Using Google Maps on Your Homepage

Many of those having a homepage are interested in using the material of Google Maps for their own sites. LG2G has taken a look into this topic and will point the most relevant details you need to know.


It all starts with Google's STC. The terms and conditions of use for Google Maps are available online. These conditions will tell you if and how you can use Google Maps. Distinctions have to be made for private and commercial use.

A private use (read in this context "personal, non-commercial purposes") exists, for example, when someone wants to show the address of a friend on Google Maps. Individual users of Google Maps may display maps, local search results and photographic images only for private purposes.

Commercial use of Google Maps - for example the use of maps and content from Google Maps on the website of a company - is only permitted under certain conditions.

Commercial use of Google Maps is only allowed if the user uses Google Maps API. API stands for "Application Programming Interface" and easily integrates Google Maps onto the user's homepage. To meet the technical requirements for the integration of Google Maps onto the user's homepage and in order to release Google Maps, commercial users must - for free - register with Google Maps. Then he receives an electronic key, which enables the built in Java applet to authenticate itself on Google's Maps Server.

The Google Maps API has its own Terms of Use. Without going into further detail on these arrangements, it remains to be said that it is forbidden, for example, to use the logo of Google Maps or Google in such way that Google is in any manner impaired.

The maps from Google Maps are copyrighted, protected by trademarks or other proprietary decrees. In accordance with instructions of the STC, they may not be deleted or otherwise altered. The user must implement the material as is delivered by Google Map Servers.

The photographic images used by Google Maps are subject to a simple, non-transferable license. These may not be used according to the STC - in contrast to the maps - for commercial purposes or in a business environment. Also the private use of photographic imagery is only allowed under strict conditions. All property rights to the images remain with Google and / or the licensors of Google (when applicable). The illustrations are subject to copyright and may not be copied, even if they are changed or have been brought together with any other data or software.

The maps on Google Maps can be used free of charge by anybody - even for commercial purposes - when the respective terms and conditions for the use of Google Maps have been kept. In particular, no screenshots of Google Maps may be used, but the Google Maps-generated dynamic maps must be used exclusively through the API connected with the Google Maps servers. In this manner the maps will always be up to date.

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