I want to use a map downloaded from Google maps in my PhD thesis. Does Google allow me to do this? Do I need permission from Google?


Google provides you the right to employ a Google Maps map on your thesis. See Permission Guidelines for Google Maps and Google Earth (first two points of The basics and Using maps in print).

However, they ask you to provide correct attribution for those pictures. It will be something like “Map data ©20xx Google, Sanborn”. As they write, you have to find the correct copyright statement on the map you would like to reproduce in your thesis.

Alternatively, it may be possible for you to use OpenStreetMap which is Open Data material and has more permissive licensing.

  • There isn't a more straight-forward way? Like, add this line as a reference "Google bla bla bla..".
    – Pedro77
    Aug 18 '15 at 13:14
  • @Pedro77, the attribution sentence "Map data ©20xx Google, Sanborn" is quite straightforward. You just need to find the correct string, which is displayed on the map you want to insert. For example, the map of my university currently says "Map data © 2015 Google" (bottom right)
    – user7112
    Aug 18 '15 at 21:01
  • Ok nice, thanks. What about Street view or Sea View? There is only month and year.
    – Pedro77
    Aug 19 '15 at 11:53
  • @Pedro77 make sure you read the guidelines, as they mention the case of Street View. It seems that you cannot use a screenshot of Street View for a project unless the picture comes from Google API, or you embed it in a website. You need to contact them for different purposes: streetview-academic@google.com
    – user7112
    Aug 20 '15 at 13:35

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