Web mapping service developed by Google
Screenshot of Google Maps on a web browser
Type of site
|Registration||Optional, included with a Google Account|
|Launched||February 8, 2005; 16 years ago (2005-02-08)|
Google Maps is a web mapping platform and consumer application offered by Google. It offers satellite imagery, aerial photography, street maps, 360° interactive panoramic views of streets (Street View), real-time traffic conditions, and route planning for traveling by foot, car, air (in beta) and public transportation. As of 2020[update], Google Maps was being used by over 1 billion people every month around the world.
Google Maps' satellite view is a "top-down" or bird's-eye view; most of the high-resolution imagery of cities is aerial photography taken from aircraft flying at 800 to 1,500 feet (240 to 460 m), while most other imagery is from satellites. Much of the available satellite imagery is no more than three years old and is updated on a regular basis. Google Maps previously used a variant of the Mercator projection, and therefore could not accurately show areas around the poles. In August 2018, the desktop version of Google Maps was updated to show a 3D globe. It is still possible to switch back to the 2D map in the settings.
Google Maps for Android and iOS devices was released in September 2008 and features GPSturn-by-turn navigation along with dedicated parking assistance features.
In August 2013, it was determined to be the world's most popular smartphone app, with over 54% of global smartphone owners using it.
In May 2017, the app has reported to have 2 billion users on Android, along with several other Google services including YouTube, Chrome, Gmail, Search, and Google Play.
Google Maps first started as a C++ program designed by two Danish brothers, Lars and Jens Eilstrup Rasmussen, and Noel Gordon and Stephen Ma, at the Sydney-based company Where 2 Technologies. It was first designed to be separately downloaded by users, but the company later pitched the idea for a purely Web-based product to Google management, changing the method of distribution. In October 2004, the company was acquired by Google Inc. where it transformed into the web application Google Maps.
In the same month, Google acquired Keyhole, a geospatial data visualization company (with investment from the CIA), whose marquee application suite, Earth Viewer, emerged as the highly successful Google Earth application in 2005 while other aspects of its core technology were integrated into Google Maps. In September 2004, Google acquired ZipDash, a company that provided realtime traffic analysis.
The launch of Google Maps was first announced on the Google Blog on February 8, 2005.
In September 2005, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Google Maps quickly updated its satellite imagery of New Orleans to allow users to view the extent of the flooding in various parts of that city.
On November 28, 2007, Google Maps for Mobile 2.0 was released. It featured a beta version of a "My Location" feature, which uses the GPS / Assisted GPS location of the mobile device, if available, supplemented by determining the nearest wireless networks and cell sites. The software looks up the location of the cell site using a database of known wireless networks and sites. By triangulating the different signal strengths from cell transmitters and then using their location property (retrieved from the database), My Location determines the user's current location.
On September 23, 2008, coinciding with the announcement of the first commercial Android device, Google announced that a Google Maps app had been released for its Android operating system.
In October 2009, Google replaced Tele Atlas as their primary supplier of geospatial data in the US version of Maps and used their own data.
On April 19, 2011, Map Maker was added to the American version of Google Maps, allowing any viewer to edit and add changes to Google Maps. This provides Google with local map updates almost in real-time instead of waiting for digital map data companies to release more infrequent updates.
On January 31, 2012, Google, due to offering its Maps for free, was found guilty of abusing the dominant position of its Google Maps application and ordered by a court to pay a fine and damages to Bottin Cartographer, a French mapping company. This ruling was overturned on appeal.
In June 2012, Google started mapping Britain's rivers and canals in partnership with the Canal and River Trust. The company has stated that it would update the program during the year to allow users to plan trips which include locks, bridges and towpaths along the 2,000 miles of river paths in the UK.
In December 2012, the Google Maps application was separately made available in the App Store, after Apple removed it from its default installation of the mobile operating system version iOS 6 in September 2012.
On January 29, 2013, Google Maps was updated to include a map of North Korea. As of May 3, 2013[update], Google Maps recognizes Palestine as a country, instead of redirecting to the Palestinian territories.
In August 2013, Google Maps removed the Wikipedia Layer, which provided links to Wikipedia content about locations shown in Google Maps using Wikipedia geocodes.
On April 12, 2014, Google Maps was updated to reflect the 2014 Crimean crisis. Crimea is shown as the Republic of Crimea in Russia and as the Autonomous Republic of Crimea in Ukraine. All other versions show a dotted disputed border.
