartography (map-making) to make maps on the web. That is because there are three software options available that simplify the map-making process, though some are easier to navigate than others. In addition to mapping software, a basic understanding of essential terms will make it easier to get started plotting your points. Terms to know include the geographic coordinate system and the difference between latitude and longitude.

Once you know your software options and key terms, you won’t even need programming knowledge to customize the maps you make on the web. You’ll be able to easily adjust the base map style and marker pins. As you embark on your map-making journey, we’ll cover these important concepts:

  • Geographic coordinate system
  • Latitude and longitude
  • Different mapping software options
  • Customization of base map styles and marker pins

Plus, we’ll share how to create a map by copying and pasting a list of addresses. But first, let’s dive right into the map-making terms you need to know.

Geographic Coordinate System Overview

Let’s start with the basics: the Earth isn’t flat. Now that that’s out of the way, you also need to know that cartographers sought to describe the position of a geographic location taking into account the spherical nature of the planet. Hence: the geographic coordinate system (GCS), which is what most mapping software options use to plot your points. The geographic coordinate system is comprised of two measures: latitude and longitude, which define locations. Every point on Earth can be described by these two numbers, so let’s learn the difference between the two.

The Difference Between Latitude and Longitude

The difference between latitude and longitude is their position from the two imaginary lines that divide the Earth: the equator and the prime meridian.

Latitude depicts how north or south a point is from the equator, the imaginary line that runs horizontally through the Earth. A point with a 0-latitude is located right on the equator.

Longitude depicts how east or west a point is from the prime meridian, the imaginary line that runs vertically through the Earth. A point with a 0-longitude is located on the prime meridian.

Every point on the planet can be identified by its relation to the equator (latitude) and its relation to the prime meridian (longitude). Both latitude and longitude — the coordinate pairs — can be positive or negative depending on the hemisphere of the coordinates. A point south or east of the imaginary lines should be depicted as a negative number.

When it comes to writing latitude and longitude, latitude is almost always listed first with longitude following second. You can remember that because, while both begin with “L”, the second letter of latitude (“A”) comes before longitude’s second letter (“O”), just like how latitude comes before longitude in a written coordinate pair.

You can learn more about how to plot latitude and longitude on a map and even how to enter latitude and longitude into Google Maps but for now, let’s look at the three most common map-making software options, only one of which requires a download.

Mapping Software That Plots Your Points

You’ve decided you can’t go any longer without plotting your points on a map; now you need to know the best software options. Keeping in mind that one user’s favorite software may not be the best tool for your mapping needs, here’s an overview of the top three mapping software options you’ll find on the web:

  • ArcGIS and other desktop GIS software
  • Google Maps API
  • Web-based mapping tools

Each of the popular mapping options above has its pros and cons. We’ll outline them below, and then it will be up to you to choose the best fit.

ArcGIS and Other Desktop GIS Software

GIS stands for Geographic Information Systems while ArcGIS is the software for GIS made by Esri and is the industry standard. As such, ArcGIS has an extensive list of features; it can do almost anything you’d want from mapping software. Plus, because it’s so popular, there are plenty of YouTube tutorials on how to get started with the ArcGIS desktop software.

If ArcGIS is the industry standard, has more features than any other mapping software, and is easy to learn, why would someone not want to use it? Unfortunately, ArcGIS is out of many mapping aficionados’ budgets. ArcGIS is expensive; we’re talking thousands of dollars. Now, if your company or university provides its staff or students with licenses, this con doesn’t necessarily apply to you. But, if you’ll be paying for a mapping software out of your own pocket, you may want to turn to a more affordable route. In addition to pricing, it’s harder to get your maps on the web once you make them with ArcGIS. You’d need to publish them through Esri or host your own map tiles, which can be difficult for even the most experienced mapper.

