Using Google Maps with ArcMap 10

09-30-2011 01:37 PM
New Contributor II
I am a college student using the evaluation version of ArcMap 10 for a project.

I would like to pull in Google Maps imagery into my ArcMap 10 maps. I understand that this can be done, but my question is: how? I'm a beginning ArcMap user and a lot of the Help items I've read through seem to be dead end: that is, I follow the directions on how to add tools, but the tool I am told to add isn't where the Help article says it should be... is it because I have an evaluation copy?

Can anyone direct me to a newbie-friendly, step-by-step instructions on how to do this? Or, can anyone point me toward a free source of detailed aerial maps that ArcMap can work with directly? I've found some USGS maps but they are all far too large scale to do me any good- I need to see individual buildings in some detail, well enough to get a decent measure of their footprint in square feet.
Tags (2)
54 Replies
New Contributor III

If you add it in your ArcGIS Server User Connection it should link to the WMS.Capture.JPG

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New Contributor III

Got it. Thanks for clarifying.

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Occasional Contributor

FYI the link has changed to only accept https now. 

New Contributor II
Most people are familiar with google maps and thats why they want to use it.  In the United States Bing imagery is superior, since they use digital globe 30cm imagery for the entire country while Google uses 1m imagery more often (especially rural areas).  

dluns - the easiest way is just to use the basemaps provided by esri, which are already built into arc10.
Regular Contributor
Equally, if your not working within the USA...similar differences can be found with Google.

Imagery with Bing for Iraq and Iran is not so good (only getting imagery to 1:60000) but surprisingly Google Maps is excellent where even in the rural Zagros mountains I can see individual outcrops and camp sites.

It all depend on what you want and where and researching where the best free data is and utilising it (just make sure you reference where the data has come from!)
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New Contributor III
I think it would be worthwhile finding out what the pros and cons are when comparing Bing maps and Google my opinion Bing maps work just fine (although both have small errors of accuracy and Bing Maps are of low resolution in areas outside of highly populated regions like Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia) however, Google as a brand has captivated the market for world coverage of aerial imagery and alot of qustions on this forum as ask how can I use it Google Maps in ArcMap?

But does Google really have 'better' imagery? or system?


A colleague at work just now pointed us to the following article comparing Bing to Google, giving the edge to Bing:

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New Contributor III

It all depends on where you are needing imagery.  I've seen areas where Google is better than Bing.  Also depends on what you're using it for in ArcGIS.  As for me, I am having to digitize in building outlines from the imagery, and I've found Google has provided the most current building structures on their imagery as opposed to Bing and ESRI imagery.  Again, it all depends on where you are and what you're doing with it.

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Occasional Contributor
Arc2Earth Data Services allows you to bring Google imagery into ArcMap (we are a Google OEM partner) It now supports layout view and projections, and the monthly subscription price ($49/m US) is reasonable for small or large projects.

more info:
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New Contributor
Has a solution been found to this?  Bing maps are nice but quite frankly just having the most up-to-date map is whats important (at least for my projects).  Google maps currently has the most up to date satellite picture by several months (or in the birds eye view on Bing by over 7 years) over Bing.
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Frequent Contributor
Another factor to consider is licensing.  From Google Earth:

"If your business is looking to use Google Earth for any external purpose, you will need to license Google Earth Pro. Examples of external use include using imagery from Google Earth in reports and presentations or otherwise creating materials that will be displayed or distributed outside of your organization."

Often, however, the Google imagery for the US is from the NAIP program, which provides free county wide mosaics through the USDA Data Gateway, and often many state GIS sites will have that imagery (and others) available in different tiling formats for downloading, or in their own WMS services.  GIS servers, such as the one at also serve up NAIP imagery.  ArcGIS online also has numerous imagery sources including NAIP.
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