Why is there no "key" or legend on Google maps that is easily accessable?

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Why is there no "key" or legend on Google maps that is easily accessable? Surfoakland 3/15/09 4:27 PM
Re: Why is there no "key" or legend on Google maps that is easily accessable? barryhunter 3/16/09 4:49 AM
Because the world is large, and the symbology varies by region. 

It also changes occiasionally, which makes maintaing a key very difficult. 

In general a map should be intuitive enough that it doesnt need a key. 

Is there some particular symbol you dont understand?
Re: Why is there no "key" or legend on Google maps that is easily accessable? brandonbyers 4/8/09 12:36 PM
These are all true. Indeed, looking at these maps of Taiwan, Japan, and Dubai, these are all very true statements.
http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&ll=24.718143,121.784821&spn=0.040153,0.109177&z=14
http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&ll=35.728677,139.702148&spn=0.035883,0.109177&z=14
http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&ll=25.240581,55.308952&spn=0.019991,0.054588&z=15

So ... it would be complicated and difficult. But why should that stop Google? Indeed, I imagine there's some sort of internal symbolic table / reference area for whomever creates these maps. Why can't Google license this and show it?

This is one reason I've always felt Google Maps, while outstanding, is only 99% finished.
Re: Why is there no "key" or legend on Google maps that is easily accessable? TOMHTML 4/10/09 4:21 AM
I'm agree with brandonbyers, Google maps isn't completely finished without legend.

Barryhunter, you said in another thread ( http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/maps/thread?tid=329d0dc1a4c06c27&hl=en ) that you just have to click on the symbol to discovers what it means. It's true in UK, not in Taiwan, Japan, Dubai and many others.

Yes, the world is large, too large, that's why Google can't map everything itself and instead buys map data to local providers. If they buy map, don't they buy legends too?
Re: Why is there no "key" or legend on Google maps that is easily accessable? qwerwer 1/4/10 6:05 PM
A legend for land coloring would be nice. The are various shades of green which I suspect designate National/State Parks, Forests, BLM etc (esp. in the terrain view). An optional floating/draggable pop-up legend would be really nice!
Re: Why is there no "key" or legend on Google maps that is easily accessable? danselic 2/25/10 6:03 AM
Yes, many things are intuitive. Roads are roads, rivers are rivers and so on. But if you look at, say, the city of Basel, Switzerland, you'll notice that some parts of the city are the 'normal' map color, while others are a darker shade of gray. It would be nice to know that this means, as it is not obvious, at least to me.

(http://maps.google.com/maps?q=basel+switzerland&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&um=1&ie=UTF-8&hq=&hnear=Basle,+Switzerland&ei=9oKGS9v8Fsq6jAfv5cWwDw&sa=X&oi=geocode_result&ct=image&resnum=1&ved=0CBEQ8gEwAA)
Re: Why is there no "key" or legend on Google maps that is easily accessable? bwb123 7/16/10 2:32 PM
A legend goes with a map like ice goes with tea on a very hot day.  Can you have the tea without the ice?  Why sure you can!

True you should try and keep the legend minimal.  And intuitive symbols are great.  But this can easily be taken too far.  For example the instructions that come with lots of things today.  The symbols on my printer when something goes awry.

A really good for purposes here is Google Bike Maps.  There are three kinds of green lines.  And unless you take the time to do a rather exhaustive search, you'll never know what they are--intuitively or otherwise.  Even with satellite view.  I've looked it up and forgotten so many times I finally wrote it down and I keep it next to my desk.  This is bull hockey if you ask me.  They could make it easy for people so easily but they don't.

 Like I always say, you get what you pay for.
Re: Why is there no "key" or legend on Google maps that is easily accessable? bwb123 7/16/10 2:42 PM
A postscript:  Understand Google is a behemoth of biblical proportions.  Again using Bike Maps as an example, they are able to provide this valuable service (and free mind you) because they have algorithms that can melt lead.  On the other hand things like a very simple legend escapes them because (see behemoth above.)

Probably the worst thing about Google: very difficult to have questions answered or get feedback.  They are next to impossible to email or phone.  Actually to an amazing level.  Their forums are iffy at best.  But better than nothing I suppose.

