Yesterday Google Blogoscoped pointed out a hack for your Google Maps that would allow you to zoom much farther that you might think in just a few steps.

  1. Select the location you’d like to zoom in on and switch to satellite view.
  2. Zoom in as far as it will let you, and then click on the “link to this page” which is found in the top right corner.
  3. Replace the “z” parameter in the URL with a larger value like 20, 23, etc.
  4. You’re all set! If more detail is available, it will show it.


The key word in that last step is if. Every location that I tried to zoom further in on didn’t work.  I went back to the Google Blogoscoped blog to see what everybody was saying about it, and it appears as though most of the images that I’ve seen where people have been able to zoom in to extremely close levels were from Google’s Australia Day 2007 fly-over.

Other images of animals in Africa (like the image of camels above) are most likely from the National Geographic project with Google where more than 92,000 photos were taken over a period of a year by an aero-photographer all across the country.

A couple of places where this trick is known to work is right over the Googleplex in California, and in New York. I gave New York a try, and it actually worked at a Zoom level of 20. Below is the before and after picture in New York.

Googlezoom2 Googlezoom1

Give it a try, if you find another location where this works, post it in the comments below.