Configure a map

Select platform: Android iOS

This topic describes how to configure a map that was added to an iOS app using the Maps SDK for iOS.


After you add a map to your app, you can configure the initial and runtime settings of the map. For details about adding a map container, see the Add a map.

The initial map settings include the following:

  • The camera position, including: location, zoom, bearing and tilt. See Camera and View for details on camera positioning.
  • The map type.
  • The UI components to display, such as the zoom buttons and compass.
  • The gestures to enable.

At runtime you can configure these settings and some addition settings by updating the GMSMapView object.

Map types

You can customize your map with one of several map types. A map's type governs the overall representation of the map. For example, an atlas usually contains political maps that focus on showing boundaries, and road maps that show all of the roads for a city or region. The Maps SDK for iOS offers the following types of maps:

Map Type
Value: kGMSTypeNormal
Typical road map. Shows roads, some features built by humans, and important natural features like rivers. Road and feature labels are also visible.
Value: kGMSTypeHybrid
Satellite photograph data with road maps added. Road and feature labels are also visible.
Value: kGMSTypeSatellite
Satellite photograph data. Road and feature labels are not visible.
Value: kGMSTypeTerrain
Topographic data. The map includes colors, contour lines and labels, and perspective shading. Some roads and labels are also visible.
Value: kGMSTypeNone
No map tiles. The base map tiles will not be rendered. This mode is useful in conjunction with tile layers. The display of traffic data will be disabled when the map type is set to none.

Changing the map type

To set the type of a map, assign a new value to the GMSMapView.mapType property. For example, to display a satellite map type:


let camera = -33.8683, longitude: 151.2086, zoom: 6)
let mapView = .zero, camera: camera)
mapView.mapType = .satellite


GMSCameraPosition *camera = [GMSCameraPosition cameraWithLatitude:-33.8683
GMSMapView *mapView = [GMSMapView mapWithFrame:CGRectZero camera:camera];
mapView.mapType = kGMSTypeSatellite;

The chooser below shows a comparison of terrain, normal and hybrid maps for the same location:

Indoor maps

At high zoom levels, the Maps SDK for iOS will show floor plans for indoor spaces such as airports, shopping malls, large retail stores, and transit stations. Indoor floor plans are integrated into the default map tiles for the 'normal' map type (kGMSTypeNormal), and are automatically enabled when the user zooms in, and fade away when the map is zoomed out.

You can disable indoor maps by setting the indoorEnabled property of GMSMapView to NO.


mapView.isIndoorEnabled = false


mapView.indoorEnabled = NO;

Alternatively, you can disable just the Floor Picker control.

Adding floor plans

Floor plans are available in select locations. If floor plan data is not available for a building that you would like to highlight in your application, you can:

  • Add floor plans to Google Maps directly. This will make your plans are available to all users of Google Maps.
  • Display a floor plan as a Ground Overlay. This will enable only users of your application to view your floor plans.

The traffic layer

You can give your users the ability to view the map with traffic density information superimposed on top of it. This provides a visual summary of their local traffic situation. You can turn the traffic layer on and off by calling the trafficEnabled method. The following example shows how the traffic layer might appear on a map.

A Google map showing the traffic layer


By default, accessibility elements on the map are hidden. You may enable accessibility by setting the accessibilityElementsHidden property of GMSMapView to NO. This will cause accessibility elements to be generated for overlay objects (such as GMSMarker and info windows, GMSPolyline etc).


mapView.accessibilityElementsHidden = false


mapView.accessibilityElementsHidden = NO;

This property is as per the informal UIAccessibility protocol, except that the default value in the Maps SDK for iOS is YES.

My location

By default, no location data is shown on the map. You may enable the blue "My Location" dot and compass direction by setting myLocationEnabled on GMSMapView.


mapView.isMyLocationEnabled = true


mapView.myLocationEnabled = YES;

Enabling this feature will also provide the user's current location through the myLocation property. This property may not be immediately available - for example, if the user is prompted by iOS to allow access to this data. It will be nil in this case.


print("User's location: \(String(describing: mapView.myLocation))")


NSLog(@"User's location: %@", mapView.myLocation);

3D buildings

Many cities, when viewed close up, will have 3D buildings visible, as viewable in the image of Seattle, Washington below.

A 3D map of buildings in Seattle, Washington.

You can disable the 3D buildings by setting the corresponding GMSMapView property in Swift or Objective-C, as shown below:


mapView.isBuildingsEnabled = false


[mapView setBuildingsEnabled:NO];

Map padding

A Google Map is designed to fill the entire region defined by the GMSMapView. Several aspects of how the map appears and behaves are defined by the dimensions of the view:

  • The camera's target will reflect the center of the padded region.
  • Map controls are positioned relative to the edges of the map.
  • Legal information, such as copyright statements or the Google logo appear along the bottom edge of the map.

You can add padding around the edges of the map using the GMSMapView.padding property. The map will continue to fill the entire container, but text and control positioning, map gestures, and camera movements will behave as if it has been placed in a smaller space. This results in the following changes:

  • Camera movements via API calls or button presses (e.g., compass, my location) will be relative to the padded region.
  • GMSMapView.projection will return a projection that includes only the padded region.
  • UI controls will be offset from the edge of the container by the specified number of points.

Padding can be helpful when designing UIs that overlap some portion of the map. For example, in the below image, the map is padded along the top and right edges. Visible map controls and legal text will be displayed along the edges of the padded region, shown in green, while the map will continue to fill the entire container, shown in blue. In this example, you could float a menu over the right side of the map without obscuring map controls.

Map Padding

To add padding to your map, create a UIEdgeInsets object and pass it to the GMSMapView.padding property.


// Insets are specified in this order: top, left, bottom, right
let mapInsets = UIEdgeInsets(top: 100.0, left: 0.0, bottom: 0.0, right: 300.0)
mapView.padding = mapInsets


// Insets are specified in this order: top, left, bottom, right
UIEdgeInsets mapInsets = UIEdgeInsetsMake(100.0, 0.0, 0.0, 300.0);
mapView.padding = mapInsets;