Image Acceptance & Privacy Policies

Google Maps & Street View Imagery

Google is dedicated to helping you discover the world around you. Imagery on our platforms is intended to enhance your experience, helping you preview and explore places nearby or across the globe. We go to great lengths to make sure that imagery is useful, and reflects the world our users explore.

To help ensure that everyone viewing Google Maps imagery has a positive, beneficial experience, we’ve developed these Google Maps Image Acceptance and Privacy Policies. The policies explain important differences between how we address imagery captured by various methods and contributors, how we treat inappropriate content, and the necessary criteria for publishing imagery to Google Maps. Please check back from time to time, as we may occasionally update our policies.

When Using Our Services

Sources of Imagery

Imagery on Google Maps either comes from one of two sources: Google or everyone else.

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  • You can tell whether an image was taken by Google or by an external contributor by the attribution name or icon presented with each image. Photos are contributed from a variety of sources, as can be seen by the attribution information associated with the image. For example, some Street View imagery will have Google’s name associated with the image.
  • Imagery that was captured by an external contributor and posted to Google Maps is the property of that contributor, unless they have agreed to transfer ownership to a third party.
  • While our content policies apply to both types of content in equal measure, the difference in ownership does mean that our policies and enforcement mechanisms for privacy requests, blurring, and image removal may be slightly different. Please read the Privacy and Reporting Issues sections below for more information.

About Our Policies and Terms

These policies apply to images, captions, tags, links, metadata, and any other descriptive content associated with the imagery.

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Where Your Images May Appear

All content that is published to Google Maps is public, including the location where the photo was taken. If your image is accepted to Google Maps it will be publicly visible to anyone who accesses our mapping products.

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  • If you do not want to share your image or the location in which it was taken, please do not publish it using this service.
  • Images that you submit for publication to Google Maps must satisfy our specified Publishing Acceptance Criteria and General Content Policies. Once published, your content may appear in a variety of Google products and services, including Google Maps, Street View, Google Earth, Google Search, and other Google products.
  • Published content may also appear within third–party sites that use Google embeddable widgets or the Google Maps API. For more information about how your images may be used by Google or third parties, see the Google Maps/Earth Additional Terms of Service.

Privacy & Blurring

Privacy

Google takes a number of steps to protect the privacy of individuals when images are published to Google Maps. Read on for more information on how we handle privacy requests for imagery that appears on Maps and Street View.

Google-Contributed Content

You can tell if an image was captured by Google by the “Google Maps” or “Street View” attribution icon or name associated with it.

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  • Blurring policies: We have developed cutting-edge face and license plate blurring technology that is applied to all of Google’s Street View images. This technology is designed to blur all identifiable faces and license plates within Google-contributed imagery. If you see a face or a license plate that requires additional blurring, or if you would like us to blur your entire house or car, submit a request using the Report a Problem tool. We will also blur your entire house, car, portions thereof if you submit a request to us for blurring. Please note, however, that once Google blurs an image the effect is permanent. If you submit a request to have your personal home blurred from Google Street View imagery, all historical and future images of your home will also be blurred.
  • Street View images are not real time: Our images show only what our vehicles were able to see on the day that they drove past the location. Afterward, it takes months to process them. This means that content you see could be anywhere from a few months to a few years old. In some locations where we have collected imagery over many years, you may also be able to view changes to that imagery in our Time Machine function.

Everyone Else’s Content

You can tell if an image was captured by a member of the public by the personal profile name or icon associated with it.

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  • We don’t blur images not contributed by Google: Members of the public regularly contribute images of both exterior and interior locations to Google Maps. This content is collected and owned by these individual contributors. Because Google does not own user-contributed content, we do not apply our blurring policies to this imagery.
  • Private property: You should not publish imagery from personal residences. Imagery from other private locations should not be published without the owner’s consent.
  • Photographers, please respect individual privacy when taking photos: If a clearly identifiable person in your photo does not want to have their image published, respect their preferences or proactively blur the faces in your imagery prior to publishing.

General Content Policies

Inappropriate Content

These policies apply equally to Google-contributed and user-contributed content. Please note that when we evaluate imagery for policy violations we also balance the artistic, educational, or documentary value of the content.

