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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

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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.

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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.

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Orange buildings represent areas of interest determined by an algorithm.

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  • Could you add a source or reference for this statement?
    – kwah
    Commented Oct 18, 2016 at 20:11
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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
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  • 4
    Note: the referenced answer is from 2011 and may be outdated. Commented Oct 18, 2016 at 15:45
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    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
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I live at an Apartment complex, having three main buildings. One of them is yellowed, the others are Grey. Make some sense of that.

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