Google Earth Map Overlays

Here is a Google Earth KML network link that displays a big variety of tile based online maps (road maps, terrain and contour maps, alternative satellite image sets, etc) in the area you are currently viewing.

This allows you to use your favourite map in 3D together with other Google Earth layers to plan a trip, perform geospatial analyses, or simply have better map sources where the data provided by Google is not as good:

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Currently, 47 different map sources are supported. Most of these maps are based on OpenStreetMap, but there also layers for Google Maps, Bing Maps and an extensive list of regional map providers. You can switch between maps by clicking on them in the side bar:

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Whenever you change the view in Google Earth, the image overlays are automatically updated. Zoom levels for map tiles are calculated independently for different regions in the Google Earth screen, based on distance to the virtual camera and on latitude. Consequently, maps are updated very quickly and the number of map tiles loaded per update is more or less constant, even if the view in Google Earth is tilted.

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Some more questions about how it works are covered in the FAQ.


To get started, simply download the file map-overlays-for-google-earth-combined.kmz (please log in first, see here why) and open it in Google Earth. It contains all map sources that this application provides (version 9).

Alternatively, separate KML network links for groups of maps or even individual map sources can be found here:

OpenStreetMap MapnikMapQuest Open MapnikMapQuest Open AerialOpenStreetMap Komoot
OpenStreetMap HikebikemapOpenStreetMap Cycle MapOpenStreetMap Public TransportCloudmade The Original
Cloudmade Fine LineCloudmade TouristCloudmade Red AlertCloudmade Fresh
Cloudmade Pale DawnCloudmade Midnight CommanderOpenStreetMap GPS TracesOpenStreetMap Mapnik B&W
Google Maps
Google Maps RoadGoogle Maps TerrainGoogle Maps ChinaGoogle Maps Korea
Nokia Here Maps
Nokia Here Maps RoadNokia Here Maps TerrainNokia Here Maps Aerial
Bing Maps
Bing Maps RoadBing Maps AerialBing Maps HybridBing Maps China
European Maps
European Maps OpenTopoMapOutdooractive Maps GermanyOutdooractive Maps AustriaOutdooractive Maps South Tyrol
Norgeskart Maps (Norway) Topo (Land)Norgeskart Maps (Norway) Topo GrayscaleNorgeskart Maps (Norway) Sea (Sjø)Norgeskart Maps (Norway) Base (Enkel) Maps (Norway) Maps (Norway) AerialEuropean Maps 2GIS (Russia)European Maps Freemap Hiking (Slovakia)
North American Maps
North American Maps OSM Terrain USUSGS The National Map Area FillsUSGS The National Map StructuresUSGS The National Map Contours
USGS The National Map Hydrography
World Maps
World Maps Maps-For-Free ReliefWorld Maps Nasa Blue MarbleWorld Maps Mapbox Satellite


Do you have comments, bug reports, or suggestions for other map sources? Please leave them below.

Treadly (2010-12-22 13:41:11):

Fabulous software!

Wraith (2010-12-25 04:44:13):

One huge gigantic THANK YOU! Its been really tough trying to piece together hikes with google maps in firefox and the google earth standalone. This is tremendously helpful and greatly appreciated.


Asfandyar Ali (2011-08-29 23:22:08):

thats one big fantastic thing ive ever seen. a very very big thanku developer
how can we put black color to streets as they are not very clear

Lajos Misurda (2011-09-13 14:25:58):

Great job, Congratulation for the version 2. Just an idea, could you display a blank (black or white) map background?

ianrey (2011-09-14 16:20:17):

I'd like to add my thanks, and congratulations on the update, it works fantastically.

MartinB (2011-09-26 12:57:30):

Very thank you!!! Government sites and many services should implement this type of GE-map-overlay in their sites. We have real nice local government GIS-Maps, some with GPX, GeoJPG and more features (german & italian language): - here it is even possible to download DXF/SHP (top left download): How difficult would it be to make a ge-map-overlay for the

Martin Loetzsch (2011-09-27 20:54:17):

Hi Martin,

these maps are indeed fantastic! But I'm afraid that they can't be directly incorporated in this application, because they don't follow this url scheme for map tiles:

On the other hand, cloning and adapting the code for your maps should be doable (given that there is a way to map coordinates to image urls).