The thing that really kills me--there are amazingly good forums on just about any subject.  You'd think with the size of Google and how generally lame their own forums are, that there would be private ones popping up all over.  If you know of ONE, please let me know.  Thanks!  And thanks Google for Bike Maps.  Overall, it's great.
Re: Why is there no "key" or legend on Google maps that is easily accessable? G D 7/23/10 9:38 AM
Just to chime in, I'm currently trying to figure out what the green lines mean on the bike routes. I completely do not understand what the point of putting them on the map is if they're not going to explain what they are.
Re: Why is there no "key" or legend on Google maps that is easily accessable? settingthebystanderd 8/26/10 8:34 AM
Yes, what do the green lines mean on the bike maps??????
Re: Why is there no "key" or legend on Google maps that is easily accessable? barryhunter 8/26/10 11:26 AM
Can read about the biking directions here:
Re: Why is there no "key" or legend on Google maps that is easily accessable? commode7x 12/10/10 8:11 PM
I'm sorry, there is no legend for the Google maps.  There will be no legend for the maps.  The only legend that you can get is if you go to each and every one of the points in question and find out what each of them are for yourself, then make your own legend.  You will not get one from Google.
Re: Why is there no "key" or legend on Google maps that is easily accessable? misogynist 12/24/10 4:21 AM
If you're not going to put a lengend on the Maps explaining what the symbols mean, then please remove them so you can at least see everything.
Re: Why is there no "key" or legend on Google maps that is easily accessable? Peshorist 1/12/11 1:36 AM
Google Earth should have a menu  for enlisting legend for rivers, roads, boundries, provinces, populations, mountain range etc. A person might only be interested to one thing clearly for some statistical purpose. Like if I click road in the menu the map should only show metllaed, non mettaled or raw roads , for example. In case of rivers , boundries the same applies. The current features are primitive.
Re: Why is there no "key" or legend on Google maps that is easily accessable? L1nd3n 1/15/11 8:48 AM
At the very least the terrain view should have a legend for the colours. I presume they denote altitude, but that doesn't always seem to be the case and binding height information to a colour can't be that difficult.
Re: Why is there no "key" or legend on Google maps that is easily accessable? DsquaredsubT 2/4/11 7:30 PM
I would like to see a color-coded transparent layer that denotes city limits on the map.  This would be especially useful in cities with many suburbs.
Re: Why is there no "key" or legend on Google maps that is easily accessable? reparker56 2/16/11 7:46 AM
I was looking for a legend that explained the symbols used for the traffic layer when I came across this forum. From my point of view it's just this simple; if you're going to use symbols you need to explain them. I get a kick out of people trying to defend Google on this issue. Call it what you will, an oversight on Google's part (I doubt that); the different symbols and color patterns are simply for artistic purposes and were never intended to be informational (yeah right). Don't get me wrong, I use the maps and find them very helpful, but, like I said, if you're going to use symbols you should explain them -somewhere.
Re: Why is there no "key" or legend on Google maps that is easily accessable? BJackD 2/27/11 10:18 AM
Barry, is correct if unhelpful. You can right click and then click what's this. Although the answer from google is not alway correct.

For example the road E16 out of Aurland, Norway is a tunnel. The tunnel is named as a tunnel if you zoom in close enough, but if you've just mapped a route over it, it can be very hard to read and the print is tiny. I was trying to figure out what the dashed line on the road meant. Is it closed in the winter? Is it a road under construction? I only discovered what it was by finding this forum. No instructions or clues on Google Maps that you can click on what's this for anything and get an answer.

Unfortunately, unless you are zoomed in on the item enough to see the, very fine print, name you can't get the right answer. Only once the name of the tunnel appears does "what's this" give the name of the tunnel. Otherwise you get the name of the county Sogn og Fjordane. In fact you have to be zoomed in really close so that you click very precisely inside the lines.

Right click to get a key pop up, would be much easier, faster and would yield the correct answer 100% of the time.

But Google can't even be troubled to fix the map of my town, showing three dead end streets as continuing on, right over the edge of the bluffs, and over the houses below and connecting to the streets beyond. I guess a map legend was expecting too much. Still, it has it's uses. It's mostly harmless.
Re: Why is there no "key" or legend on Google maps that is easily accessable? Zhawn 3/29/11 11:26 AM
What are the little gazebos in front Carnegie Museum and on Soldiers and Sailors Hall on http://www.ngs.noaa.gov/CORS/coord_html/paap_coord.html designating?
Re: Why is there no "key" or legend on Google maps that is easily accessable? barryhunter 3/29/11 11:55 AM
Its a Museum Symbol, its clearer if zoom in. 

Re: Why is there no "key" or legend on Google maps that is easily accessable? ip96impala 5/5/11 9:48 AM
I've never posted in Google forums, but this is a topic I'm really interested in since I live out travel adventures through Google maps. It really is a shame that there is no key or legend, but it seems that people have discovered the meanings of a lot of the symbols on Google maps. Google it's self may never put out a key/ legend, but I don't see any reason not to create one ourselves. A collective knowledge bank. I'm really curious about a specific symbol, and I'm sure there are many other ones that will intrigue/ bewilder me in the future, so I'd surely be willing to contribute to a user-created key/ legend.

Just a thought
Re: Why is there no "key" or legend on Google maps that is easily accessable? UncoolMomdotcom 5/23/11 1:49 PM
Barryhunter, are the black and white checkered pathways supposed to indicate sidewalks/walking paths? I'm looking at a Google map of New Orleans, Louisiana, particularly a section by the convention center, and there is a long black and white checked path running from the Aquarium down through the convention center...
Re: Why is there no "key" or legend on Google maps that is easily accessable? getoffamycloud 6/28/11 12:01 PM
YEah!
I'd like to know about the colors of green, the sidewalk thing, and what a railroad track is supposed to look like.
I'm shocked (and more and slightly apalled) that the Google is so behind on this!
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