Higher resolution Google Maps

Google has increased the resolution on some of their satellite maps, but it’s a little tricky to find. Based on what I’ve found the higher resolution hasn’t been built into the interface yet, so you’ll have to hack the URL a bit. Here’s how to do it:

  1. using Google Maps find the location you want, making sure you are using hybrid or satellite.
  2. click on “Link to this page” on the top right corner of the map (here is the link to my favorite bar in San Francisco, Specs in the North Beach)
  3. In the URL look for this ‘=h&z=19&’ — that number controls the zoom.
  4. Now zoom the map to the max, then start fiddling with the URL, increasing the number.

I found that you can increase the zoom to 20 before it breaks, but your mileage may vary depending on what location you’re looking at. Have at it Google Map geek!