Greetings, Martin

MartinB (2011-10-02 10:26:25):

Thank you very much for your reply! With the export to GeoJPG and the use it is possible to convert small areas (some km) to GE-Overlay (.kmz). For bigger areas (over 50 km) there seems to be an increasing gap between some of theGeoJPG-corners and the GE-Coordinates.
I have to lobby with others the local government, to add the "tile server"-url-scheme and maybe also directly a ge-map-overlay-application ;-)

Pedromaschio (2011-11-23 13:21:30):

Tnahk you very munch. Great idea that works perfect

Martin Loetzsch (2012-02-29 20:02:48):

Version 3 is online now. It utilizes resources more efficiently and contains 12 new map sources.


The openpistemap layer does not work anymore. However, the osmarender maps also contain all ski lifts and slopes.


Glaikind (2012-03-31 14:19:25):

Wow! Got it to work. Amazing! Thanks.

Stefan Blser (2012-05-23 08:55:44):

Very good Application!
Unfortunately the "outdooractive"-Map doesn't works anymore. have changed their servers a short time ago. Please look at this problem - the outdooractive map ist very good and i would be very happy if i could use it in Google Earth again.

Martin Loetzsch (2012-06-13 21:13:22):

Thanks for notifying, it's fixed.

Additionally, there's now new layers for the USGS national map:http://ge-map-overlays.appspot...

Dustin (2012-09-25 20:46:01):

Great job, very useful. However, I am attempting to draw a polygon in Google Earth on top of the Bing Aerial overlay - which isn't working. The Bing Aerial is layered on top of the polygon and I cannot find a way to move the polygon on top (unless I change the height to a few meters above ground, which is just a band aid and not the best fix).

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks again.

Marc Lacoste (2012-10-09 18:03:22):

Hi, congrats for the great overlay!

indeed the openpistemap layer does not work. I can't find the osmarender maps though, neither in the combined nor the openstreetmap overlay

where can i find it?

Martin Loetzsch (2012-10-10 17:32:16):

Unfortunately the osmarender tiles are also offline, so there is currently no option for pistes here. For only seeing the lifts, the mapnik layer has them at higher zoom levels

Josh (2012-10-21 15:09:56):

This is a good resource. I have an issue where the Bing maps are drawing over other layers. When I draw a filled polygon, it gets covered up by the Bing map. I want my polygons to draw above the bing map. Any ideas?

Martin Loetzsch (2012-10-25 20:08:48):

Hi Dustin,

the map tiles are "clamped to ground" (

So I think the only option you have is indeed to put them some distance above the ground.

Cheers, Martin

Niels Keurentjes (2012-12-10 15:54:55):

Great project, works like a charm! I found you while looking for a solution to a problem I've been having with Google Maps. I have a Maps API based tool which allows people to draw outlines on certain outdoor elements, however we have several situations where the aerial photos on Maps are so outdated they don't show the objects. Bing however has far more recent data.

Given that the Google Maps API has full support to put a different 'tile provider' underneath like in I set out to see whether I could put Bing's photos in our Google Maps app. Your site has shown that it should be possible.... but do you have any idea how? Could your Bing Aerial View solution be plugged into the Maps API?

Thanks in advance :)

Vitaly Kulpin (2013-03-05 10:42:36):

hi, can you add tiles for 2gis maps? We have detailed map for Russia :)

Bruno Meira (2013-04-29 20:33:06):

there is a way to make a movie with the map overlays? the image was not refreshing, any ideais?

Pattara Kiatisevi (2013-05-15 05:38:43):

This is great resource. Could you add layers from "Longdo Map" popular online Thailand map web site?

jacknoname (2013-05-20 17:48:26):

What about an OSM layer with transparent background? It would look great.

Martin Loetzsch (2013-05-20 17:53:42):

That can be done using the opacity slider in the side bar of google earth (see the third animation on the top of this page).

Fernando Adame (2013-06-18 18:32:15):

thank you very much for sharing this app! you did an amazing job!

Guest (2013-06-20 21:17:40):

Hey great base map... however when i try combining with my
radius around a point data KML file this happens... i have tried adjusting kml altitude,
but this just causes distortion... any advice please?

Martin Loetzsch (2013-09-26 22:45:35):

After quite some time there's a new version that mainly updates the application to a new Python runtime (because Google deprecated the old one) and that slightly restructures the groups of map sources.

In addition to that, the Google Maps Terrain and Mapquest Open Aerial layers work again.

Furthermore, the Outdooractive Germany layer again shows the hand-drawn topographic maps in the highest zoom level.

I will have a bit more time in the following days, so if have any suggestions, please post them here.