In April 2015, on a map near the Pakistani city of Rawalpindi, the imagery of the Android logo urinating on the Apple logo was added via Map Maker and appeared on Google Maps. The vandalism was soon removed and Google publicly apologized. However, as a result, Google disabled user moderation on Map Maker, and on May 12, disabled editing worldwide until it could devise a new policy for approving edits and avoiding vandalism.
On April 29, 2015, users of the classic Google Maps were forwarded to the new Google Maps with the option to be removed from the interface.
On July 14, 2015, the Chinese name for Scarborough Shoal was removed after a petition from the Philippines was posted on Change.org.
On June 27, 2016, Google rolled out new satellite imagery worldwide sourced from Landsat 8, comprising over 700 trillion pixels of new data. In September 2016, Google Maps acquired mapping analytics startup Urban Engines.
In 2016, the Government of South Korea offered Google conditional access to the country's geographic database – access that already allows indigenous Korean mapping providers high-detail maps. Google declined the offer, as it was unwilling to accept restrictions on reducing the quality around locations the South Korean Government felt were sensitive.
On October 16, 2017, Google Maps was updated with accessible imagery of several planets and moons such as Titan, Mercury, and Venus, as well as direct access to imagery of the Moon and Mars.
In May 2018, Google announced major changes to the API structure starting June 11, 2018. This change consolidated the 18 different endpoints into three services and merged the basic and premium plans into one pay-as-you-go plan. This meant a 1400% price raise for users on the basic plan, with only six weeks of notice. This caused a harsh reaction within the developers community. In June, Google postponed the change date to July 16, 2018.
In August 2018, Google Maps designed its overall view (when zoomed out completely) into a 3D globe dropping the Mercator projection that projected the planet onto a flat surface.
In January 2019, Google Maps added speed trap and speed camera alerts as reported by other users.
On October 17, 2019, Google Maps was updated to include incident reporting, resembling a functionality in Waze which was acquired by Google in 2013.
In December 2019, Incognito mode was added, allowing users to enter destinations without saving entries to their Google accounts.
In February 2020, Maps received a 15th anniversary redesign. It notably added a brand-new app icon, which now resembles the original icon in 2005.
On 23 September 2020, Google announced a COVID-19 Layer update for Google maps, which is designed to offer a seven-day average data of the total COVID-19-positive cases per 100,000 people in the area selected on the map. It also features a label indicating the rise and fall in the number of cases.
In January 2021, Google announced that it will be launching a new feature which is displaying the COVID-19 vaccinations sites.
In January 2021 Google announced updates to the route planner that will accommodate drivers of electric vehicles. Routing will take into account the type of vehicle, vehicle status including current charge, and the location of charging stations.
Directions and transit
Google Maps provides a route planner, allowing users to find available directions through driving, public transportation, walking, or biking. Google has partnered globally with over 800 public transportation providers to adopt General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS), making the data available to third parties. The app can indicate users' transit route in an October 2019 update. The incognito mode, eyes-free walking navigation features were released earlier. A July 2020 update provided bike share routes.
In 2007, Google began offering traffic data as a colored overlay on top of roads and motorways to represent the speed of vehicles on particular roads. Crowdsourcing is used to obtain the GPS-determined locations of a large number of cellphone users, from which live traffic maps are produced.
Google has stated that the speed and location information it collects to calculate traffic conditions is anonymous. Options available in each phone's settings allow users not to share information about their location with Google Maps. Google stated, "Once you disable or opt out of My Location, Maps will not continue to send radio information back to Google servers to determine your handset's approximate location".[failed verification]
Main article: Google Street View
On May 25, 2007, Google released Google Street View, a new feature of Google Maps which provides 360° panoramic street-level views of various locations. On the date of release, the feature only included five cities in the US. It has since expanded to thousands of locations around the world. In July 2009, Google began mapping college campuses and surrounding paths and trails.
Street View garnered much controversy after its release because of privacy concerns about the uncensored nature of the panoramic photographs, although the views are only taken on public streets. Since then, Google has begun blurring faces and license plates through automated facial recognition.
In late 2014, Google launched Google Underwater Street View, including 2,300 kilometres (1,400 mi) of the Australian Great Barrier Reef in 3D. The images are taken by special cameras which turn 360 degrees and take shots every 3 seconds.
In 2017, in both Google Maps and Google Earth, Street View navigation of the International Space Station interior spaces became available.
