Add Google Maps to ArcMap and Pro

So you want to add Google Maps to ArcMap or Pro? Impossible you say? Well here is an early Christmas present just for you … yes you can!

Before you proceed, think about why you would want a crowd sourced Google Maps basemap in your GIS anyway? There are better solutions today, like the basemaps provided by ESRI or even your own creations. For a government agency, replacing authoritative GIS data with crowd sourced data might not be a good idea.

Back in early 2014, I took a look at adding Google Maps to ArcMap using some available programs/add-ins, but all were disappointing. In late 2019 I did find a way to add Google Maps to QGIS 3. Building on that example, I was able to do the same for ArcMap and Pro, but in a round about way.

To do this, you need an ArcGIS Online account. Once logged in, open a new web map then click on Add and select “Add Layer from Web”. You will see this popup:

Select “A Tile Layer” from the pulldown menu. In the URL field enter “https://mt1.google.com/vt/lyrs=r&x={col}&y={row}&z={level}” and check the box “Use as Basemap”. In the Title field, enter “Google Maps” and in the Credits field enter “Google”. Your popup should look similar:

With everything filled in, click the ADD LAYER button. BAM! There is Google Maps!

Note the little “Google” credit in the lower right of the map. That is a good thing, always give credit where credit is due.

Zoom into the area that you want and then save your web map. Make sure you share your web map too (Share settings).

Now startup ArcMap or Pro and connect to your ArcGIS Online account. In ArcMap it is under File > Sign In. In Pro it is in the upper right hand corner and if you are not signed in it will display “Not signed in”. Once you login, you can add your web map.

In ArcMap select File > ArcGIS Online and then in the search box type “google web map”. You should see your web map listed like mine:

Click the “Open” link and you should see it in ArcMap!

If you are using Pro, it would be in your Catalog window under the Portal tab.

Right click on it and choose “Add And Open”. And there you go!

If you prefer the satellite image or other images that Google provides, here is a list of Google Maps layers that you can add to ArcGIS Online then to ArcMap and Pro:

Google Maps: https://mt1.google.com/vt/lyrs=r&x={col}&y={row}&z={level}
Google Satellite: http://www.google.cn/maps/vt?lyrs=s@189&gl=cn&x={col}&y={row}&z={level}
Google Satellite Hybrid: https://mt1.google.com/vt/lyrs=y&x={col}&y={row}&z={level}
Google Terrain: https://mt1.google.com/vt/lyrs=p&x={col}&y={row}&z={level}
Google Roads: https://mt1.google.com/vt/lyrs=h&x={col}&y={row}&z={level}

You could even add each as a layer to one web map, then once added to ArcMap and Pro, you can turn each on or off as needed.

Enjoy and Merry Christmas 2020! -mike

5 thoughts on “Add Google Maps to ArcMap and Pro

  1. sadly, I am pretty sure this will still be violating the Google Terms of Service –
    https://cloud.google.com/maps-platform/terms
    specifically 3.2.3 Restrictions Against Misusing the Services.
    “(e) No Use With Non-Google Maps. To avoid quality issues and/or brand confusion, Customer will not use the Google Maps Core Services with or near a non-Google Map in a Customer Application. For example, Customer will not (i) display or use Places content on a non-Google map, (ii) display Street View imagery and non-Google maps on the same screen, or (iii) link a Google Map to non-Google Maps content or a non-Google map.”

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