What does a pink area with dashed lines mean on Google Maps? For example, Julian, CA.

  • Julian is not an incorporated city so there is no boundary for that.
  • The area highlighted is not the boundary for the Julian zip code, 92036.
  • It is also not the boundary for the main Julian phone exchange, (760)765-xxxx.
  • It is not a collection of sub-divisions as the southern edge divides parts of Imperial Dr. even though both sides of the line are in the same sub-division.
  • It is not the boundary for any fires in the last century.

Also, where is this documented?

2 Answers 2


These are city and sub-locality boundaries that are displayed when you search for a specific locality.

  • I'll try to locate the document for this - I do remember seeing this but don't have it handy. Feb 24, 2012 at 23:05

This means the area is highlighted due to one of your searches. A reader at the Google Operating System blog further explains this:

When you search for a city or a county or a ZIP Code, Google Maps now highlights the boundaries of what you searched for. If you are zoomed out, the whole area is shaded pink. If you zoom in a bit, it has just a big pink border with grey shading. Zoom in even more and it's a dashed boundary with grey shading.

Comment by Rodney G on "Highlight Areas in Google Maps"

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