(I asked this in SO General - but then thought it might be better here - sorry for the cross-post!)

Using the API, is it possible to turn off the 3D terrain in the Google Maps satellite view? I'd like to get the imagery without it being warped by the 3D surface.

  • Can you please provide some more context to your question? Perhaps include some code so that we know what you're doing. I assume this is the javascript api and you're making a webmap.
    – Alex Leith
    Aug 26 '15 at 4:36
  • Yes the JS API. I've played with the examples and can see how to create a map, start in 'satellite' view, enable/disable UI elements etc., but I can't find any APIs that suggest you can have the satellite view without the globe.
    – Kyudos
    Aug 26 '15 at 4:55
  • 1
    Actually I think this is what I want: To turn off 3D: google.com/maps/?force=canvas To turn on 3D: google.com/maps/?force=webgl but is that in the API?
    – Kyudos
    Aug 26 '15 at 5:21

You can set up a basic map using the Google Maps Javascript API like this:

(just dump it in a file named example.html and save it, then double click it)

<!DOCTYPE html>
    <title>Simple Map</title>
    <meta name="viewport" content="initial-scale=1.0">
    <meta charset="utf-8">
      html, body {
        height: 100%;
        margin: 0;
        padding: 0;
      #map {
        height: 100%;
    <div id="map"></div>

var map;
function initMap() {
  map = new google.maps.Map(document.getElementById('map'), {
    center: {lat: -34.397, lng: 150.644},
    zoom: 8,
    mapTypeId: google.maps.MapTypeId.SATELLITE

    <script src="https://maps.googleapis.com/maps/api/js?callback=initMap"
        async defer></script>

Obviously, you can change the starting zoom and center by changing the options in the initMap function.

You can pan and zoom to your desired start view and load up your web-browser's console (on Chrome type Ctrl + Shift + J) and run the command 'map.getCenter()' and 'map.getZoom()' and use these values.

Google maps in Chrome console

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