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New Cloud-based maps styling features provide more options, control, and flexibility to enhance your user experience

This year at Google I/O, we announced the general availability of Cloud-based maps styling for the Maps JavaScript API. In an effort to provide you with more options and more control to help create the best experience for your users, today we’re releasing new features to Cloud-based maps styling. You may already be familiar with these features from the consumer Google Maps web and mobile apps—Landmarks and Building Footprints. We’re also releasing updates to our industry optimized map styles to provide even more map details while providing the flexibility to craft the best experience for your users. Let’s take a look.

Help users quickly scan and orient themselves with Landmarks

You may have noticed some enhancements for prominent places in the consumer Google Maps web and mobile apps, these landmarks help show your users points of interest that help them orient and navigate cities they are exploring or visiting.

Landmarks in Sao Paulo (left) and Rome (right)

You now have the ability to bring this same experience to your users by creating maps using Cloud-based maps styling. This feature is available in 100 cities globally including New York, Dubai, Paris, Mumbai, and Singapore. To enable landmarks for your map, log into the Cloud console and in our style editor navigate to the Points of interest feature type and select “Illustrated” under Marker Style.

Simplify maps features by switching to Building Footprints

Sometimes less is more. In dense, highly vertical cities, showing 3D building heights can add cognitive load for users. Now, in addition to 3D buildings, we offer building footprints as an option in the style editor. Building footprints can provide a strikingly different basemap balance and composition to better support use cases that may not benefit from the added complexity that 3D buildings can present.

Building footprints

Fill and stroke geometries can also be styled independently to support various color themes. To enable Building Footprints, log into the Cloud console and in our style editor navigate to Buildings and choose ‘Flat’ under building style.

Building footprints are enabled in Landscape menu in the style editor.

Industry Optimized Map Styles now include Landmarks and Building Footprints, plus Detailed Street Maps

In January of this year we launched Industry Optimized Map Styles for the travel, real estate, retail, and logistics industries, providing customers with pre-styled map configurations, available via Cloud-based maps styling. Landmarks are now included in all of our Industry Optimized Map Styles and we have turned on Building Footprints in the travel style map.  If you are already an Industry Optimized Map Styles user, these new features will be applied to your map with no action needed from you. If you would like to disable these changes, you can use the style editor to turn off these features.

For Industry Optimized Map Styles only, we are also excited to enable Detailed Street Maps. You may have seen these features in our consumer products at Google I/O, released back in August of 2020 for the consumer Google Maps web and mobile apps. Detailed Street Maps are available in San Francisco, New York, London, and Tokyo, and we are targeting expansion to 50 new cities by the end of 2021.

Detailed Street Maps are on by default for all Industry Optimized Map Styles and we created a new settings menu to change the visibility, as needed. We are working on bringing the full styling capability for Detailed Street Maps features to all Cloud-based maps styles in the future.

Landmarks and Building Footprints as well as the updates to Industry Optimized Map Styles are only available via Cloud-based map styling in the Google Cloud Console and are included in Google Maps Platform pricing. Learn more about how to use Landmarks and Building Footprints and Industry Optimized Map Styles. To get started with Cloud-based map styling, check out our documentation for JavaScript.

For more information on Google Maps Platform, visit our website.

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