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To start developing, please head over to our developer documentation.

Activate the Google Maps JavaScript API

To get you started we'll guide you through the Google Developers Console to do a few things first:

  1. Create or choose a project
  2. Activate the Google Maps JavaScript API and related services
  3. Create appropriate keys
Continue

Layers

Layers are objects on the map that consist of one or more separate items, but are manipulated as a single unit. Layers generally reflect collections of objects that you add on top of the map to designate a common association. The Google Maps JavaScript API manages the presentation of objects within layers by rendering their constituent items into one object (typically a tile overlay) and displaying them as the map's viewport changes. Layers may also alter the presentation layer of the map itself, slightly altering the base tiles in a fashion consistent with the layer. Note that most layers, by design, may not be accessed via their individual objects, but may only be manipulated as a unit.

Layers Overview

The Google Maps JavaScript API has several types of layers:

  • The Google Maps Data layer provides a container for arbitrary geospatial data. You can use the Data layer to store your custom data, or to display GeoJSON data on a Google map.
  • The Fusion Tables layer renders data contained in Google Fusion Tables.
  • The Heatmap layer renders geographic data using a Heatmap visualization.
  • The KML layer renders KML and GeoRSS elements into a Google Maps JavaScript API tile overlay.
  • The Traffic layer displays traffic conditions on the map.
  • The Transit layer displays the public transport network of your city on the map.
  • The Bicycling layer object renders a layer of bike paths and/or bicycle-specific overlays into a common layer. This layer is returned by default within the DirectionsRenderer when requesting directions of travel mode BICYCLING.

Add a layer

To add a layer to a map, you only need to call setMap(), passing it the map object on which to display the layer. Similarly, to hide a layer, call setMap(), passing null.

The below snippet centers the map on London, UK, and adds the Transit layer.

var mapOptions = {
  zoom: 13,
  center: new google.maps.LatLng(51.5,-0.11)
}

var map = new google.maps.Map(document.getElementById("map"), mapOptions);

var transitLayer = new google.maps.TransitLayer();
transitLayer.setMap(map);

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Google Maps JavaScript API
Google Maps JavaScript API
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