Some colors are obvious, but some are not (at least to me). For example, what does it mean when an area is shaded pink?

  • Pink are usually hospitals or medical offices. – Joel H Apr 7 '12 at 20:58

Here is an official Google blog post that contains a color legend: https://maps.googleblog.com/2016/07/discover-action-around-you-with-updated.html

To summarize:

  • Orange road - freeway
  • Yellow road - highway
  • Light orange background - "area of interest"
  • Pink background - hospital
  • Light brown background - school
  • Light green background - park
  • Light gray background - normal land
  • Blue background - water
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If I search by postal code, the area for that postal code has a pink outline, when zooming back, the whole section is covered in pink. Same thing for a City, or a county , state, or even country.
So any area that is a specific region for the search input it highlights in pink.

Some of the legend info varies on map type and region.

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White roads = Normal streets
Yellow roads = main streets/roads
Orange roads = highways
Very light gray = Normal areas (houses, buildings, etc)
green = Parks
Light green = forest
Light brown = Universities
Grey = Factories, harbors and other heavy duty areas.

And one thing what I specially simply love!
Light red = hospitals.

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  • 1
    Do you have a source for this? Or is it just your observation? – ale Apr 24 '15 at 23:01
  • I can't believe this; I see light green in some areas that are desert (no forest!) – Michael Jun 3 '16 at 19:26

Sharing my recent findings.

  1. Green = National Parks, Forrest and Preserves
  2. Light Tan = Native American Indian Reservations/Tribal Areas
  3. Slightly Darker Tan = Military land

I observed this while researching Arizona, then on tips and hunches matched it up with various maps found via search for "maps of Arizona Native American Reservations" and "maps of military installations" which brought up maps on USGS and other sites, so I am absolutely confident this is correct.

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Try this site for a Legend it is from the google help page.


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  • 2
    If you could briefly describe what is at the link in the body of your answer, that would be helpful. – jonsca Jan 20 '17 at 4:04

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