In December 2009, Google introduced a new view consisting of 45° angle aerial imagery, offering a "bird's-eye view" of cities. The first cities available were San Jose and San Diego. This feature was initially available only to developers via the Google Maps API. In February 2010, it was introduced as an experimental feature in Google Maps Labs. In July 2010, 45° imagery was made available in Google Maps in select cities in South Africa, the United States, Germany and Italy.
Google collates business listings from multiple on-line and off-line sources. To reduce duplication in the index, Google's algorithm combines listings automatically based on address, phone number, or geocode, but sometimes information for separate businesses will be inadvertently merged with each other, resulting in listings inaccurately incorporating elements from multiple businesses. Google allows business owners to create and verify their own business data through Google My Business. Owners are encouraged to provide Google with Business information including; address, phone number, business category and photos. Google has staff in India who check and correct listings remotely as well as support businesses with issues. Google also has teams on the ground in most countries, that validate physical addresses in person. After the business listing has been verified, business owners can further optimize their profile by logging into their Google account and GMB dashboard. In mid August 2020 Google made it more convenient for business owners to edit their business profile directly from search, simply by typing the word My business or their company name. Google My Business allows businesses to create a website for free.
Google Maps can be manipulated by businesses which are not physically located in the area in which they record a listing. There are cases of people abusing Google Maps to overtake their competition by placing unverified listings on online directory sites knowing the information will roll across to Google (duplicate sites). The people who update these listings do not use a registered business name. Keywords and location details are placed on their Google Maps business title which can overtake credible business listings. In Australia in particular, genuine companies and businesses are noticing a trend of fake business listings in a variety of industries.
Genuine business owners can also optimise their business listings to gain greater visibility in Google Maps, through a type of search engine marketing called Local search engine optimisation.
In March 2011, indoor maps were added to Google Maps, giving users the ability to navigate themselves within buildings such as airports, museums, shopping malls, big-box stores, universities, transit stations, and other public spaces (including underground facilities). Google encourages owners of public facilities to submit floor plans of their buildings in order to add them to the service. Map users can view different floors of a building or subway station by clicking on a level selector that is displayed near any structures which are mapped on multiple levels.
My Maps is a feature in Google Maps launched in April 2007 that enables users to create custom maps for personal use or sharing. Users can add points, lines, shapes, notes and images on top of Google Maps using a WYSIWYG editor. An Android app for My Maps, initially released in March 2013 under the name Google Maps Engine Lite, is also available.
Google Local Guides
Google Local Guides is a volunteer program launched by Google Maps to enable its users to contribute to Google Maps. Sometimes it provides them additional perks and benefits for the work. The program is partially a successor to Google Map Maker as features from the former program became integrated into the website and app.
The program consists of adding reviews, photos, basic information, videos and correcting information such as wheelchair accessibility.
Earth Timelapse, released in April 2021, is a program in which users can see how the earth has been changed in the last 37 years. They combined the 15 million satellite images (roughly ten quadrillion pixels) to create the 35 global cloud-free Images for this program.
The version of Google Street View for classic Google Maps required Adobe Flash. In October 2011, Google announced MapsGL, a WebGL version of Maps with better renderings and smoother transitions. Indoor maps uses JPG, .PNG, .PDF, .BMP, or .GIF, for floor plans.
Users who are logged into a Google Account can save locations so that they are overlaid on the map with various colored "pins" whenever they browse the application. These "Saved places" can be organised into user named lists and shared with other users. One default list "Starred places" also automatically creates a record in another Google product, Google Bookmarks.
Map data and imagery
See also: List of satellite map images with missing or unclear data
The Google Maps terms and conditions state that usage of material from Google Maps is regulated by Google Terms of Service and some additional restrictions. Google has either purchased local map data from established companies, or has entered into lease agreements to use copyrighted map data. The owner of the copyright is listed at the bottom of zoomed maps. For example, street maps in Japan are leased from Zenrin. Street maps in China are leased from AutoNavi. Russian street maps are leased from Geocentre Consulting and Tele Atlas. Data for North Korea is sourced from the companion project Google Map Maker.
Street map overlays, in some areas, may not match up precisely with the corresponding satellite images. The street data may be entirely erroneous, or simply out of date: "The biggest challenge is the currency of data, the authenticity of data," said Google Earth representative Brian McClendon. As a result, in March 2008 Google added a feature to edit the locations of houses and businesses.
Restrictions have been placed on Google Maps through the apparent censoring of locations deemed potential security threats. In some cases the area of redaction is for specific buildings, but in other cases, such as Washington, D.C., the restriction is to use outdated imagery.
