Do you ever find something on Google maps and you want to save the screen shot of the map? Do you ever find a blog and you would like to do a screen capture and save it as an image for future reference? I was having a hard time finding a way to do this and yet, it's really simple. Let's see if I can break it down for you.
1) Go to Google maps and type in a state, county, city, or address. Let's look at what information you can get and the options you have at this screen.
- You get an idea of the city borders
This is Lexington, Davidson County, NC. From this you can collect information, as well as, save as a graphic file (picture, photo, screen capture).
- You can zoom in and look at the street names
- Some businesses show up on this so you may locate a certain place like the library, the courthouse, the health department.
- You can switch from map view to satellite view by clicking on the satellite square in the lower left corner.
- You can click on a specific location and the street address will usually show up, as well as the coordinates. You can Copy and Paste the address or coordinates into other software such as your genealogy software.
- If there is a street view, it will pop up underneath the address. Click on this and it will zoom you down to street level. You can click around and get 360 degree views or click down a street and travel up and down the street. Play with it to get comfortable.
- At any of these screens, you can capture the screen the screen view and save it as a graphic file (picture, photo, jpg) for your use. I went to street level, found the courthouse and did a screen capture and saved it. We will look at how to do this now.
2) Once you find what you are looking for (whether its the map, satellite view, street level view like the courthouse above), there are several ways to save this as a graphic file.
- Use the "Prt Scn" key on your computer keyboard. This should save the entire screen to your clipboard. Go into a graphics software such as Windows Paint or Adobe Photoshop Elements and go to the Menu. Select File, New, and then paste from clipboard. Your image should show up and you can add arrows, text boxes with text, shapes, X marks the spot, etc. Then Save As and save as a .jpg file.
- Or use the Snip It tool of Windows.
- Use a free software downloaded to your computer such as Jing. This software adds a graphic to the top of your screen (that you can move by clicking and dragging) much like the Pinterest button. You can click on that button and get a tool that allows you to select all or part of the screen and capture that image and save it to your computer. Jing only allows you to save it as a .png file and you can use graphics software to save it as a .jpg file. But there are other free screen capture software such as Faststone. This software not only allows you to select all or part of the screen to capture and save it as a .jpg file. But allows you to do some image editing too. You can also purchase software for more options such as SnagIt.
Now lets look at the uses for this in genealogy.
I'm in SC, but from my chair at home, I can find my grandparents' home place and I want a photo of the house, as well as, a picture of the map where it's found.
Papa and Grandma's house and farm are in a satellite view. I can choose map or satellite view. In this photo I tried to shade what I think was the general boundaries of Papa and his father's property so I can see how they related to each other.
I can find the church Papa and Grandma were members of and save a picture of it. I opened it in Adobe Photoshop Elements and added a text box where I documented the street address.
When I found the original delayed birth certificate of my grandfather in Ancestry.com. I was able to select just a portion and save it. Then I opened it in Adobe Photoshop and added some highlighting and a text box to add the source information.
I hope this gives you some tips and ideas on how to use screen captures for your genealogy work.