Google Geo Location Demo page
navigator.geolocation.getCurrentPosition - map_canvas - Google maps script
This is a simple 'Geo Location' demo showing how
modern browsers can use (with your permission!) built in Geo Location
functionality to pin point your location. Using Google's database of Wifi
(wireless) APs (Access Points) by clicking the "Where am I?" button below
your current location will be found.
For me this is very accurate - about
30 meters out! It's not using GPS, IP Addresses or mobile
triangulation - just using my home broadband's wireless connection to look
at mine and my neighbours Access Point MAC addresses and compare with Google's
This demonstration works for me in both FireFox v3.6 and Google Chrome V6.
Clicking the "Where am I?" button with a browser that's got Geo Location enabled
will generate a 'share this location request'. You also need to be using a
computer that's got wireless capability as it looks for local APs. If you
are in a remote location and no Access Points have been recorded then nothing
I can assure you I'm not either logging visitors location or running
People may have wondered how Google and numerous Apps
(both PC and mobile) can know your exact location Ė without using a GPS
(Global Positioning System) enabled device.
Google was in the news for recording data from peopleís wireless settings
as it took photos for Google Street View, but you may not have realised
how itís using this data.
Google have recorded the unique MAC (Media Access Control) addresses for
all WiFi APs (Access Points) that were found to be broadcasting their SSID
(network name) - which is how most people have their router setup.
At the same time they have recorded the physical location of each wireless
See below for how to remove your wireless connection
So Google now has a massive database showing the location and wireless MAC
addresses covering most of the country.
Mobile Apps can make use of this data but so can PC based ones.
www.google.com/latitude allows you to view your location via an iGoogle
gadget Ė See the link under 'View it on your computer'.
Google uses gears.google.com (a browser addon but already built into
Google Chrome) to interact with itís location database.
Your computer has to have a wireless card enabled and you have to have
given Google and the web page permission to track your location. Then even
if your WiFi AP hasnít been recorded by Google it can work things out if
there are any other WiFi APs in range Ė you donít have to be connected to
Google have a page where you can update them if an
incorrect location is reported:
This geo location test page shows you any other MAC addresses of WiFi APs
close by to you:
(either needs Google Gears installed or
Very clever stuff - and makes you think!
Removing your Wireless Access Point (WiFi
connection) from Google's database.
Google have introduced a way for people to opt-out of
having their wireless access point SSID documented in their database or 'Google
You need to rename the SSID of your wireless network by adding '_nomap'
i.e. If your current wireless network is called mynetwork you would
rename it to become mynetwork_nomap
Here's the official Google blog post