Google Maps API
Google Maps API, now called Google Maps Platform, hosts about 17 of different APIs, which are themed under the following categories; Maps, Places and Routes.
The Google Maps API is free for commercial use, provided that the site on which it is being used is publicly accessible and does not charge for access, and is not generating more than 25,000 map accesses a day. Sites that do not meet these requirements can purchase the Google Maps API for Business.
As of June 21, 2018, Google increased the prices of the Maps API and requires a billing profile.
Google Maps in China
Due to restrictions on geographic data in China, Google Maps must partner with a Chinese digital map provider in order to legally show Chinese map data. Since 2006, this partner has been AutoNavi.
Within China, the State Council mandates that all maps of China use the GCJ-02 coordinate system, which is offset from the WGS-84 system used in most of the world. google.cn/maps (formerly Google Ditu) uses the GCJ-02 system for both its street maps and satellite imagery. google.com/maps also uses GCJ-02 data for the street map, but uses WGS-84 coordinates for satellite imagery, causing the so-called China GPS shift problem.
Frontier alignments also present some differences between google.cn/maps and google.com/maps. On the latter, sections of the Chinese border with India and Pakistan are shown with dotted lines, indicating areas or frontiers in dispute. However, google.cn shows the Chinese frontier strictly according to Chinese claims with no dotted lines indicating the border with India and Pakistan. For example, the South Tibet region claimed by China but administered by India as a large part of Arunachal Pradesh is shown inside the Chinese frontier by google.cn, with Indian highways ending abruptly at the Chinese claim line. Google.cn also shows Taiwan and the South China Sea Islands as part of China. Google Ditu's street map coverage of Taiwan no longer omits major state organs, such as the Presidential Palace, the five Yuans, and the Supreme Court.
Feature-wise, google.cn/maps does not feature My Maps. On the other hand, while google.cn displays virtually all text in Chinese, google.com/maps displays most text (user-selectable real text as well as those on map) in English. This behavior of displaying English text is not consistent but intermittent – sometimes it is in English, sometimes it is in Chinese. The criteria for choosing which language is displayed are not known publicly.
Main article: Google Latitude
Google Latitude was a feature from Google that lets users share their physical locations with other people. This service was based on Google Maps, specifically on mobile devices. There was an iGoogle widget for desktops and laptops as well. Some concerns were expressed about the privacy issues raised by the use of the service. On August 9, 2013, this service was discontinued, and on March 22, 2017, Google incorporated the features from Latitude into the Google Maps app.
Google Map Maker
Main article: Google Map Maker
In areas where Google Map Maker was available, for example, much of Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe as well as the United States and Canada, anyone who logged into their Google account could directly improve the map by fixing incorrect driving directions, adding biking trails, or adding a missing building or road. General map errors in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Liechtenstein, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, Switzerland, and the United States could be reported using the Report a Problem link in Google Maps and would be updated by Google. For areas where Google used Tele Atlas data, map errors could be reported using Tele Atlas map insight.
If imagery was missing, outdated, misaligned, or generally incorrect, one could notify Google through their contact request form.
In November 2016, Google announced the discontinuation of Google Map Maker as of March 2017.
Google Maps is available as a mobile app for the Android and iOS mobile operating systems. The Android app was first released in September 2008, though the GPS-localization feature had been in testing on cellphones since 2007. Up until iOS 6, the built-in maps application on the iOS operating system was powered by Google Maps. However, with the announcement of iOS 6 in June 2012, Apple announced that they had created their own Apple Maps mapping service, which officially replaced Google Maps when iOS 6 was released on September 19, 2012. However, at launch, Apple Maps received significant criticism from users due to inaccuracies, errors and bugs. One day later, The Guardian reported that Google was preparing its own Google Maps app, which was released on December 12, 2012. Within only two days, the application had been downloaded over ten million times.
The Google Maps apps for iOS and Android have many of the same features, including turn-by-turn navigation, street view, and public transit information. Turn-by-turn navigation was originally announced by Google as a separate beta testing app exclusive to Android 2.0 devices in October 2009. The original standalone iOS version did not support the iPad, but tablet support was added with version 2.0 in July 2013. An update in June 2012 for Android devices added support for offline access to downloaded maps of certain regions, a feature that was eventually released for iOS devices, and made more robust on Android, in May 2014.
