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How to Upload Great Photos to Google Maps


Whether you are collecting points, boosting your view counts, or just sharing something beautiful, Local Guides love to add photos to Google Maps. After 10+ years in the photo industry I’m happy to be a part of Local Guides and have the opportunity to share my tips on creating better photo content.    


First, we’ll kick it off with some tips on how to shoot the best photos possible.  No matter what kind of camera you have, you can use these tips and tricks to create more engaging images.


Extreme Camera Angles

Bird’s eye view and worm’s eye view aren’t great when you’re capturing a building’s exterior or interior.  We want to see the entire building rather than tight crops and odd angles.


 Screen Shot 2016-12-22 at 12.37.45 PM.pngScreen Shot 2016-12-22 at 12.37.53 PM.png


However, if you’re shooting food or details of places/things, feel free to play with angles!

Screen Shot 2016-12-22 at 12.43.22 PM.png

Horizontal shots are best

but vertical is acceptable if the image looks just as good cropped horizontally.  

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There should be an obvious point of interest  

Users should immediately understand what they are looking at.


Screen Shot 2016-12-22 at 12.45.06 PM.pngScreen Shot 2016-12-22 at 12.45.10 PM.png


Sharp High Contrast Images

Avoid blurry hard to decipher images of a place

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Don’t fake it!

Images should POP but look real. Don’t over saturate or photoshop your images too much.

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Day vs. Night photos

Most places should be shot during the day unless they are well known for their night life.

Screen Shot 2016-12-22 at 12.48.57 PM.pngScreen Shot 2016-12-22 at 12.49.01 PM.png


Seasonally Agnostic

Places should be recognizable and not impacted by season/weather.  (Stark winter shots, colorful fall shots, etc.)

Screen Shot 2016-12-22 at 12.50.38 PM.pngScreen Shot 2016-12-22 at 12.50.44 PM.png

UNLESS, a place is seasonal or defined by a season, like ski slopes!

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Rules of Uploading to Google Maps

Just as important as taking good photos, knowing the rules of uploading images to Google Maps will help to ensure you earn and keep those Local Guides points.


Things to Avoid:

  • Intellectual Property Violations: We don’t allow images or any other content that infringes on anyone else’s legal rights, including copyright. This means, if it’s not your photo, don’t upload it!  For more information, review our copyright procedures.



Someone gave me this photo, doesn’t that make it mine?  Nope!


I saw it online and thought it belonged on Google Maps.  Can I put it there?  Unfortunately no.  The owner must post it.


It’s an old photo.  I’m sure that the copyright is no longer alive.  Can I post it?  Although there is a limitation on copyright over time, you should not post these images.


  • Spam: Images that have been uploaded repetitively, are excessively promotional, or that contain text superimposed over a large section of the image will be removed.

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Just upload one!





    • Avoid large watermarks on images 


IMG_2661 copy.jpg


    • Sexually explicit content
    • Illegal, dangerous, or violent content
    • Child endangerment
    • Harassment and threats
    • Personal or confidential information
    • Invasion or Privacy: Try to avoid posting photos where the main subject is an individual person. 

Terms of Service

Whenever you upload anything to Google Maps, you are agreeing to our Terms of Service.  Make sure you review these terms if you have any concerns over how and where your images will be used.


Photos must be added to a specific place on Google Maps to count for Local Guides points. 

While that landscape photo might be beautiful, any photos you add to a place on Google Maps should be representative of that specific place.


That’s it for now!  For more information, check out the resources below. Happy shooting and we can’t wait to see your images up on Maps!

Images Acceptance & Privacy

Terms of Service

How to upload a photo to Google Maps

Connect Moderator

Thank you very much @AnnaDickson for this great write up.


As the guidelines for Good photos and Acceptable photos become clearer to more LGs, we would like to see Bad contents got removed must faster over time.


I am sad to see more and more LGs stopped reporting bad contents,  as they consider the reports do not make a difference.

Level 8

@AnnaDickson Thanks for your update About Photo Review policy... 

Here i have found many unkown answer..  So especially it s very helpful for me

Level 8

@AnnaDickson Thank you for this helpfull post.

Level 2

Thank you for sharing your experince.Very helpfull

Level 8

@AnnaDickson Thanks for the very informative post about photography. I must say you are one of the best photographers in Google. I remember our LGSummit16 group photo taken by you at Doroles Park. That photo is really awesome. 

Level 8


Level 8

Hi @AnnaDickson

  Thanks for your Valuable update about photos review policy and Great Tips for all Local Guide.  it too great very informative photography by yo. especially it is very helpful for me or all LG.





Hi Anna


I'm struggling with your description of 'seasonally agnostic' photos. I cannot make the distinction between the two photos of the statue other than one is taken in summer and the other in winter. What is the problem with these photos? The statue is instantly recognisable in both the photos. Please help!


Level 8

I understand a seasonal agnostic as someone who claims neither faith nor disbelief in the changing seasons. Or it could mean don't take pictures in the winter unless you're skiing or playing pond hockey. 

Level 3

Good article.

Level 6
Connect Moderator

Good words @AnnaDickson keep on Googling :).


Will LG be producing a guide for photospheres and virtual tours?

Level 8

Thanks you.


Those are greats tips.


Do you have a recommendation shout take pictures insides places?


Example; What is the best shot for a restaurant or a supermarket.


