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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.

Screen Shot 2016-12-22 at 12.48.21 PM.png

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.

Screen Shot 2016-12-22 at 12.09.49 PM.png

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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 8

@AnnaDickson it's really very important information you shared . Thank you so much

Level 4

Great article @AnnaD !


Level 7

Useful information ..perfect guidelines

Level 2


FB_IMG_1480230003549.jpgChak180GB Copyright © 2017 Shahid Irfan All Rights Reserved




Level 2

Thanks for the helpful tips. I tend to make my pics vertical so it's good to know that horizontal is prefered on google maps 

Level 3

thanks for the very informative article. i was so interested in just getting a pic that i hadnt thought much about angle clarity etc. opened my eyes now so i can improve.

Level 3

I appreciate these helpful tips and reminders on posting photos, Thanks!

Level 3

Ich mach es mir da recht leicht...

Ich gehe mit offenen Augen, Ohren und immer die Kammera bereit durch mein Leben. Und nur wenn es was gutes zu berichten gibt, oder gute aussagekräftige Bilder dabei sind schick ich diese weiter. Schrott, üble Nachrede und schlechte Bilder gibt es viel zu viel. Ich liebe Qualität.

Josef Pittl, Innsbruck, Tirol, Österreich.

Level 3

Speechless infront of such a minute explanation. Thank you seems insufficient to express my gratitude to you, dear AnnaD :)

MrW Level 4
Level 4

Thank you
This is really what we need


Level 5

Very helpful article, thank you!

Thanks a lot... @AnnaDickson I've recently started Google Local Guide. There were a lot of things unknown. The path running through the unknown is to wear a lot of problems. The direction of your valuable time that I was getting a lot of benefit. I hope that, this way, you'll go through our starters are very valuable guidance. Good luck to you on behalf of everyone remained continuous.  :)

Level 5

Thank you for this great article and sharing those tips !

Level 5

Thanks, will try to post better shots according to guidelines.

Level 2

Very useful information related to uploading photos and shooting them sensibly as well as aesthetically. - B S Jadhav 

Level 2

Dear @AnnaDickson, that is great. This is my first knowledge on photo uploading as a goggle guide.

Level 2


Level 8

Thanks @AnnaDickson for this great tips for more productive photos for community!

Level 2

Grate advice ... Now I can take much better photos to google map.. I will do my best .. 

Level 6
Helpful post  Thank you 
Level 2

@AnnaDicksonI have photos and very nervous about uploading to Google Maps.. Can I upload them in on the Photos & New Discoveries forum for feedback first? Anything to easy my "first time" anxieties

#LocalGuides #Google #GoogleMaps

Level 8

Thanks for the information. Refreshing indeed. 

Level 5

Thank you

Good information



Level 7

hi, every one....have a nice day....

Level 8

Simple and Powerful article for all and especially for newbies

Level 3

The article is titled how to upload photos to google maps. I clicked because I really really want to learn how to upload photos to google maps. After reading the article, I have no idea how to upload photos to google maps. The article should be retitled to tips on how to take photos for uploading to google maps because that is literally ALL this article informs the reader about. I'm sorry to be the party proper but the title is 100% misleading 

Level 7

@NeilZ To upload photos to Google Maps, take a look at this Google Support article.

JTC Level 5
Level 5

As a Local Guide, I'm finding it increasingly frustrating to contribute to Google Maps.


Maybe I haven't been around the block enough but here's a quick summary:


1. Google Maps doesn't give me a quick and easy way to see the photos I've contributed. That's why sometimes I may contribute the same photo more than once. Instead of scrolling through every photo of a location, how about showing me a list of locations I've contributed to and let me choose to see the photos I've contributed at that location. Here's a task for you - get to the 1st photo of your 1st location you've contributed and we'll see if your patience holds out as you scroll through all your photos from the most recent to your very 1st photo contribution.


2. There are multiple listings on Google Maps of the same attraction. Yes... you're supposed to report that but as other Local Guides have noted, we don't think these reports get acted on as the multiple listings persist even after reporting. And yes, that's why sometimes the same photo gets uploaded twice or multiple times again - once each for each multiple listing. I've stopped doing that as I won't bother with such multiple listings anymore - or reporting them.


3. I've uploaded all my photos in their native high resolution to Google Photos for storage. But somehow, I am unable to access them to share these photos stored at Google Photos for contributions. Most of the time I've had to waste bandwidth and upload the photos again to Google Maps. And no, the dynamic access to Google Photos from Google Maps is not reliable and most photos don't show up for selection.


With all the Local Guides help, there is a lot of promise that Google Maps can become as a true useful resource but I guess it's too big a task or there's no strategy to actually become that sole travel destination online that does everything - from providing information to booking to virtual experiences etc.


Level 3

@JTC I so understand all your points as I am also having the same exact problem.

I have uploaded so many pictures in the past few weeks however to date am not seeing it under my contributions.

I am keeping pics on my phone for future uploads and would delete them once upload is done in google maps.

Now, I cannot delete them yet cause the first batch I uploaded has not come out yet.

Its very frustrating!

I even send feedback to google on my photos but no response.

You want to update fellow local guides but the app itself is not helping at all.


I hope they can fix this soon.

Level 1

Very tasty but service is slow 


Level 8

Hi, I believe that there should be images from every season from a place, this way people can get a better idea where they are going or visiting or how the place looks like 😉

Level 2

Thank you for the information. It is very helpful. 

Level 2

Great advice, thanks 

Level 7

Thanks for all the tips. Some of them I already considered but many of them are really helpful for future pictures.

Level 3

That's a very helpful article, it will help us to upload great shots this year and make Maps more reflective of the way the actual places look. Thank you! 

Level 2

Nice article @AnnaDickson !
Detailed yet comprehensive and a must read for all the LG enthusiasts!



Level 5

verry goods

Level 6

Thank you! will follow these while capturing photos :)

Level 5

Thank you for this helpfull post.

Useful article, thanks

Level 5

Thank you for sharing this information with us

Level 3

Helpful... Thank you. :)

Level 2

Great article. Thank you so much.

Level 7

Thank you very much for the valuable information. This is a must read for all those post photos in Google Maps.

Level 5

Thanks - useful tips with regarsd to Google Maps photo standards. I mean a good "Google Maps" photo does not necessarily mean good photography.

Level 2

Top article 

Level 7

Bài viết rất hay, cám ơn tác giả.

Level 3
Wow..... Really great to see all the updates of tis entire profile... Really superb work.... Always happy to see tis all... Fantastic
Level 3

What about the part that says Public or Hidden? If we upload to a Hidden folder is it viewable by everyone else?

Level 3

I concur with all of thee above. Great