At the end of 2015 Google Maps announced its new offline functionality, but with various limitations – downloaded area cannot exceed 120,000 square kilometres and require a considerable amount of storage space. In January 2017, Google added a feature exclusively to Android that will, in some U.S. cities, indicate the level of difficulty in finding available parking spots, and on both Android and iOS, the app can, as of an April 2017 update, remember where users parked. In August 2017, Google Maps for Android was updated with new functionality to actively help the user in finding parking lots and garages close to a destination. In December 2017, Google added a new two-wheeler mode to its Android app, designed for users in India, allowing for more accessibility in traffic conditions. In 2019 the android version introduced the new feature called live view that allows to view directions directly on the road thanks to augmented reality  Google Maps won the 2020 Webby Award for Best User Interface in the category Apps, Mobile & Voice. In March 2021, Google added a feature in which user can draw missing roads.
USA Today welcomed the application back to iOS, saying: "The reemergence in the middle of the night of a Google Maps app for the iPhone is like the return of an old friend. Only your friend, who'd gone missing for three months, comes back looking better than ever." Jason Parker of CNET, calling it "the king of maps", said, "With its iOS Maps app, Google sets the standard for what mobile navigation should be and more." Bree Fowler of the Associated Press compared Google's and Apple's map applications, saying: "The one clear advantage that Apple has is style. Like Apple devices, the maps are clean and clear and have a fun, pretty element to them, especially in 3-D. But when it comes down to depth and information, Google still reigns superior and will no doubt be welcomed back by its fans."Gizmodo gave it a ranking of 4.5 stars, stating: "Maps Done Right". According to The New York Times, Google "admits that it's [iOS app is] even better than Google Maps for Android phones, which has accommodated its evolving feature set mainly by piling on menus".
However, Google Maps' location tracking is widely regarded as a threat to users' privacy, with Dylan Tweney of VentureBeat writing in August 2014 that "Google is probably logging your location, step by step, via Google Maps", and linked users to Google's location history map, which "lets you see the path you've traced for any given day that your smartphone has been running Google Maps". Tweney then provided instructions on how to disable location history. The history tracking was also noticed, and recommended disabled, by editors at CNET and TechCrunch. Additionally, Quartz reported in April 2014 that a "sneaky new privacy change" would have an effect on the majority of iOS users. The privacy change, an update to the Gmail iOS app that "now supports sign-in across Google iOS apps, including Maps, Drive, YouTube and Chrome", meant that Google would be able to identify users' actions across its different apps.
The Android version of the app surpassed 5 billion installations in March 2019.
Google Maps Go, a version of the app designed for lower-end devices, was released in beta in January 2018. By September 2018, the app had over 10 million installations.
See also: Google Street View privacy concerns and List of satellite map images with missing or unclear data
In 2005 the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) complained about the potential for terrorists to use the satellite images in planning attacks, with specific reference to the Lucas Heights nuclear reactor; however, the Australian Federal government did not support the organization's concern. At the time of the ANSTO complaint, Google had colored over some areas for security (mostly in the US), such as the rooftop of the White House and several other Washington, D.C., US buildings.
In October 2010, Nicaraguan military commander Edén Pastorastationed Nicaraguan troops on the Isla Calero (in the delta of the San Juan River), justifying his action on the border delineation given by Google Maps. Google has since updated its data which it found to be incorrect.
On January 27, 2014, documents leaked by Edward Snowden revealed that the NSA and the GCHQ intercepted Google Maps queries made on smartphones, and used them to locate the users making these queries. One leaked document, dating to 2008, stated that "[i]t effectively means that anyone using Google Maps on a smartphone is working in support of a GCHQ system."
In February 2020, Simon Weckert used 99 cell phones to fake a Google Maps traffic jam.
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Free from the iPhone App Store (iOS) or Google Play (Android)
If concern about losing your way has kept you from fully exploring Marblehead’s open spaces, your worries are over. Thanks to Google Maps, your phone is now smart enough to help find your location. The Conservancy has long published paper trail maps, but paper is missing the all-important blue dot that tells you where you are and that moves along the trail as you do. (See Screen 1)
In early versions of Google Maps, Marblehead’s open spaces were “terra incognita” – large green blank spaces on the map. In the current version, trails are clearly marked and, when they have names, they’re labeled. And while Google has always provided a satellite view with aerial photographs, you can now see shadows that show hills and valleys.
Here’s how to access all this power. If you haven’t already downloaded the Google Maps app, that’s the first step. The app is available for both Apple and Android platforms. Make sure you have the latest version and that you allow the map to use your current location so you can see the blue dot that says “you are here”.
