Uses W3C Geolocation API to find out the user’s location
Google has included a new My Location service in Google Maps, which allows users to find out their location on desktop PCs. The My Location feature of Google Maps for Mobile is available for smartphones since late 2007.
Software engineer Steve Block and product manager Noam Ben Haim, said in a blog post: When you visit Google Maps with a supported web browser, you’ll see a new My Location button in the top left corner of the map. Simply click the button to centre the map to your approximate location.
“If your location can be determined accurately enough, it’s shown with a blue circle, just like on Google Maps for Mobile. Click the button again to remove the blue circle, or to re-centre the map after you’ve moved it away.
The new feature requires a supported browser for it to work. It uses the W3C Geolocation API, which is supported in FireFox 3.5 and Google Chrome 2.0. IE users can work with the new feature by installing the Gears plug-in.
The Geolocation API reportedly uses the clues such as the nearby Wi-Fi access points to find out the user’s location. If there is no Wi-Fi network available then it uses the user’s computer IP address to find out an approximate location. This means that the accuracy may vary or may not work at all in some cases.