My music map – the soundtrack of my life!

Image of map and smartphone

My friends and family know how much I love music and how words and phrases that come up in general conversation will trigger me to sing a song, much to their amusement – or annoyance! I used to play a game with my sons when they were young and tell them that I could sing a song about anything. Many car journeys were spent with them throwing challenges at me to sing songs about the most ridiculous thing they could think of, but luckily I could instantly think of a song and change the words to fit whatever they wanted the song to be about. They didn’t know any different and were quite happy that I did indeed know a song about that subject!

Most of my life has been spent on the move, on both sides of the Atlantic. When I was a child, we rarely lived in one place more than a year or two, so I never really had time to make friends or even settle into a school properly. My only friends were books and music. The older I got, the more important music became. As a result, I can hear a song and easily date it from the image I get in my head of where I was when I first heard that song. When you live somewhere just a year or two that mental image helps date the song pretty accurately. I do come unstuck occasionally with songs I discovered years after they were originally released, though.

A few years ago I had a bit of a health scare and I thought the worst. Luckily everything turned out fine and I won’t bore you with the details. However, it made me realise that my sons hardly knew anything about me and being a family historian I wanted to make sure I passed on everything I knew about our family and all my research.

One of the things I also want to pass on to my sons is the importance of music in my life. When I am gone they will have my large collection of vinyl, my CDs, my iPod and memories of me singing, but I want to pass on more than that. I want them to know why music was so important to me, why I remember a certain song and when and where I was when I first heard it. So, I came up with the idea of making a music map using Google Maps and embedding YouTube videos into the map. I also dated the map markers so they appear at the side as a timeline. At the moment I have only pinned the song to the location and dated it. I will eventually get around to adding my memory of why that song takes me back to that place and time in the description box. At the moment I have only added it to the first song in the timeline. This is still a work in progress though and there may come a point when I make the map private once I start adding the memories to the description field. It is amazing how accurately you can pin a song to the exact location in satellite view!

To view the map more easily, with the timeline displayed to the left, click the View larger map symbol on the top right corner of the map or click here.

To view a video click on a map pin on the map or in the timeline. Details of the map pin then open up in the left sidebar where the timeline was. Click on the image of the video that appears at the top of the details and it will open up to full screen for you to play it.

I may write detailed instructions on how to make a music map with a timeline in the future, but for now, I have provided a link to instructions on how to make a Google Map below if you want to try and figure it out for yourself.

Any feedback gratefully received. 🙂


“Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness.” ― Maya Angelou

Useful links


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