If you’ve ever used Google Maps on your iPhone or other mobile device, you’re probably familiar with My Location already. For those that aren’t, when you click a button your exact location is shown on the map denoted by a blue circle. Now, that nifty little feature is coming to your desktop and laptop computers.
Google announced Thursday the laucnh of My Location for Google Maps, which means that when you visit Google Maps now with a supported web browser, you’ll see the addition of a new button – My Location – in the map’s top left corner.
If Google is able to determine your location accurately enough, it will show your location on the map with a blue circle. Clicking on the button again will remove the blue circle.
While the My Location feature might not do more than impress you for a moment while you’re using Google Maps at home, it has more potential whie you’re on the road traveling. If you’re like me, when you travel you do not go without a laptop. So when you’re in a new area, you can pull up Google Maps, find your location, and then explore the neighborhood virtually. Sure, you could do this before, but now it’s even easier – you don’t even need to look up your hotel address or anything.
The way that Google obtains your location is through the W3C Geolocation API standard, which is a new feature available in the latest web browses. It allows any website to access your current location. Usually your location can be determined by local wireless networks, or using your IP, but in some cases Google may not be able to determine where you are.
My Location for Google Maps will work if you are using the Google Chrome or Firefox 3.5 web browsers, or any other browser with Google Gears installed. If your browser doesn’t support the feature, you simply will not see the My Location button.