Google Maps to allow users to share location so friends, colleagues can see them on a map

The logistics of social occasions and business meetings are about to get easier, and Google is about to start scooping up much more, and more valuable data.

The Mountain View tech titan is going to give Google Maps users the power to share their location with friends and colleagues. The sharing will work from both Android and Apple iOS mobile operating systems, Google said March 22.

“And the people you share with will be able to see your location on Android, iPhone, mobile web, and even desktop,” Google Maps engineering manager Daniel Resnick said in a blog post.

“Whenever you want to let someone know where you are, just open the side menu or tap the blue dot that represents where you are. Tap ‘share location’ and then select who(m) to share with and how long to share — and you’re done!

“The people you’ve chosen to share with will see you on their map.”

Imagine how helpful this service would be at a huge, crowded event such as a music festival or a major tech conference, and how many phone calls or text messages you wouldn’t have to make or send while wrangling a group of friends together for drinks-before-dinner. Of course, what’s good for users has got to be good for Google, and this addition to the Maps experience will bring a wealth of valuable data to the company, which it can use for selling targeted ads.

“It’s a convenient feature that not so coincidentally makes it way more likely you’ll spend a lot more time within Google’s map ecosystem,” Wired magazine reported. “The unspoken hope is that all this good stuff will keep you tethered to the friendly blue-n-white interface, and churn out information on the way you move.”

Google said it would roll the service out worldwide “soon.”


Photo: Google’s new logo near the Googleplex on Charleston Road in Mountain View in 2015.  (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group)


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