Google Maps API

ArcGIS may be the industry standard, but most maps you see on the web are likely built using the Google Maps API — and for good reason. As a product of Google, the Google Maps API has the largest mapping database when compared to other web-mapping software. Maps made with the Google Maps API are also easily embeddable into mobile and website pages, and Google offers usage flexibility. With Google Maps, you’re able to increase or decrease your usage depending on your mapping needs at the time.

Now for the cons of the Google Maps API. While Google Maps already has the most data, they’re still collecting your data when you use their product. So, if you don’t want Google to have access to your mapping data, you may want to choose software that offers more privacy. Additionally, the Google Maps API browser key is not the most user-friendly option. To utilize Google’s mapping browser key, you’ll need to know a little something about JavaScript and potentially other complex programming languages. Once you’ve got your self-coded map, you’ll spend your time looking up syntax and debugging interactivity issues. You can read more about the complicated steps of using the Google Maps API browser key here, but we think most people would prefer an easier way.

Additionally, as with the GIS (ArcGIS) desktop software, Google Maps costs money. Now, the Google Maps API used to be very cost-efficient (read: free for most users). However, in August of 2018, Google announced its new pricing for mapping services. The new pricing model included increased prices for paid versions of the service and reduced features for free users.

Web-based Mapping Tools

Now, not every great mapping software costs an arm and a leg like Google’s potentially does. Several web-based mapping tools allow users to quickly import and display geographic data for free, though the processing of large amounts of data may occasionally require a relatively small fee.

BatchGeo.com is one example of a web-based mapping tool that uses the Google Maps API, known to have the best mapping data available, for free. Yes, you read that right. By copying and pasting your Excel spreadsheets and other lists of addresses into BatchGeo, you can create accurate maps that don’t require you to download any software, write code, manually geocode addresses one by one, or host map tiles yourself. You’ll be able to share these maps privately or publish them for all to see, and like Google Maps, you can embed them on your website. Now that you know how the three most common software packages, let’s learn about how to customize the maps you’ll make.

Base Map Styles and Customization

There are several stylistic elements to making maps on the web, including base map colors, cities and borders, and marker pin customization. The first customizable element is the base map color, which is essentially the color scheme of your map. Here are some of the base map color styles available when you use BatchGeo.





There are also different styles of cities and borders (country, state, city, etc.) in different base maps. For example, the maps on the left display the same location. However, ArcGIS’s border styles differ from those on a BatchGeo map, which uses Google Maps tiles.






In addition to the base color of your map and the visibility of certain features like cities and borders, you can also customize the marker pins when you make maps on the web. You’re probably familiar with the default marker pin:

But did you know you can change both the color and shape of the marker to better suit the content of your map? Each map-making software has different marker pin styling options, but your best bet is to stick with a marker shape that resembles what we’ve come to know as the default red marker pin. You’ll also want to ensure your customized marker’s color stands out.

Create a Custom Map from Your Data

Now that you’re gotten an introduction to map-making on the web, complete with all the ways you can customize web maps, follow the steps below to create your own map with BatchGeo.

To get started, follow these steps:

  1. Open your spreadsheet
  2. Select (Ctrl+A or Cmd+A) and copy (Ctrl+C or Cmd+C) all your data
  3. Open your web browser and go to batchgeo.com
  4. Click on the location data box with the example data in it, then paste (Ctrl+V or Cmd+V) your own data
  5. Check to make sure you have the proper location data columns available by clicking “Validate and Set Options”
  6. Select the proper location column from each drop down
  7. Click “Make Map” and watch as the geocoder performs its process

Once all of your rows are geocoded, click “Save & Continue” and enter some details about your map. Provide a title and, optionally, a description. To claim the map as your own, which allows you to edit it later, include your email address.

Now click “Save Map” and you’ll be directed to your map’s unique page. By simply copying and pasting your data into BatchGeo, you can make maps on the web like this:

View Example Sales Data in a full screen map

You then have the option to share your maps with specific people, like your company’s sales team, or you can make them available to the public and then embed your map on your website.