Satellite View for the Map

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Today’s Question: Is there a way to see the satellite photo view of the map in Lightroom’s map module? I know this feature is available with Google Maps, and that Lightroom makes use of Google Maps. But is the satellite view feature available?

Tim’s Quick Answer: Yes, you can view the satellite photo version of the map in Lightroom’s Map module by choosing “Satellite” (or “Hybrid”) from the Map Style popup on the toolbar below the map display.

More Detail: The Map module in Lightroom does indeed use Google Maps for the map data. That includes the ability to use several different styles for the map, including satellite view.

The map view options can be found on the Map Style popup at the left side of the toolbar that appears below the map display. If you don’t see that toolbar in the Map module, you can press the “T” key on the keyboard to reveal (or to hide) the toolbar.

The default setting for the Map Style popup is “Road Map”, which presents a basic road map. Switching to “Satellite” will cause the map to be assembled from satellite photos, so you can see actual terrain features on the map. The “Hybrid” setting projects a basic road map display over the satellite image view.

In addition you’ll find a “Terrain” option, which is similar to the “Road Map” view but with a representation of the topography on the map. The “Light” and “Dark” options provide two black and white versions of the “Road Map” display.

In general I find that the “Road Map” view is most helpful for sorting out what location you’re looking at on the map. I also find the “Satellite” view option helpful for confirming specific location details, since you can see terrain details as well as features such as buildings and roads with this view option.