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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.  

Screen Shot 2016-12-22 at 12.43.52 PM.png

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

Screen Shot 2016-12-22 at 12.46.47 PM.pngScreen Shot 2016-12-22 at 12.46.52 PM.png

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!

Screen Shot 2016-12-22 at 12.52.44 PM.png

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

Level 3

I concur with all of thee above. Great 

Level 2

Good quality material Thank you

Level 8

I always see people putting them personal picture in some places like Restaurant and i always report them as a wrong place ;) because truly  I don't think that there is any benefit form his face without putting a photo of the food or the place he was in it. 


Thank you for these amazing and important advices.

Level 4

Great post.


Just uplad my first post with photo, hope to have followed your tips.



Level 7

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

Level 3

As I started local guide,so this article will help me lot.Thank you so much.

Level 8

Большое спасибо за нужную информацию...

These are very useful tips for all local guides. Thank you so much. Logos can also be used as pictures which helps other to recognize the company, brand etc.

Level 3

Thank you for the tips 

Level 8

Thanks for the great post on photos @AnnaD 


Will there be a post for 360 photo's?   What about guidelines for posts in Local Guide communities?


Hottie Eatz

Co-Moderator Toronto Local Guides

Level 2

Yes, I tryed the tips they bring focus to the point of the context which brings more robust framing. 

Level 1

Thanks for the tips, it's very useful for me, I'm new into this. 


KW Level 2
Level 2
very informative
Level 3

I'm gonna take it into account on my next edits!

Level 4

great post!

Level 1

Hi Mr.MIsabella



Level 2

Buen día me gustaria saber con equipo de gps podria trabajar, para en contribuir con nuevas rutas de acceso a lugares alejados?

Level 4

Gran articulo, gracias!

Superbly helpful 

Level 2

I live in a what I consider a small town but I guess is turning into a city (still small). I'll be moving to a real city in the next year so wanted to help visitors and newbies find the neat things this townity has. Thank you for your tips, especially about pictures. Both photography and being a LG have become fun hobbies for me since my husband's passing. And they work to enhance each other. I've only been a LG for about 6 months but plan on doing it as long as possible. Thank you @AnnaD for the inspiration, guidance and helpful info.

Level 5

Muchas gracias por tu post, lo tendré en cuenta en cada una de mis fotos, permiteme tambien discrepar en un par de cosas, cuando miro las totos de algún sitio en maps me gusta ver las tanto las fotos "perfectas" como lo que yo llamo "los detalles", hay sitios que cambian con la hora del día, sitios que cambian en invierno y en verano, hay sitios con mil y un detalles tan o mas significativos que el propio lugar que estamos consultando, creo que esas fotos también son impontantes, que puedes conocer algo mas un sitio con un conjunto e muchas fotos que tengan un poco de todo. 

Level 5

Güzel bir konu teşekkür ederim

Level 1

otimas dicas 


Большое Спасибо! Всё очень хорошо и подробно изложено,всё понятно и доступно.Ещё раз Спасибо.Виктор.

Level 9

It is very useful

Level 2

Clear and easily understandable tips for a local guide.

Thanks AnnaD

J Level 7
Level 7

How about details? example, hotel, the rooms you stayed,bathroom, balcon, is it accepatable?

Level 4
gracias por consejos
Level 2

Thanks @AnnaD ,  for these very useful tips !    And a  comment about statues ...   We are Local Guides not tourists. I think we can wait for a nice weather day and take a decent photo ... my 2c ;)   

Level 5

very useful tips, thanks a lot

Level 4

Thank You for the details. 

Level 7

Very useful

Level 6
My local area sitakund.this place is very nice.
Level 4

AnnaD wrote:




    • Avoid large watermarks on images


@AnnaD Thanks for the informative post. One question though about the watermarking you mentioned. I understand that extra large watermarks should not be used, but the small and usual watermakrs - like at the bottom right of the image - are accepted, right?

Level 8

 Thanks for the article! 🍏 ツ

Level 2

Great info. Thanks

Level 6


Thank you so much

Level 4

ClubASPIRE Photo Walk

Level 6

Reference to follow. thanks you.

Level 7

Great Thank you for this Helpfull Information

Note: new Limits and new Third party tools

for Photospheres or 360 photos
Before you upload 360 photos, make sure that your photos are:

 At least 14 megapixels (5,300 by 2,650 pixels) and at most 72 megapixels (12,000 by 6,000 pixels) with a 2:1 aspect ratio.
In jpeg format.

Regards Svendus

Level 8

Thanks for beautiful descriptive artical about photos.

@AnnaD i request u to suggest the map maker developer team to provide some basic photo editing facility in the android map app also in the desktop edition for quick attachment of photos in map. Like crop, rotation. Because the android app does not have the feature to rotate photos. Its really necessary. 

Thank u @AnnaD.

Level 2

Such a great post, @AnnaD! It helped me a lot on my way to becoming a local guide. ;-)

Level 8

Thank you for the informative post, I will pass over the best photo taking tips to all my community members


Happy Mapping, Happy Days

Wow ! Nice guideline...! Thank you for the guideline...!

Level 5

Tha'ts an amazing guide, thank you so much!

Level 8
Thank you @AnnaD your explanation will eliminate my repetitive mistakes.
Level 5

Great tips!

Level 8

Really Helpful! 

Level 5

A very good and helpful article. Thanks for sharing your experience

Level 4

excelente, muy buen aporte @AnnaD