The second step is the easiest and the best: go for a hike in one of Marblehead’s open spaces. Once you’re on the trail, open the Google Maps app, press the “show my current location” button (it looks like a compass rose and is in the lower right corner of the screen) and the map will be redrawn with you in the center represented by a blue dot. If you look carefully, you will also see a small triangle pointer on the dot’s edge that shows which way your phone is pointing. Don’t be concerned if your blue dot isn’t precisely on a trail. GPS systems rely on a network of satellites and are only accurate to about 15 feet. A forest canopy can interfere with the satellite’s signal and introduce further errors. (Some phones also use WiFi signals in a local area to give more precise locations, but open spaces don’t tend to have lots of WiFi stations, so this technique doesn’t work as well on the trail.) Even if your blue dot isn’t exactly on a trail, as you hike and notice its movement, you should easily be able to tell where you are.
The Google Maps app offers three map views: Default, Satellite, and Terrain. Default is the street view that you’ve probably seen if you use Google Maps for navigating in your car. If you’d like to see hills and valleys, tap the Layers button (it looks like a stack of papers and is in the upper right corner of the screen) and select Terrain. (See Screen 2) Google maps can be zoomed using the pinch motion: with your index finger and thumb touching the screen, pinch them together to zoom out to show more of the map and reverse this motion to zoom in for a close-up. With Terrain selected, you can often get a better idea of the elevations by zooming out a bit.
That’s all there is to it! Now that you can find your place, you may want to pull out that paper map that you got from the map box at the trailhead or downloaded from the Conservancy’s web site (http://marbleheadconservancy.org/resources/maps/) and printed at home so you can find special spots, like views, benches, boardwalks, and natural features like streams and swamps that can’t yet be found on Google Maps.
Let us know about your experience using Google Maps by dropping us an email at [email protected]
– David Krathwohl, Trustee
Screen 1: In this screen shot from the trails in Steer Swamp, the blue dot tells you your current location. Note that trails with names are labeled and that the pointer on the top of the blue dot shows that the phone is pointing toward the Reg Hartley Trail.
Screen 2: Use the Layers button to show the Terrain view with shadows showing hills and valleys. Use the “Show my location” button to re-draw the map around a blue dot that shows your current location.
Navigate your world faster and easier with Google Maps. Over 220 countries and territories mapped and hundreds of millions of businesses and places on the map. Get real-time GPS navigation, traffic, and transit info, and explore local neighborhoods by knowing where to eat, drink and go - no matter what part of the world you’re in.
Get there faster with real-time updates
• Beat traffic with real-time ETAs and traffic conditions
• Catch your bus, train, or ride-share with real-time transit info
• Save time with automatic rerouting based on live traffic, incidents, and road closures
Discover places and explore like a local
• Discover local restaurant, events, and activities that matter to you
• Know what’s trending and new places that are opening in the areas you care about
• Decide more confidently with “Your match,” a number on how likely you are to like a place
• Group planning made easy. Share a shortlist of options and vote in real-time
• Create lists of your favorite places and share with friends
• Follow must-try places recommended by local experts, Google, and publishers
• Review places you’ve visited. Add photos, missing roads and places.
More experiences on Google Maps
• Offline maps to search and navigate without an internet connection
• Street View and indoor imagery for restaurants, shops, museums and more
• Indoor maps to quickly find your way inside big places like airports, malls and stadiums
* Some features not available in all countries
* Navigation isn't intended to be used by oversized or emergency vehicles
How to download maps from Google Maps to get driving directions offline
- To download maps from Google Maps, you just need to search for the location you want and tap "Download."
- Once you've downloaded a Google map, you can see it even when you're offline.
- Maps can only be downloaded using the Google Maps smartphone or tablet apps.
- Visit Insider's Tech Reference library for more stories.
Where would we be without Google Maps? If you're on the road and run into an area without internet, the answer might be: "I have no idea."
If you know that you'll be heading somewhere without internet that you don't know well, consider downloading the maps you need from Google Maps beforehand. This will make sure that you never lose your way.
Here's how to download maps from Google Maps to use offline.
What to know before downloading from Google Maps
To access your offline map, just use Google Maps normally. When you scroll to the location you downloaded, you should see the street names and major landmarks.
But before you place all your hopes in a downloaded map, note that the downloads come with some limitations.
You won't be able to download transit, biking, or walking directions when using downloaded directions. The map will likely still be pretty blurry. You also won't have access to traffic information, alternate routes, or lane guidance. And if the routes change for whatever reason — maybe there's construction blocking a road — you won't be alerted.