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  • Intellectual Property Violations: We don’t allow images or any other content that infringes on anyone else’s legal rights, including copyright. For more information or to file a DMCA request, review our copyright procedures.
  • 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. As with our other content policies, the limitation applies to images as well as captions, titles, and user comments.
  • Sexually explicit content: We don’t allow content that contains sexually explicit subject matter.
  • Illegal, dangerous, or violent content: We don’t allow content that is unlawful in nature, promotes dangerous or illegal acts, or contains graphic or gratuitous violence.
  • Child endangerment: Google has a zero-tolerance policy against content that exploits or abuses children. This includes all sexual abuse imagery and all content that presents children in a sexual manner. When we encounter content that appears to exploit children, we will terminate the relevant user’s account and report the user to the appropriate authorities. If you find any content that you think exploits children in this manner, please do not re–share or comment on it, even if your intent is to bring the content to Google’s attention. Instead, flag it through the image’s “Report a problem” link on Google Maps. If you find content elsewhere on the internet, please contact the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) directly.
  • Hate speech: We don’t allow content that promotes or condones violence against individuals or groups based on race or ethnic origin, religion, disability, gender, age, nationality, veteran status, or sexual orientation/gender identity, or whose primary purpose is inciting hatred on the basis of these core characteristics.
  • Harassment and threats: We don’t allow individuals to use Google Maps to harass, bully, or attack other individuals.
  • Personal or confidential information: We don’t allow content that contains private or confidential information such as credit card details, medical records, or government–issued identification — whether yours or someone else’s.

Misrepresentation

We don’t allow individuals to use Google Maps to mislead others. This applies to deceptive content as well as false representations.

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  • Do not attribute your content to another individual, company or organization if you are not authorized to represent them.
  • Google reserves the right to remove imagery, suspend accounts, or pursue other legal action against photographers who falsely claim that they represent or are employed by Google.

Publishing Acceptance Criteria

Scope

Our publishing criteria apply to all photos that appear on Google Maps. Images that do not meet these criteria may be rejected from publication on Google Maps, but will remain visible from your Google Drive or Photos albums.

Geographic Accuracy

Images must accurately represent the location where they were taken. Images that are inaccurately placed on the map are likely to mislead others and will be removed from Google Maps.

Photo Spheres

Photo spheres must wrap 360º without any gaps in the horizon imagery. These images do not have to extend to the zenith and nadir (top to bottom), but between the top and bottom edges of your photo sphere only minor gaps/holes are acceptable.

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  • Panoramas with minor stitching errors are acceptable but those with significant stitching artifacts may be rejected.
  • When multiple photo spheres are published to one area, connections between them may be automatically generated. Whether your connections were created manually or automatically, we may adjust, remove, or create new connections — and adjust the position and orientation of your photo spheres — to ensure a realistic, connected viewing experience.
  • When connecting photo spheres, ensure that a clear line of sight is maintained between both ends, except for open doorways where a clear path is implied. For clarity, linking photo spheres through walls or over great distances will result in rejection.
  • If you’re appending any form of attribution to the zenith or nadir of your photo sphere, please note the relevant requirements within the Advertising section below.

Image Clarity and Quality

Stylistic adjustments (such as applied filters) are acceptable, provided that these stylistic changes are minimal and are not appended elements such as borders, text, collaged images, etc.

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  • Acceptable forms of attribution (as outlined in other sections of this document) are exempt from this requirement.
  • Images that are excessively dark or blurry can make it difficult for others to understand the environment you’re sharing. The same may be true for excessively rotated compositions or prominent use of filters. We may reject images on these bases.
  • Images must be of a sufficient resolution. Exact requirements may vary by photo type and point of upload. For example photo spheres must contain at least 14 megapixels (a 5,300 pixel by 2,650 pixel resolution or greater).
  • Images that show an establishment’s key products (like dishes from a menu, merchandise, etc.) are acceptable only when they are associated with the establishment’s Google Maps listing. For clarity, if these images are accurately placed on the map but not are associated with the correct business, they may be rejected.
  • Animated images, screenshots, drawings, posters and other non–photos should not be uploaded.

Advertising and Attribution

Any content that contains advertising or excessive promotional content within imagery, captions, or comments will be removed.

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  • Small, discreet copyright notices (such as a business name or logo) are allowed. Email addresses and phone numbers cannot be included in your images. Acceptable attribution must be limited to the bottom 10% of photos and the bottom 36º (bottom 20%) of photo spheres.

Reporting Issues

Request Blurring or Image Removal

If you find content that you believe violates the Google Terms of Service, the Google Maps/Earth Additional Terms of Service, or these Geo Imagery and Privacy Policies, please report it to us using the Report a Problem link.

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  • In addition to the automatic blurring of faces and license plates in Google-contributed content, we will blur an entire car, house, or person when requested.
  • If you are unable to resolve a blurring dispute with another contributing user or if an image features inappropriate content (such as nudity or violence), you can request that Google remove the image from Google Maps. We’ll take a look at the content and take appropriate action.

How to Report a Problem

If you’ve found an image that you would like further blurred or an image that you believe contains objectionable content, just follow these steps:

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  • Locate the image.
  • Click or tap "Report a problem." On our websites, this is located in the bottom-right of the image window. In our apps, this is accessed from the flag or menu buttons.
  • Select the issue and submit. We’ll review your report promptly.