Any way to view a stripped-down Google Map (no landmarks, businesses, etc.)

I am looking to view a Google Map of a city that leaves off the names of retail businesses, hotels, restaurants, and the like. Geographical names and street names are OK, but not required.

Is there any way to view a Google Map online with the labeling much reduced, if not eliminated?

We’ve got Google Earth here at the office, although not all the licenses appear to be equally powered. I know of no way to see any kind of street view in my version of Google Earth. Google Maps gives exactly the street view I need, just with a little too much clutter.

Thanks in advance for any advice.

Create a Google Maps API Key and you’ll be able to build a custom version where you can control how much data gets displayed, as well as your own data if desired.

Thanks, Dorjän. I found an online set of instructions, but it looks more involved than I’d hoped:

If an API Key is required, and there’s no stock way to do it through Google Maps itself … I will do a little Photoshop scrubbing. There’s only a handful of labels to remove, thankfully.

If you don’t need it to be “live”, but just need one map to show to people, I think your plan makes the most sense.

You can remove the labels using the “feature” parameter on the URL. Here’s an example:|element:labels|visibility:off

Of course you’ll want to set the size, center and zoom parameters to what you want. Keep everything after and including the “style=” to disable labels.

Weird, viewing my previous post on one computer displays the URL correctly, but on my phone it shows some of the ampersand characters as the string “& amp;”. If you see the latter, just change those 5 characters to a single ampersand.

I just wanted to make sure you knew there are quite a few other “slippy” map services besides Google Maps. I like the accuracy of, the look of Apple Maps and ArcGIS Webmap, the geographic boundaries shown on, the open nature of and The National Map.

Here’s a list of various services you might want to look at before digging into modifying Google Maps.

Does it have to be Google Maps? Because with a little fiddling you can do this with OpenStreetMap. Combined with Maperitive, you can even get a nice vectorized graphic (like a SVG) where each independently visible layer has different features (roads, business names, etc.).

Are the “simplified road map” or “no labels” options at KMLMap what you’re looking for?

The “simplified road map” feature at KMLMap was exactly what I needed – thanks for the recommendation!

Mr. Downtown and psychonaut, thank you for your suggestions. I will compare different sites and see which ones seem the most suited for given future tasks. Nice to have a bigger toolkit.

markn+, I didn’t know about setting parameters in the address bar – thanks for that tip.