Downloaded maps will also take up storage space on your phone (you'll be told how much before you attempt the download), so it's a good idea to double check that you have enough space to accommodate the new download.
And lastly, in some regions, offline downloading isn't an option due to contractual limitations and language support.
How to download maps in Google Maps on an iPhone or iPad
iPhone and iPad users who are familiar with the Google Maps app should find this process pretty painless. Here's how to get started:
1. Open your Google Maps app and make sure that you're logged into your Google account.
2. In the search bar, search for the location you want to save, like "Portland."
3. The map will scroll to show the location you searched, and a tab will appear at the bottom of the screen that repeats the address and offers a few options. Below the address, scroll to the right and tap "Download."
4. You'll be asked to confirm that you want the download, and told how much space it'll take up on your phone. Tap "Download" to start it.
How to download maps in Google Maps on an Android
Downloading maps on your Android device is just as easy.
1. Open your Google Maps app and make sure that you're logged into your Google account.
2. In the search bar, search for the location you want to save, like "Geneseo."
3. When it appears, tap on the name of the location at the bottom of the screen to pull up a tab with more details.
4. Select Download, and then confirm by pressing Download again. You'll be told how much space the offline map will take up before you confirm.
Important: To delete your downloaded maps, open Google Maps and tap your profile picture in the top-right corner, then tap Offline Maps. You'll be shown all your saved maps — to delete one, tap the three dots next to it and select Delete.
Devon Delfino contributed to a previous version of this article.
Editor & Staff Writer for Tech Reference
Maps phone google
Google Maps & Directions for Mobile
Google Maps is one of Google’s star mobile products, raising the bar for mobile map and GPS apps. Google Maps mobile features fast loading and reliable directions. Google Maps to and from directions are available for driving by car, public transportation, biking, and walking.
Google Maps and Directions: Extra Features
Google Maps for mobile also contains indoor maps, downloadable offline Google maps, and 3D Google Maps. In addition, Google Maps street view lets users see exactly what their destination looks like from the street, while Google Maps satellite view and Google Maps earth view provide high-definition aerial views of the world’s terrain.
Google Maps distance calculator makes it easy to see the exact mileage from your point of origin to destination, and Google Maps traffic offers a real-time live traffic overlay with color-coded highlights showing points of light, moderate, and heavy traffic.
Google Maps mobile also offers integration with Google+ Local, helping users find nearby dining options and entertainment in their current vicinity. Google Offers is also built in to assist users in finding current local deals and discounts.
Android Google Maps vs. iPhone Google Maps
While Google Maps for iPhone contains many of the mobile Google Maps app’s most popular features like maps, GPS coordinates and guidance, live transit updates, bicycling directions, and street view, not all options are available. Features like Google Maps Compass Mode and My Location, which help users orient themselves on the map, are only available for Google Maps Android.
Add Business to Google Maps
Local businesses can show up on Google Maps mobile when users are nearby. If you are wondering how to get on Google Maps, all you need to do is ensure that you’ve set up your Google Places listing. Getting your business listed on Google Places will then add your business to Google Maps and the Google+ Local integration.
Google Maps improves the local search experience with geo-targeted ads, benefiting advertisers hoping to promote their local business. With 1 in 4 Google searches related to local, Google Maps marketing is key in making it easy for users to find nearby solutions to meet their needs.
The Google Maps download is available on the Google Play Market or iTunes App Store.
Navigate your world faster and easier with Google Maps. Over 220 countries and territories mapped and hundreds of millions of businesses and places on the map. Get real-time GPS navigation, traffic, and transit info, and find what you need by getting the latest information on businesses, including grocery stores, pharmacies and other important places.
Get where you need to go efficiently:
• Find the best route with automatic rerouting based on live traffic, incidents, and road closure
Find important businesses:
• Know what’s open in your area and their latest business hours
• Find local restaurants offering delivery and takeout
• Create lists of your important places
Get there faster with real-time updates
• Beat traffic with real-time ETAs and traffic conditions
• Catch your bus, train, or ride-share with real-time transit info
• Save time with automatic rerouting based on live traffic, incidents, and road closure
• With Live View in Google Maps, see the way you need to go with arrows and directions placed right on top of your world. There’s no second guessing or missing another turn.
More experiences on Google Maps
• Offline maps to search and navigate without an internet connection
• Street View and indoor imagery for restaurants, shops, museums and more
• Indoor maps to quickly find your way inside big places like airports, malls and stadiums
Some features not available in all countries
Navigation isn't intended to be used by oversized or emergency vehicles
Thanks for using Google Maps! This release brings bug fixes that improve our product to help you discover new places and navigate to them.
