iD: Google Maps as a Custom Background Layer


Is it possible to use Google Maps as a custom background layer with the iD Editor - if not do any of the other browser based editors support this?

I see the iD browser supports the {x}, {y} and {z} tags - but I think Google can only use a Lat/Long format. Can anyone assist?

Kind Regards,

The first question which comes to mind is: why would you want/need this? We don’t have permission to copy data from Google. We are allowed to use Bing imagery and at a more local scale we have permission to use other imagery, but not Google’s.

As soon as we do get that permission (around the time hell freezes over or thereabout), you will see that it becomes a trivial option to use Google maps/imagery and whatnot.

Also, have a looksee at JOSM. It’s especially useful to be able to use the other more local imagery and that’s only one of the possibilities.



Thank you for your reply.

The resolution of the Google Earth imagery is greater than the Bing imagery.

I will have a look at JOSM - thank you for the suggestion.


I realise the resolution is better and usually the images are also taken more recently. We’re creating a database with freely licensed data though, so it’s important to make sure it’s all done correctly, as we don’t have the funds to defend ourselves in a legal battle.

Where are you mapping, maybe there is an alternative supplier of imagery available.

The world is moving more and more towards open data, so if nothing is avalaible at the moment, it’s often only a matter of time.


I am mapping around Brazil - I have not identified any free data sources.

The lack of free data sources does not give you permission to copy from copyrighted sources. If your edits are based on Google Maps, whether their street map or their satellite layer, then your edits will be deleted at the first opportunity. Don’t waste your time and ours.