I've recently bumped into this answer on SO:


It shows a way to use the Google Maps tile layers using a direct - probably internal - API. It is followed by some comments stating that this is a violation of Google's terms of service. I'll transcribe them here, in case they get deleted:

Its maybe worth mentioning that the Terms of Use from Google forbid any means of tile access other than through the Google Maps API.


developers.google.com/maps/terms check out section 10.4e.

Section 10.4e of the ToS states:

No use of Content with a non-Google map. You must not use the Content in a Maps API Implementation that contains a non-Google map.

To me, this sounds more like: I can't use content available in the Google Maps API (such as geolocation, markers/labels for bussinesses and such) in another maps implementation (Such as, for example, OpenStreetMaps).

Am I wrong? If I'm right, is there any other clause preventing use of the tile layers in this way?


1 Answer 1


Since I'm no expert, I can't know for sure if I'm right about clause 10.4 e, but I found another clause that makes this question irrelevant in this case:

10.1 a: No access to APIs or Content except through the Service. You will not access the Maps API(s) or the Content except through the Service. For example, you must not access map tiles or imagery through interfaces or channels (including undocumented Google interfaces) other than the Maps API(s).

(Emphasis mine)

This clause is more specific to this use case, and expressly forbids such use of Google Maps content. And luckily for me, the included example emphasized basically answers this question.

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