Thank you.@annad

Level 3

Thanks, this is good to know.  I have some photos that were taking without location info and some older ones that are on google photos but don't show up when I want to upload.

Let's say I look at some shots taken in Israel in 2009.  How can I add some of those to Google Maps?


Thanks in advance.



Level 5

Thank you for sharing this information with us

Level 7

This is very helpful thank you

Level 3

Often we photographers get a little too creative and forget the basics of what looks good in particular contexts.   Thanks very much, Anna, for reminding us!

@AnnaDickson great info Android very helpful for rule photos

Level 2

 what is this local guide?

Is online work?


Level 2

 I am with local guide service but I am not understand what is My profit?

 can I earn money with local guide service?

Level 9

@AJAYP, welcome to Connect. To help you get started:

- Check out these helpful tips on searching, posting and interacting with the community.
- Take a look at Using the Forums for all the other information you'd need when using Connect.
- Introduce yourself! Take some time to share more about yourself than just a selfie. It will help other Local Guides to know you better :)


But as you read, you will know that Local Guides is a voluntary program. There are benefits that you unlock as you level up, but it's not a job.

Gostaria de acrescentar o uso do recurso de grade de alinhamento na câmara ... isso ajuda muito na elaboração das fotos ...


Eu acrescentaria a utilização do recurso de grade de alinhamento na câmera... isso ajuda muito no enquadramento das fotos... 

Level 10

 Thanks @AnnaDickson this is most important and helpful topic for us.

Level 5

Hi...this is subhash from india..your article is really helpful and free. Wow...thank you very much for your efforts and making us wise. 

Level 10

How Google choosing the front image on the point of interest? 

I frequently find bad or wrong image on locations, how should I over take the front image? (As reported seems not helpful at all)

Level 9

If someone posts an image that violates the term, will the poster get an email to warn about it?

Level 10

Good advice.

Level 8

Thanks @AnnaDickson ! These are great guidelines !  I would like to take the opportunity to ask if there will be interactive photo sphere functionality in the New Google+ .  I joined Google+ primarily to share 360 images.  The Classic G+ lets you click on the image and an interactive viewer opens right up.  Thanks for offering great products and look forward to the advancements that Google will offer in 2017.  Cheers - Nick

Level 8

Thank you for those suggestions!  That is very helpful.


Although my numbers are feeling good after only a few months as a Local Guide, I am still a novice.  Over 700,000 views; over 100,000 of those are fully-spherical panoramas; just a few points short of 500 (not sure what comes after that).


But anyway, I'm sure there is probably an app or Web address where I can ask so many questions (I probably got an email about that months ago) such as: 


How do I update my email? 

I've been using my old personal email until I saw whether I liked doing this (I'm now joyfully addicted), and once I hit a million views, I'd like to change to my Gmail set up for when I officially go full-time capturing panoramas (while still doing the snapshots voluntarily too).


Why do some panos link easily while others only SEEM to, but when you go back to inspect what you expect another day, they seem to have reverted back to separated without linking arrows.  And others (like those done for Blueberry Hills Farm in rural Manson, Washington, USA), seem to successfully connect 6 photo-spheres actually don't.


There is likely a forum for this (or maybe this is the forum) and I just don't recall. 


Thank you so much for sharing,


Level 7

 Seasonally Agnostic? 


Wow, what do you rly mean? I live in norway where we have seasons. I get that some places and pictures look better in some seasons, but it is just backwords not to show how a place looks like in the other seasons. There is suchs a thing called winter turism.

Good tips .


Excellent Dos and don'ts






Local guide 



Level 3

Great tips! <3

Will consider these the next time I take photos =)

Level 6

Thank you! Will help me taking better photos :)

Level 3

Thanks Google. It's help me taking better Photographs.

Level 9

What happens if someone linked photos from website? For example, someone linked photos from my Flickr or my pbase, I know it violates someone's copyright, but seems to me that nobody do anything about it.

Level 4


Level 5

Thanks for this important dos and don'ts. Its help me lot to take relavent photo.

Level 8

really awesome experience for me

Level 5

 As some of others, I donot fully take "Season/Weather Agnostic". There is always one of 4 seasons, so so I cannot avoid taking photos on "none" season. The same for weather, what is the correct weather? Sunny, cloudy, rainy, windy ... Anyway, sculpture on the not recommended photo is still visible, and anyone can recognize is well.

Level 6

Many thanks for this helpful post!

Level 5

Great! Thanks.


Yogyakarta, ID

Level 6

Thanks AnnaD it's very useful and helpful 

Level 7

Thank you very much, thank you very good post Google Local Guides 

Level 3

 Thanks for the article! Some good infos there especially for starters :)

Level 2

Thanks for your great tips 

Level 3

Вполне доходчиво, даже не зная перевода, можно понять. 

Level 2

Thanks a great insight into the best ways to produce great photos. This was a brilliant guide very helpful.

Level 8

Great article, thanks! 

Level 9

Very useful material! Thanks!

Level 5

This was probably the best post I have personally seen online to date.

Just a small suggesstion however......

Forward this INSTRUCTIONAL post to Google Maps for the purpose of sending it out to future folks that Contribute their first couple of photo's. I believe it would have helped me a few times myself. So maybe we can help the newbies that are just getting started. Have a gret day exploring the WORLD!!!!