Know the Layers & Views on Google Mapmaker.
by Beemidi Kiran & Geoffrey Zub


This article is intended to explain the various 'Views' and 'Labels' available for the users on Google Mapmaker. So very often people tend to get confused between the different views and how to and how not to manage the layers available on Google Mapmaker.     



To start off with let us begin with the options of display available for us on Google Mapmaker. There are two kinds of views available for our usage on Google Mapmaker. The two would be,

  1. Satellite
  2. Map 

Satellite View

 A satellite view as the name itself indicates shows the actual satellite imagery and the map data added on it resembling an actual photo of the area with the places and the roads added on it. When ever one actually want to add/edit a place or a road on Google Mapmaker this by default is the right view mode to be set to because we want the data on the map to be added as per the actual Satellite Imagery. 

Map View

A map view is a traditional display of data on the maps. It shows the data on the maps like an standard map function. The backdrop color of the display will be white and the map data like the roads, places will be shown as colored objects each denoting the respective category. The color of each and every category available on Mapmaker varies based on the way they have been designed by the Engineers. 

You can toggle between the Map View and the Satellite View by just hovering your mouse towards the corner right side of the screen where in the toggle option is indicated in a box with either 'Map' or 'Satellite' written on it, which ever mode you are currently mapping with.


Having learnt about the 'Views' available on Google Mapmaker, it is time now we know about the various layers available for us on Google Mapmaker. 
There are basically 5 layers available for us. The 5 would be namely,
  1. Labels
  2. Photos.
  3. Bicycling.
  4. Pending Places.
  5. Pending Roads.


This layer is to decide whether you would want the map data to be showed on top of the satellite imagery or not. You can toggle between on and off by just checking or unchecking on it. When ever you are editing a road or may be a place, in an area which is cluttered with map data and when the nearby mapped places are distracting, you may use this option as a handy tool in mapping effectively. 
Remember: You would not get the option of turning off the 'Labels' layer when you are working in the 'Map' view.

Satellite View with Labels

Satellite View without Labels


This layer would enable the display of photos added by various users on the maps at any location. By turning on this layer one can check for the photos which have been added by the users at that location. As they say, a picture is thousand words described, it certainly is on Google Mapmaker too. Adding a photo can be done by various ways. Do visit the help center to know more on adding photos on the maps.


This layer is used for turning on the Biking Lanes and Trails on the map. Various mapper across the globe have their way of exploring and knowing the nearby places on the maps. A couple of interesting such things are the biking information and the trails. You can toggle between turning on and off by either checking or unchecking on this layer. Biking lanes would be showed only when the users of the map at any location have edited the 'Bicycle and Pedestrian' information of the roads in a given area. Similarly trails need to be marked for them to be displayed when this layer is turned on.

Pending Places

This is one of the layer where in is like a boon if you do constant reviews of places which are pending on the maps. This layer as itself describes is used for showing the places which are pending and which are in need of a review by users like us. Ensure that while looking at the map or while editing this layer is turned off as this may interrupt the view and the addition process while adding a place or a road.
If you need to review places which are pending in your neighborhood or locality, then zooming out of the map and turning on this layer would be an ideal way of clearing off the pending edits in the region. 

Remember: When ever you turn this layer on, all the pending places would appear in 'Orange' color. 

Pending Roads

This is the second useful layer after 'Pending Places' for reviewing places which are pending on the maps. How ever unlike the Pending Places layer, this layer is used to review and to highlight the roads which are pending on the maps. This is quite useful to the map users since unless a pending road is not being reviewed and cleared, the Google Mapmaker tool would not allow a user to add or edit any road associated with the pending road. 

Remember: When ever you turn this layer on, all the pending roads would appear on the map in 'Sky Blue' color. 

Help Tip: For better and effective mapping on Google Mapmaker, one can make use of different combinations of the layers and the views available. 

So finally, we are done with knowing the different types of view and labels available for us on Google Mapmaker.
So go out there and start mapping, have fun!

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