Legal Hotline: Google Maps

  • Aug 13, 2015

Melissa Melewsky, Media Law Counsel

Q: Can we use Google Maps images in print ads?  What about in ads appearing on our website?

A: Google Maps images may be used in print and online ads, provided the ads comply with Google’s terms of use, including limitations on the use of Google Maps Street View imagery.

Google does not require permission to use Google Maps images as part of print or online commercial advertising, but it does require advertisers to follow specific terms of use governing attribution, appearance and technological aspects of the ads.

With regard to attribution, all print reproductions must properly attribute Google and its service providers.  Typically, this means citing Google, as well as the applicable third party content provider that supplied geographical and other data to enable Google’s functionality.   Additional information can be found on Google’s permission page and attribution page.

With regard to appearance, Google requires that advertising utilizing Google Maps accurately reflect how the images would look on online. For example, advertisers are not allowed to make any changes (e.g. delete, blur, etc.) to Google products that would make them look different from images that appear on the Google Maps website. 

With regard to Google Maps Street View, Google does not permit Street View images to appear in print ads, nor does it permit static screenshots of Street View imagery to be used in online ads.  Online ads that utilize Google Street View may only use imagery that comes directly from the Google Maps API or  imagery that is embedded or linked to on your website using the HTML and URL provided on Google Maps.

As always, this is not intended to be, nor should it be construed as, legal advice.  Please contact your newspaper’s attorney or call the Legal Hotline at (717) 703-3080 with questions.

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