View places, traffic, terrain, biking, and transit

With Google Maps, you can find things like:

  • Traffic for your commute
  • Transit lines in a new city
  • Bicycle-friendly routes
  • Satellite imagery
  • Information about the landscape
  • Places nearby

Tip: You can find traffic info, public transit options and local places of interest in just a few seconds. Learn more about nearby places and travel.

Get traffic, transit or terrain info

  1. On your iPhone or iPad, open the Google Maps app Maps.
  2. On the top right, tap Layers Layers.
  3. Tap the view that you want:
    • Default: The normal Google Maps view
    • Satellite: A view from above that shows individual buildings and objects in more detail
    • Terrain: A view that shows mountains, lakes, and other landscape features in more detail
  4. Tap the map details that you want to include:
    • Transit: Public transportation information, like train lines and bus routes
    • Traffic: Flow of traffic on the roads
    • Bicycling: Bicycle paths that you can take
    • Street View: Access Street View of the area
    • 3D: See buildings in 3D
  5. To turn off a view or hide map details, tap it again.

Tip: Traffic information isn't available everywhere.

Give & find info about public transit crowds

You can find out how crowded public transportation vehicles usually are when you search for transit directions. You can also give information about a transit vehicle’s crowd size via a notification once you start transit directions.

Give info about crowd size of a public transit vehicle

  1. On your iPhone or iPad, open the Google Maps app Maps.
  2. Start transit directions. Read more about how to get directions.
  3. Get on a transit vehicle. You’ll get a notification from Google Maps.
    Note: When you exit the transit vehicle, the notification disappears.
  4. Tap the notification.
  5. Fill out the questionnaire.

Find crowd size of a public transit vehicle

  1. On your iPhone or iPad, open the Google Maps app Maps.
  2. Search for transit directions. Read more about how to get directions.
  3. Tap a route.
  4. If the transit line has crowd size information available, you’ll find one of the following:
    • Many empty seats Many empty seats
    • Few empty seats Few empty seats
    • Standing room only Standing room only
    • Cramped standing room Cramped standing room
Tip: If your route involves transfers, you’ll get crowd size information for each transit vehicle you take.

Find live traffic for buses 

  1. On your iPhone or iPad, open the Google Maps app Maps.
  2. Search for your destination, then select transit directions. Read more about how to get directions.
  3. If a bus route has Live Traffic for Buses information available, one of the following will be displayed:
    • Usual traffic
    • How many minutes are added for traffic

What the colors and symbols mean on the legend

Nearby places of interest
To find places of interest, look for mini-pins that show you nearby locations. Places of interest make up different categories, including:
Food and drink
Food Wine Bar or pub Cafe 
Shopping Grocery
Outdoor attractions:
Camping Golf Zoo Park Mountain
Emergency services:
Pharmacy Medical aid Red Cross Red Crescent Red Shield of David 
City services:
Police School Restroom Post Office Library
To learn more about the mini-pins and what they represent, find the full legend.

Traffic colors

The color code shows you the speed of traffic on the road.

  • Green: No traffic delays.
  • Orange: Medium amount of traffic.
  • Red: Traffic delays. The darker the red, the slower the speed of traffic on the road.

Note: Gray or blue lines on the map show your routes.

Traffic incident symbols

Traffic incidents include these types of delays:

  • Crashes Accident
  • Construction Construction
  • Road closures Road closure
  • Other incidents Other incident

To find details about what happened, click or tap the icon.

Note: For road closures, you'll find a dotted red line where the road is closed.

Public transit

The lines on the map show bus, subway, and rail routes. To find more information and upcoming trains or buses, choose a station stop icon Station stop.

To find station stops, look for transit icons like Bart logo, Metro logo, or London Underground logo.

Tip: When possible, the colored lines on the map match the transportation agency's color system. For example, the “A” line in New York City is colored blue by the Metro Transit Authority (MTA), so it is blue on the map.

Biking trails

The colors show you the type of bicycling paths.

  • Dark green: Trails that don't have auto traffic.
  • Green: Dedicated lanes are roads that are shared with cars and have a separate bike lane.
  • Dotted green line: Bicycle friendly roads are roads that don't have a bike lane but are recommended for cyclists.
  • Brown: Unpaved trails are off-road dirt paths.

Find the elevation of the landscape, like mountains and canyons. Contour lines overlaid on the map show elevation and gray numbers show altitude.

Street View

Blue lines overlaid on the map show where Street View is available.
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