SM637 (2013-09-28 16:27:12):

Thank you so much for updating the terrain view! How can I cite this?

Martin Loetzsch (2013-09-29 11:59:33):

Disqus has permalinks for comments (under "Share" below each comment): http://ge-map-overlays.appspot...

Martin Loetzsch (2013-09-29 12:01:24):

Hi, I'm afraid that due to the way how kml works, adjusting the altitude is the only option. See also this reply: http://ge-map-overlays.appspot...

Lim SH (2013-11-12 07:34:53):

would appreciate if you could create overlay from
contain satellite imagery not available in google or bing maps
Many thanks in advance.

Martin Loetzsch (2013-11-24 23:02:26):

Thanks, they are here now: http://ge-map-overlays.appspot...

Martin Loetzsch (2013-11-24 23:03:44):

Another solution is to use transparent shape images: http://ge-map-overlays.appspot...

Martin Loetzsch (2013-11-24 23:06:21):

Thanks for the tip! I now managed to add it.

If you want to do me a favor, please help other people finding it by adding a Russian description of what it is in the comments of http://ge-map-overlays.appspot... . Thanks!

Martin Loetzsch (2013-11-24 23:12:07):

Version 7 adds two fantastic new topographic maps (Komoot and OpenTopoMap), a Russian map (2gis) and 3 Layers from (Nokia):


Tasmanian Geographic (2014-01-08 05:22:10):

This is brilliant! Good work on this!

stefffan (2014-02-07 11:12:11):

I have a suggestion for a new map source: OpenStreetMap GPS Traces.

Tile server:


Martin Loetzsch (2014-02-09 17:18:14):

Thanks, that's an extremely useful layer! I'll try to add it in two weeks

peter (2014-02-12 22:13:40):

a Nautical sea chart would be useful, there is a way of getting something like Navionics web app into gogle earth?

Ugur Isik (2014-02-26 08:16:15):

Nokia here maps overlay is not working at the moment?

Andy (2014-02-27 18:01:56):

thanks for that great service! can you add the outdooractive winter map with the layer showing the pith? it's very useful for planning ski and snowboard trips.

Stian Andre Aagnes (2014-03-09 11:20:13):

Great work!
I have an request for two map source to put in this package.

Its a norwegian goverment free map source called topo2 by
It shows norway all the way down to how a single house is oriented

The url to put in the google maps api for using the maps is

Here is the link for the exact resolutions that would be used with the google maps api and statkart maps.

Here is an example:
Look into the source code for this one too and it will show this tileUrlTemplate: '{Z}&x={X}&y={Y}',

2. The norwegian polar institute maps of Svalbard

Keep up the great work!isPng:true,opacity:1.0

Pattara Kiatisevi (2014-03-10 00:39:20):


Martin Loetzsch (2014-03-10 22:04:21):

Hi Stian,

thanks for suggesting the statkart maps, they are really great and I added them here:

If you want to do me to me a favor, then please add a Norwegian description in the comments box of that site so that it can be found by Norwegians on Google.

About the Svalbard map: I didn't manage to find a working tile url.


Martin Loetzsch (2014-03-10 22:09:09):

Works again

Martin Loetzsch (2014-03-10 22:19:35):

Hi Peter,

the Navionics maps does not work with this site (it has a different tile url scheme), and currently there is no good sea chart out there yet.

In one year or so might be usable.

Martin Loetzsch (2014-03-10 23:02:37):

Here it is:

Martin Loetzsch (2014-03-10 23:11:57):

This app is now at version 8:

- the nokia here maps work again
- new layer "osm gps traces": http://ge-map-overlays.appspot...
- four new Norwegian maps from Norgeskat: http://ge-map-overlays.appspot...
- some smaller fixes

Thomas Hirt (2014-03-11 09:57:59):

Hi Martin and team

Extremly helpfull this overlays !

My suggestions:

Norwegian aerials: go to "Foto"

Switzerland maps and aerials: for aerials go to "Luftbild"

And primary for the Russian aerea




Ugur Isik (2014-03-11 11:30:00):

Thanks appreciated

ianrey (2014-03-12 21:04:46):

Really wish you would allow the overlays to be used even if a new version is available. It's quite tedious to have to download and install every time. Especially because I like to rearrange the order, and delete overlays I don't like or won't use.

Martin Loetzsch (2014-03-13 21:52:18):

In the beginning I had separate versioning for map groups and even single map sources. This had two problems: It was quite difficult to get working right and people never came back to this site (which pays the server costs through ads).

