How to start the navigator with the satellite view

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There must be a general fed up with having to switch to the satellite view every time we start the app on the mobile. The plans of the standard view do not show all the visual information of the streets and areas that we travel, making our orientation difficult. For those who move through open areas, or simply orient themselves much better with the satellite view, We are going to tell you how to start the application directly with that layer activated and not having to go around choosing it every time we look for something.

Google Maps - Navigation and public transport
Google Maps - Navigation and public transport

Not a new feature in the browser

The truth is that it is not a recently launched function, although at the time it did come after several changes. A while ago, to change layers you had to open the side menu, slide down to see the list of layers and select a layer. Then if we wanted to change the layer again, we had to repeat those three previous steps.

After a new change, that process was going to be simplified. In this way, you could see in the main view of the map a new Layers button in the upper right of the map. Pressing this button displayed a window with the three types of map (default, satellite and relief) and the three types of map details (public transport, traffic and bicycle).

Although this button is still preserved, the preference to see one layer or another when starting the browser has been modified. From Google Maps 9.41 (a version released in 2016) we can activate from the settings the option “Show satellite view when starting Maps”. So every time you open the application, the satellite view will be displayed by default instead of the vector map. However, it is a function that is not very visible, so surely many users will not have noticed it.

How to start the satellite view on Google Maps

It is not complex at all, like any other option in Google Maps since the interface is quite immediate. We have to say that only allows you to change the satellite view as default, so the rest of the layers are discarded. That said, we go to Google Maps and click on the avatar of our Google ID, at the top right of the screen.

google maps settings

You select the «Settings» within the pop-up window that will appear, and you arrive at the place where some of the most important parameters of the app. Now you seek «Start Maps in satellite view» and it will appear on the right a switch disabled. You press it to change position and you return to the map. You will see that you can see only the layer with real images of our entire environment.

start google maps satellite view

Anyway, if you want to check that the change is effective, you just have to try to exit Google Maps, close the application completely from iOS or Android and then access it again. The standard view will have disappeared and you will have the satellite one available by default.

google maps satellite view

We should not worry about the absence of the functions that we have in the other view, since with the satellite map we continue to preserve them. These functions basically incorporate business data, shops, companies, points of interest, etc., only with an additional plus of visual information that can help us to better position ourselves when we draw routes, either by car or on foot.