Google Maps features a map that can be navigated by dragging the mouse , or using the mouse wheel to zoom in (mouse wheel up) or out (mouse wheel down) to show detailed street information. The user can also control the map with the arrow keys to move to the desired location. To allow for quick movement, the "+" and "-" keys can be used to control the zoom level. Users may enter an address , intersection or general area to quickly find it on the map.
Search results can be restricted to a certain area, thanks to Google Local . For example, someone can enter a query such as "Waffles in Ottawa"  to find restaurants serving waffles near the city. This can be used to find a wide variety of businesses, such as theatres , restaurants and hotels .
Like many other map services, Google Maps allows for the creation of driving directions . It gives the user a step-by-step list of how to get to their destination, along with an estimate of the time required to reach it and the distance between the two locations.
Google Maps offers three viewing modes by default: Map (Street map views), Satellite (satellite and high-resolution aerial photographs) and Hybrid (Street maps overlaid on satellite and high-resolution aerial photographs).
The "link to this page" link on each Google Maps map targets a URL which can be used to find the location on the map at a later time. The latitude and longitude can be used as input to NASA World Wind or TerraServer-USA , which in some cases have higher-resolution imagery.