I could build a more fine-grained update solution, but that would require me to ask for a usage fee, which I guess nobody wants.


Stan (2014-04-17 10:19:23):

Hi Martin,

this is really cool! Thanks a lot!
Is it maybe possible to publish the python code? I would really like to use it with my own layers locally!

Thanks a lot!

iusauser (2014-07-23 07:46:29):


Martin Loetzsch (2014-10-26 21:21:01):

Hi Stan,

I use this site to make some minor advertising money on the side. If I would publish the code, everybody could fire up it's own version on Google AppEngine in 10 minutes, which is certainly not in my interest.

But I'm willing to share the math part:

If you also read a bit about KML NetworkLinkControls, then it should be fairly easy to build something similar



Martin Loetzsch (2014-10-26 22:28:49):

Hi Thomas,

thanks for the suggestions. The maps are now here: http://ge-map-overlays.appspot...

The swiss maps are unfortunately not compatible with this site and Yandex blocks the Google Earth client.


Martin Loetzsch (2014-10-26 22:35:00):

Version 9 is out now. It

- fixes the issue where links were sometimes pointing to

- repairs some broken map sources

- introduces three new layers:
http://ge-map-overlays.appspot... (2x)

Enjoy, Martin

Thomas Hirt (2014-10-27 07:23:27):

Hi Martin

Many thanks for your effort !

I'm daily active on GE and your overlays are a big help for safe time when compare with other resources.

A. Mccormick (2014-11-06 02:49:02):

Jesus Christ! This webpage is literally the best thing that has ever happened to Google Earth!

DW (2014-11-21 07:44:28):

Wow amazing

Jonathan Mousserion (2014-11-22 16:48:40):

Great job! But I want to use the OSM routing in Google Earth, is it possible?

Martin Loetzsch (2014-11-22 21:56:14):

Hi Jonathan, this site displays map tiles and nothing else. Routing using OpenStreetMap data in Google Earth is certainly possible, but I don't have time to build such a thing.


Jonathan Mousserion (2014-11-22 23:30:33):

Ok, thanks for the info.

Leo Zhang (2014-12-22 05:15:02):

Would it be possible to have layers from Apple Maps/Imagery? You have Google, Bing, and Nokia, which are all major mapping service provider.

Alain John Sotto (2015-01-30 03:54:02):

Why are the tiles do not display the contours but X marks only?

luigich (2015-02-03 01:34:27):

Great site! I was going to develop a tool to do precisely this but you already got it. The only map sources I would suggest to add are:

a) Caltopo: High res USGS 7.5 Topo maps
"http://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws...." + z + "/" + p.x + "/" + p.y + ".png" }, maxZoom: 16

b) Thunderforest Outdoor
"" + z + "/" + p.x + "/" + p.y + ".png" }, maxZoom: 16

And even better... leave it open for people to provide their own tile source settings. But I understand that could create a lot of junk.

luigich (2015-02-03 02:50:46):

One more suggestion:
http://services.arcgisonline.c...{Z}/{Y}/{X}.png maxZoom: 15

Martin Loetzsch (2015-02-03 19:15:08):

It means that the server that host the tiles does not exist anymore or blocks the Google Earth client. With which map source do you see the X marks?

Martin Loetzsch (2015-02-03 19:15:33):

Thanks, I will look at them next week.

Beautiful Nation (2015-02-06 21:58:54):

this is an amazing resource and we at Beautiful Nation Project appreciate ut

hannelore (2015-02-13 09:54:46):


is there any way to show administrative boundaries in google earth through this tool?



Martin Loetzsch (2015-02-13 19:42:41):

I don't know of a tile set with administrative boundaries only. But in some areas, the OSM maps have pretty accurate data.

luigich (2015-02-18 18:43:27):

Did you have a chance to add these Topo maps to the dataset? It should be easy as they use the same XYZ tile mapping as Google. I'm really eager to be able to use them...

Martin Loetzsch (2015-02-19 14:18:34):

not yet, unfortunately

GoogleEarthUser1 (2015-02-27 19:56:18):

Martin, Thank you times a million. Google really should pay you handsomely for this (better yet, hire you!!). Really and truly, this should have been an included Google Earth feature from the get-go. But your clever .kml works perfectly! Outstanding work.

Martin Loetzsch (2015-02-27 21:18:20):

Thanks. In enjoy it myself very much very often and feedback like this lets me keep this public.

Google Maps
Nokia Here Maps
Bing Maps
European Maps
North American Maps
World Maps