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How to Upload Great Photos to Google Maps
AnnaD Googler
‎01-05-2017 04:12 PM
‎01-05-2017 04:12 PM

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 abuilding’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!

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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.


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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.

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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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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.

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

RickL Level 3
Level 3

I concur with all of thee above. Great 

TusharT Level 2
Level 2

Good quality material Thank you

AyiedQ Level 5
Level 5

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.

BrunoM Level 4
Level 4

Great post.


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



SupriantoA Level 3
Level 3

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

SuvamP Level 2
Level 2

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

GoodF Level 2
Level 2

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.

Manny EB Level 3
Level 3

Thank you for the tips 

HottieE Level 5
Level 5

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

JohnP Level 2
Level 2

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

JaquelineC Level 1
Level 1

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