Google Maps 8.1 for Android brings back the terrain view!


Staff member
Mar 24, 2011
By Bogdan Petrovan May 29, 2014


Google released several big updates this week, and the update for Maps went a little under the radar. But there’s one feature in the new Maps 8.1 that totally makes it worth it, if you frequently spend time outdoors, that is – yes, terrain view is back in Google Maps.

Google removed the terrain view feature from Maps when it updated it to version 7 in July 2013, without explaining why it removed it or if it’s ever coming back. As it turns out, we just had to be patient (really patient), as the version rolling out towards you right now has the feature.


If you only drive or walk through your town, you might not care at all about this feature. But terrain view was useful for people travelling off-road, like mountain bikers, hikers, or dirt bikers. In its current implementation, the feature is very simple – you just see the contour lines for each elevation, so Maps won’t give you any information on the elevation change of a route. Even so, just by looking at the lines, you can better plan your trip and avoid getting in rough spots.

You can wait for the update to come your way over the next couple of days, but if you want to grab it before the weekend, the folks at XDA secured an APK file.