What I am doing:

I am working on google maps and the application currently allows user to mark address on the map, then the application saves the coords to database.

My question

The map currently shows the Roadmap and here is my confusion, I want the user marked place to be as accurate as possible and I think roadmaps just show the overview of a street, they may show a place in the form of blocks but I think user will not be able to figure out his/her correct place (or it will take time to figure out).

So, I wanted to ask should I use "Satellite" map or should I go with the roadmap.

I think I should go with satellite map but it looks a little bit messy for a new user who have a little experience about map. I don't want someone to skip the step of adding accurate place just because it is looking a little messy.

I am attaching this image which explains what I mean by messy:

Both the images are of same place

Sat view:

enter image description here

Roadmap view:

enter image description here

As you can see how cleaner and detailed roadmap view appears.

Please give me your valuable suggestion. The user age group that will access my tool will be mostly between 25 to 60 years (and I am concerned for >45 age).

Also this is my first question on UX, so please keep calm if you smell stupidity in my question.

1 Answer 1


Obviously the roadmap makes it easier to find a location than a satellite image. However, you could consider adding some detail to that image:

Google hybrid map

And even zooming in once the general area has been indicated:

Google hybrid map at high zoom

It would be possible to swap between roadmap and hybrid view (satellite/aerial + drawn detail) depending on the zoom level required for the operation. You may well find it easier to start zoomed out with just a roadmap and zoom in progressively to reach a high level of detail.

However, your target audience may be reluctant to indicate exactly where they live at the level of my second image. Older people can be more suspicious and wary of divulging detailed data. I'm not aware of any objective data supporting this empirical experience and it might be a cultural phenomenon, so although it should probably be borne in mind it might not apply to your case.

  • Mixing and matching sat-view and the roadmaps is very easy. Use gmaps-samples-v3.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/styledmaps/wizard/… to play around with it.
    – Tom
    Commented Jun 27, 2014 at 8:24
  • This was going to be my exact suggestion. Without the road map overlay it would be very hard to find a location as quickly as it would if it were there.
    – Dave Haigh
    Commented Jul 28, 2014 at 11:25

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