Ratings and Reviews
4.7 out of 5
The best out there
So I am a truck driver, I use this app to guide me in my travels. It’s a 21th century road atlas. A lot of old school truck driver always cry about this saying it will get you in a bind. I say, it’s a great tool to use and the misuses of it, like tool will get you in a bind. Would one use a hammer to insert a screw? A paper atlas won’t tell you traffic updates, speed traps, items in the road, places to park or eat. At any rate I use this app in Satellite view, I look in great detail the route it’s plotted out for me. I look at streets, roads, everything. You see I am making sure trucks can go down the route. If I see a truck on a street along my route, I know that there is a 80% chance I can. I look to make sure it’s not trying to send me down a ATV trail.....which how accurate Google maps is.....to even have such trails on a map is amazing. In the end it’s a great tool for drivers car or truck. For walkers or bicycles. Just use it SMART. It’s not design to fail you. Only you can do that. Plan your route, look at it, while driving, READ the road signs. Don’t just use this I.E: input destination, and go....follow it blindly. It’s that action....that will get you in a bind.
It’s alright. Buggy sometimes even with good signal. When I search along the route it will sometimes not come up with any search results, only for me to pass the very thing I searched for prior in my drive. And no it wasn’t a new business, it had been around for years. Also when I search places, one will say it’s 10 minutes out of the way while the other says only a few. Only to realize that the faster one ended up not being as simple as they said, and that the slower one (+10 minutes) was only slow because for some reason it had me take side roads completely around it before arriving, when I could have simply turned directly into it from the road I was on, making it a quick trip. Not all gas stations show up in searches, it almost seems to favor the expensive gas stations. There’s doesn’t seem to be an algorithm that keeps track of the bad traffic times. It will re rout my whole trip to a significantly slower route if it senses traffic, even if that traffic is close to the end of my trip hours away and will be cleared well before I get to that point. If you’re a contractor that has to go in and out of many neighborhoods, it normally recognizes certain entrances while not recognizing others, so it will take you completely around the neighborhood 30 minutes away to the other entrance when you have just passed a perfectly good entrance that has been around forever. It’s still one of the better gps apps, but still way to buggy to trust it
Head north or south??!!
This app routinely gives directions by saying head north, south, east, or west on a certain road. Now, I’m not a moron and I know the sun rises in the east and sets in the west and whatnot and it is easy enough to figure out my cardinal directions if it is early morning or late afternoon but when there are fifteen people waiting for me to make a turn and it’s high noon, overcast, a moonless night or any of a half dozen other circumstances under which it is difficult to decipher cardinal directions on the fly I REALLY wish it would just say go left or right!!!! I cannot tell you how many times I have just picked a direction and turned the wrong way and then had to wait on the app to re-route me when it could have been easily avoided by simply saying turn left instead of head north. I use the app a lot since I drive for a popular delivery service and when I get lost because I head north instead of south I end up being late for my delivery which lowers my tip and my rating which reduces the number of deliveries I am offered and impacts my ability to make a living all because it expects me to figure out north from south when I’m already stressed, in a hurry, and trying to arrive somewhere I’ve never been before all while being timed. I’m certainly not the only person who can’t tell north from south when stressed. Please, do me a favor and reduce the mental arithmetic it takes me to drive when under pressure and just say left or right.
Data Linked to You
The following data may be collected and linked to your identity:
- Financial Info
- Contact Info
- User Content
- Search History
- Browsing History
- Usage Data
- Other Data
Privacy practices may vary, for example, based on the features you use or your age. Learn More
- Google LLC
- 233.2 MB
- Requires iOS 12.2 or later.
- Requires iPadOS 12.2 or later.
- iPod touch
- Requires iOS 12.2 or later.
English, Albanian, Arabic, Burmese, Catalan, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, Georgian, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Norwegian Bokmål, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Simplified Chinese, Slovak, Spanish, Swahili, Swedish, Thai, Traditional Chinese, Turkish, Ukrainian, Vietnamese
- Age Rating
- This app may use your location even when it isn’t open, which can decrease battery life.
- © Google Inc.
With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.
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Take it off me, it's uncomfortable for me. '' Elena Nikolaevna laughed loudly and cheerfully and, unable to restrain herself, plopped down on my back, continuing to shudder in a fit of laughter. - And I thought. Oh, you fool. - my guest poured in.