Google Maps overview

Use the map to search, explore, and find your way around the world. The more you interact with the map, the more it becomes tailored to you.

Explore the map and key features

The legend below describes 11 of the key features available in Google Maps. Not all features may be available in all regions.

1. Search. You can also click the search box to get directions, view recent searches, see transit and bicycle routes, and visualize traffic underneath the search box.

2. Get directions. Click the directions button from a place result, or click the empty search box and click Directions.

3. See results. Your search results appear on the map, and the larger markers denote top results. Click any result to view more information, get directions, or even see inside a business. Details will appear below the search box. Learn more about pins and markers.

4. Print. To print the map, click File > Print in your browser’s menu bar. Learn how to print directions.

5. See the world in 3D. Get 3D Earth view by clicking in the bottom left corner. If you're in Lite mode, you can view satellite imagery instead.

6. Drop a pin or explore the map. Click an icon once on the map to drop a pin. Click anywhere on the map once to get details about that place below the search box. Learn more about navigation.

7. Right-click for more options. Right-click on the map to measure distances between points, explore the map, or get directions to/from that location.

8. Share or embed the map. The URL for your map can be shared at any time, including any selected places or directions. Or click Share and embed map to get a short link or the embed code.

9. Get help and send feedback. Take a tour, get answers to your questions, let us know if you’re having a problem, or provide suggestions on how to improve Google Maps.

10. Report a problem. Help to make Google Maps better by reporting data issues.

11. View Street View and more. Find a place on the map. Imagery like Street View and photos will appear in the info card below the search box. See even more imagery by clicking the Explore button in the bottom right corner.


Learn more about the map

Navigating the map

To move the map (pan), simply click and hold your mouse, then drag the map. You can also use the arrow keys on your keyboard to move the map north, south, east, and west.

Zoom in an out by using the zoom in and zoom out buttons in the bottom right corner of the map. You can also double click to zoom in, or use your mouse scroll or trackpad to zoom in and out.

Understand pins and markers

Markers appear in Google Maps to signify an important place. For example, when you search for an address, Google Maps shows you the address with a pin. Types of symbols include:

This pin highlights where the business or address is on the map that you’re viewing.
Click anywhere on the map to pull up a card with info about that place. You can't save cards.
After you search for an address or business, these markers show all search results. The larger markers denote more relevant search results, and may include symbols in the marker of the type of business.
These markers appear on the map automatically to signify potential points of interest. The marker will change depending on the type of place (e.g. bar, restaurant, school, park, or shopping center).
When you save a place, the marker will turn into a star. Find all of your starred places easily by looking on the map.  
When you get directions, this marker shows your starting point and destination points.
These markers show where and what types of public transit is available.
These markers, with highlighting around the outside, mark places that are recommended for you, based on places you’ve previously rated or reviewed or that people in your circles have rated or reviewed a place.
These markers, partially darkened on the inside, mark places that you’ve already visited when scanning the map. This icon appears if you’ve previously checked-into, rated, or reviewed a place.
Other ways to view Google Maps

You can also view Google Maps one of several other ways:

Related topics

Laura is a Google Maps expert and author of this help page. Leave her feedback about the page.

How helpful is this article:

Feedback recorded. Thanks!
  • Not at all helpful
  • Not very helpful
  • Somewhat helpful
  • Very helpful
  • Extremely helpful