How to Use the Advanced Search on Google Maps

By Will Conley

Google Maps added bicycling directions in 2010.
i Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images

You may know how to look up an address on Google Maps, maybe even get simple directions, and that is laudable for an ordinary civilian. However, only when you can find both a sushi bar and a fish-and-chips joint both located within one block of a whale-watching ship docked in the Old Harbor in Reykjavik, Iceland, can you truly be considered an advanced Google Maps user.

Go to the Google Maps home page.

Enter a search term into the Google Maps search field. It could be a full address, the name of a city or region, a business, an organization, a consumer product like "groceries" or even an abstract term like "fun." It does not matter how convoluted or fragmented your intended target is; just enter whatever is on your mind. The Google Maps search engine is capable of guessing your intent and offering appropriate suggestions.

Click "Show Search Options" to the right of the search field, select one of the five advanced options and then click "Search Maps." The "All Results" option displays the results that most literally match your search terms. "Locations" more broadly interprets your intent, offering up multiple possible responses to your search. "Businesses" list specific business names geographically situated near your search. "User-created Maps" shows map mashups, tours and place markers created by Google users. "Real Estate" shows property for sale or rent in the area most closely defined in your search term.

Enter advanced operators like "(...)" and "-" in the Google Maps search field to sculpt your search. Advanced operators help weed out results you know you do not want and include results you do want.


Click the car, train, pedestrian or bicycle icon above the address fields when entering addresses for directions. These options result in driving, public transit, walking and bicycling directions, respectively.