I'm wondering what the difference beween those yellowish and the grey buildings is in Google Maps.
I marked a few of the yellowish building as an example in the picture below. Yellowish buildings on Google Maps

5 Answers 5


Orange buildings are "interesting", according to Google. In my experience with areas that I am familiar with, these are buildings that are "popular", as likely determined by how many people visit, check in there, etc.


Here's a recent blog post from Google with some information on this: https://maps.googleblog.com/2016/07/discover-action-around-you-with-updated.html

We determine “areas of interest” [orange/yellow areas] with an algorithmic process that allows us to highlight the areas with the highest concentration of restaurants, bars and shops. In high-density areas like NYC, we use a human touch to make sure we’re showing the most active areas.


Orange buildings represent areas of interest determined by an algorithm.

  • Could you add a source or reference for this statement?
    – kwah
    Commented Oct 18, 2016 at 20:11

According to this Google Maps Help Forum where an answer has been marked by a Google Maps Community Manager:

  • White roads = Normal streets
  • Yellow roads = Main streets/roads
  • Orange roads = Highways

  • Very light gray = Normal areas (houses, buildings, etc)

  • Green = Parks
  • Light green = Forests
  • Light brown = Universities
  • Grey = Factories, harbours and other heavy duty areas.
  • Ligh red = Hospitals
  • 4
    Note: the referenced answer is from 2011 and may be outdated. Commented Oct 18, 2016 at 15:45
  • 2
    In terms of actual correlation with what's on the ground, "green = there might be something park-like in this general area". Google is spectacularly bad at mapping the larger parks around me.
    – Mark
    Commented Oct 18, 2016 at 22:10
  • @Mark - Yes, now that you mention it, I have noticed something similar in areas around me too...
    – Joseph
    Commented Oct 19, 2016 at 8:56

I live at an Apartment complex, having three main buildings. One of them is yellowed, the others are Grey. Make some sense of that.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.