Geolocation tools

I was asked yesterday about geolocation tools and how I go about getting a longitude and latitude for a postcode. Easy I said – just go to Google Maps and search for the postcode. Then click on the RSS icon to display the coordinates.

Google Map
My Location for Google Maps - see the blue dot?

However, since July 2009 Google Maps have provided one better than this – Google’s ‘My Location for Google Maps’.  This is really quite clever, although not always entirely accurate.  It tries to emulate the ‘My Location’ feature in Google Maps for Mobile (you know, the blue dot showing where you are on an iPhone/Android device etc). It looks for a Wi-Fi location or your current IP address and then tries to locate you. Sometimes it’s pretty accurate, but sometimes you can’t see yourself on the map at all. You will need to confirm that you are happy for Google to use your location on its maps, but the information is anonymous.

You can read more about it on Google’s own maps blog.

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