Use layers to find places, traffic, terrain, biking & transit

With Google Maps, you can find:

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

Choose your map & your info

  1. On your computer, open Google Maps.
  2. To change the Map type, at the bottom left, click Layers Layers.
    • Map: Roads, places, and major landmarks
    • Satellite: Aerial pictures
  3. Point to Layers Layers and click More to find info about:
    • Terrain: Local terrain
    • Traffic: Local traffic conditions
    • Transit: Bus, subway, and rail routes
    • Biking: Bike paths
    • Street View: Street View of the area
    • Globe view: Zoom out and view the world in 3D
    • Air quality: Air quality information
    • Travel Time: Distance that can be traveled from a point in a specific amount of time
    • Wildfires: Wildfire information

Tip: For some layers, when there isn’t enough info, it’s listed as unavailable and you can’t select it.

Learn the meanings of colors & symbols on the legend

Nearby places of interest
Mini-pins on the maps show nearby places of interest you may enjoy. The pins are listed in 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, consult 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.

Tip: 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.

Tip: You can find road closures marked with 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's 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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