How to Use Snapchat Maps

Stay connected to your friends

What to Know

  • Open Snapchat and tap Snap Map on the action bar.
  • Or, tap a friend's picture on the Friends tab. Tap preview image of shared location to open the Snap Map.
  • You can also access Snap Map in a web browser by going to map.snapchat.com.

This article explains how to access and use the Snap Map in Snapchat 9.35.5 and later.

How to Access Snap Map on the Snapchat App

To get the Snap Map on the Snapchat app for iOS and Android, tap the Snap Map button on the action bar. Your location will appear, but you can also tap Friends to see locations your friends have shared. Tap the Settings button (gear icon) to manage your Snap Map settings.

Snap Chat map and settings

Tap a friend's picture on the Friends tab. If they shared their location, a preview image appears below their name on their profile. Tap it to open the Snap Map.

Accessing the Snap Map through the Friends tab on an iPhone

You can also access Snap Map in a web browser by going to map.snapchat.com. This is a public version with no login or user names.

Snap Map in web browser.

If this is your first time opening the Snap Map, you may be asked to configure your Snap Map settings. You can choose whether you want only you, your friends, or specific friends to see your location.

How to Use Snap Map in the Snapchat App

Now that you know how to access the Snap Map, you can start using it. Here are the different ways you can take advantage of it:

  • See your friends' locations: Friends who've chosen to share their location with you appear on the Snap Map. Tap a friend to start a chat with them, or tap and hold to go to their profile.
  • Search for a friend's location: Wondering where in the world a friend might be? Tap Search at the top of the screen to look for a specific friend on the map.
  • Use the heat map to see snaps other people have shared: Use your finger to drag the map around and look for the splashes of color on the map, which shows where people are snapping. Blue means there are a few snaps, while red means a lot of activity is happening there. Tap a colored area to view the snaps shared from there.
  • View Stories for hot spots: Scouting out the colored portions of the map reveals story collections for popular locations and events. Tap a popular part of the map to reveal the circular story collection, then tap the story collection to view the stories added to it.
  • Add your snaps to Our Story: If you're snapping from a location with its own story collection, select Our Story from the Send To tab after taking a snap. Or, tap +Custom at the top of the Send To tab to create your own Geo Story, which you can share with people nearby.
  • Use My Places to keep track of your favorite spots: The Places tab at the bottom center of the screen shows popular spots nearby, your favorites, and spots you've tagged in your snaps.
  • Snapchat Live Location: Allow a friend or family member to track your specific location with Snapchat's Live Location feature. With Live Location, navigate to a friend's profile and give them real-time tracking access to your location for 15 minutes, an hour, or eight hours. For privacy reasons, you can pause the location tracking at any point, and the other person won't be notified. Live Location shares your location status even if you've closed your Snapchat app.
Person using SnapChat map on a smartphone
Miguel Co / Lifewire 

How to Use the Snap Map from the Web

You can access the Snap Map from the Snapchat website. Similar to how you use a finger to drag the map around on the mobile app, you can use the cursor to select and drag the map around to other locations. You can also use a mouse or trackpad to zoom in and out.

A screenshot of the Snap Map on Snapchat.com.

Select a colored portion or any circular story collection that appears to view snaps. A window pops up over the map and automatically plays the snaps shared by people in that location.

How to Change Your Location Settings in Snapchat

If you want to change your location settings at a later time:

  1. Tap your profile icon in the upper-left corner, then tap the gear icon in the upper-right corner to access your settings. Scroll down to the Who Can section and tap See My Location.

    Location settings in Snapchat for iPhone
  2. On the Settings tab, customize the settings.

    • My Friends lets anyone you're friends with on Snapchat see you on the map.
    • My Friends, Except lets you exclude anyone from your list of Snapchat contacts.
    • Only These Friends is where you choose who from your connections can see you on the map.
  3. Tap the Ghost Mode toggle switch to turn on the feature. When Ghost Mode is enabled, nobody can see your location—not even your friends. In the menu that appears, set a time limit of three or 24 hours for Ghost Mode or keep it on indefinitely.

    Turning on Ghost Mode on Snapchat for iPhone
  4. Snapchat saves your changes automatically.

What Is Snapchat's Snap Map?

Snapchat Snap Map is an interactive map you can use to share your location with friends. You can also see friends when they share their location with you. If your friends have integrated their Bitmoji account with Snapchat, their Bitmoji characters appear on the map at their location.

What Is Snapchat Live Location?

While you can see friends' locations on the Snap Map, their location only updates when their Snapchat map is open, and you only have a general idea of where they are. But if you want to allow a friend or family member to track your specific location, use Snapchat's Live Location feature.

With Live Location, navigate to a friend's profile and give them real-time tracking access to your location for 15 minutes, an hour, or eight hours. You and the friend can monitor your location status in a chat window.

Live Location is meant to be a "buddy system" to give you and your loved ones peace of mind when you're on the road, heading out on a date, or if you're meeting up and they need to know precisely where you are. For privacy reasons, you can pause the location tracking at any point, and the other person won't be notified.

Live Location shares your location status even if you've closed your Snapchat app.

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