Google GEO Location demoGoogle GEO Location demo



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Google GEO Location demo

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 database.

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 happens.
I can assure you I'm not either logging visitors location or running anything malicious!

People may have wondered how Google and numerous Apps (both PC and mobile) can know your exact location – without using a GPS (Global Positioning System) enabled device.

Google was in the news for recording data from people’s wireless settings as it took photos for Google Street View, but you may not have realised how it’s 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 access point.

See below for how to remove your wireless connection from Google.

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. allows you to view your location via an iGoogle gadget – See the link under 'View it on your computer'.

Google uses  (a browser addon but already built into Google Chrome) to interact with it’s 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 hasn’t been recorded by Google it can work things out if there are any other WiFi APs in range – you don’t have to be connected to them.

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 Chrome).

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 Location Server'.

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 instructions

Google GEO Location demo
Also see my related postcode/zipcode location search page:  Find Longitude and Latitude

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