Static map from Google with no API key required [updated]

You must be a member of Google APIs Console and obtain a valid API to embed Google Maps into your website or web application. That’s a well known fact.

Not everyone knows that this is required only, if you want to embed a fully-featured Google Maps, i.e. with ability to scroll, zoom, use markers, calculate routes etc. For embedding a static image of Google Maps showing requested location you don’t need API and required Javascript code is nearly a one-liner.

Actually, it is a one-liner. I split it into several lines and variables only for clarity of reading it.

Raw example

First, get the image URL:

    mapUrl = '',
    mapZoom = 17,
    mapLatitude = 78.0399665,
    mapLongitude = 27.1750151,
    mapWidth = 730,
    mapHeight = 730,
    mapOptions = '&maptype=roadmap&markers=color:green%7C';

 * Mini-map update
 * Debug (Taj Mahal): 27.1750151, 78.0399665
mapUrl = ""
    + mapLatitude + "," + mapLongitude + 
    "&zoom=" + mapZoom + "&size=" + mapWidth + "x" + mapHeight + mapOptions +
    mapLatitude + "," + mapLongitude + "&sensor=false";

The above code will generate a string (in mapUrl variable) like that:,27.1750151&zoom=17&size=730x730&maptype=roadmap&markers=color:green%7C78.0399665,27.1750151&sensor=false

Now, you can set it (by any mean — Javascript, jQuery, Zepto, directly etc.) to your img HTML element:

$('#map').attr('src', mapUrl);

And… enjoy! :>

A rather simple tweak up

If you’re using jQuery, Zepeto or something similar, you can change these two lines:

    mapWidth = 730,
    mapHeight = 730,

Into something like this:

    mapWidth = parseInt($('#map').css("width"), 10),
    mapHeight = parseInt($('#map').css("height"), 10),

To make sure that your map-like image will be matching your <img /> element’s dimensions.

You can achieve exactly the same in pure JavaScript, without jQuery / Zepeto, or even in pure HTML. But… for what reason? :]

January 2022 Update

I have accidentally came across this post and wanted to check, how things are going seven and a half year later. As we can expect, this is not working any longer. Right know, even for such a simply request, you are enforced to provide your own Google API key.

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