What colors does Google Maps use and what does each one mean?

Red, stop; green, pass; amber, caution. How good the colors come to us to understand at a glance what is happening on the road. Google Maps also makes use of colors , but in the navigation application things get complicated: color coding is far from the simplicity of a traffic light, but in this article we will help you discover what each color means.

As with traffic lights, the idea of ​​Google Maps is to offer more information in the same interface in a minimalist way, seeking intuitive identification and they are not chosen at random : the choice of their color codes is based on studies and research, as detailed in the area design of the big G .


These chromatic indications are probably the ones you use the most in your day to day when you are behind the wheel with Google Maps as co-driver. And it is that Google inks the routes of the roads so that you know the density of traffic and also offers you the best route to avoid them.

  • Blue: if we have chosen a destination and a starting point, the trajectory changes to this color to indicate that it is a clear road with minimal traffic.
  • Green: There are no traffic problems on that road.
  • Orange: There is some traffic on the road, which probably means some delay.
  • Redis the color that means a lot of traffic, although it can also be indicative of works or an accident. If the red is dark, the traffic will be especially heavy.

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roads and streets

This point is especially interesting, since it allows us to move around an unknown city taking into account the main arteries or even which roads are paid, although in this case good eyesight and paying attention are required.

  • Yellow: They represent roads, highways and main streets of a municipality. Here there are nuances: if they have orange edges, it is about roads; if the borders are yellow then they will be main roads and if the borders are gold then highways.
  • White: For highways and regular streets in municipalities.
  • Parallel white stripes: this is the indication used for some parking lots (for example, at airports).
  • Dark green lines: refer to routes for pedestrians or bicycles in the city or in green areas such as parks.
  • Dark gray lines: they represent an underground road if they are thick and if they are thin, a railway line.


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If you are in a new city for you and you are looking for hospitals or shopping centers, this section interests you:

  • Red: for hospitals, health centers, residences and other health consultations. A color that attracts attention.
  • Gray– Mainly for residential areas. Here two shades are distinguished: light gray for residential and dark gray for unique buildings, such as the university, the town hall, airports.
  • Light brown: for commercial areas and buildings.

Shopping area: La Morea shopping center (Pamplona)


We leave nature for last, which gives way to certain fairly obvious chromatic identifications and others that are most useful for a rural getaway.

  • Blueis the color chosen for water: it can be rivers, seas, oceans, swamps, reservoirs.


  • Greenfor areas with vegetation, which can be from a small garden or a grove to a park through a nature reserve. As data: Google uses a somewhat darker green for reservations.
  • Blue:this color is obviously going to always mean water, whether from seas, rivers, lakes or swamps.
  • Brownis the off-road color for Google Maps. Thus, you can find it in deserts, mountainous areas, national parks (fortunately, it is accompanied by some text). If the brown is light and it is next to the sea, it will be a public beach.


by Abdullah Sam
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