How to find waterfalls using Google Maps

Are you looking for waterfalls to photograph but you can’t find any information about waterfalls in your area? I know that problem, but maybe I can help you out with an easy solution. All you need for this is Google Maps. And an Internet connection of course.

I guess you probably noticed that I really love shooting waterfalls. I mean, that’s the reason why I went to Iceland in the first place – waterfalls! But here in Germany, especially in the area where I live in, it’s pretty hard to find decent looking waterfalls. I’ve googled for hours searching for waterfalls and tried feeding Google with all possible keywords, but it didn’t work out that good. I found like one or two waterfalls about 20 kilometers away but that’s it.

Because I was so annoyed of the fact that I didn’t find anything good, I started to try figure out a method to find waterfalls myself (I even thought about building my own waterfall 😀 ). That’s when it hit me: I could just use Google Maps and follow all those rivers in my region. I guess most of you looking for waterfalls came to the same idea. However you only see a flat map when starting Googles service. That’s where my neat little trick kicks in.

How to find waterfalls on Google Maps

1. Go to Google Maps. Now go to the area which you want to check for waterfalls

Google Maps Tutorial Step One

Step 1: Go to Google Maps


2. Click/Hover over the search box in the upper left corner. There will pop up a new box underneath called “Getting Around”. Also there are four links in it, click on “Terrain”.

Google Maps Tutorial Step One

Step 2: select Terrain


3. I guess you know already where this will lead us. If you zoom in now, you’ll be able to see where the landscape goes down and up. Now you just have to look for rivers coming down the hills on Google Maps. This way I found at least 5 new waterfalls in the last few weeks! If you have any questions just ask in the comment section below!

Google Maps Tutorial Step Three

Step 3: start searching for waterfalls


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Author Description

Christian Möhrle

Photographing landscapes since 2009, trying to help out the lovely photography community with tutorials, workshops and more

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