New Cloud Styling Overview

Preview release of cloud-based maps styling

Expressive map showing a map with Mount Rainier in blue surrounded by the green of a park

The Google Maps Platform offers Cloud-based maps styling in the Google Cloud Console, letting you create a customized map experience for your users without having to update your apps' code each time you make a map style change. You can create map styles that select colors and set visibility for features on maps that appear in your JavaScript, iOS, and Android applications.

This preview release of new cloud styling capabilities provides several enhancements to the existing cloud styling:

  • More map features to style: This release includes more than 100 basemap features to customize, including some new categories such as Entertainment, Recreation, and Services, which each have several child features. For example, Services contains several child features, including ATM, Bank, Gas, and Restroom. For the full list, see What you can customize on a map.
  • Improved map style editor interface: Streamlined process with all styleable elements in one pane, plus improvements to visibility settings (inheritance/on/off).

Why use the new cloud styling preview

With this new preview of cloud styling, you can create more engaging and informative maps and update them more simply:

  • More map features: Customize more map features with almost 100 individual map style elements.
  • Maps load more quickly after the first use: The performance of vector maps has improved. The initial startup time may be slightly slower the first time a user loads a map as the map style is downloaded and cached, but subsequent views and pan/zoom movement of the map are faster. Raster tiles also benefit from this new approach by no longer being constrained by the number of custom styles, but they also may take slightly longer to load.

What can you do with the new cloud styling

You can do the following with the new cloud-based styling:
  • Use a no-code style editor: A designer can create and preview a style to match your goals and branding without needing to code.
  • Change styles without code changes: Draft and test map style changes without any changes to your code once the map ID is in place.
  • Style more map features: Change the visibility and color of more map features, such as roads, buildings, bodies of water, points of interest, and transit routes.

How cloud styling works

Map styles are stored and edited in the Google Maps Platform Cloud Console. Your application uses a map ID to request a map style from the cloud console, and then applies it to your application. You can have several map IDs associated with the same map style, so your maps can look the same across your application platforms.

Graphic showing the same map style used for JavaScript, iOS, and Android applications using a map ID

How to use the new cloud styling

Try it out and let us know what you think! Click to let us know about Bugs or Feature Requests.

1 Get started Head over to Get started and set up to opt in, then check out the Tutorial.
2 Create a cloud-based map style See Create and use map styles.
3 Associate your map style with a map ID Create or open a map ID for your application type, and assign a map style to it. You can create additional map IDs for applications on other platforms and assign the same map style to them. For details, see Associate or remove map IDs on your style.
4 Add the map ID to your application Your maps then use the map style associated with that map ID. For details, see Add the map ID to your map.
5 Adjust your map style online Whenever you need to change your map style, edit it in cloud styling. For details, see Update a map style.
6 Publish your changed map style When you’re ready to update the map style, publish it, and your new map style shows up in your application. For details, see Publish a map style.

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