Many a time in your life, you just want to let people know where you are — whether it is to make it easier for people to find you, or to just keep an eye on you while you are somewhere or even to simply prove to people that you are at a particular place. Well, you can download one of a number of applications that let you share your location with people.
Or alternatively, you can simply use good old Google Maps.
Yes, not too many know that Google Maps, which many of us use for navigation and to find out locations, can also be used to show where you are. And you do not need to install or activate anything special to be able to use it. All you need is the latest version of Google Maps — get it from here for Android and from here for iOS.
Yes, it is totally free.
Once you have the application, all you need to do is follow these steps (we have given them for Android, but they are similar for iOS too):
Step 1: Tap the three horizontal lines on the left side of the Search bar on top of the Maps to access different settings.
Step 2: From there select “Location sharing.” It is generally just below “Messages.”
Step 3: This will lead to a pop up box titled “Let your friends know where you are.” Tap on the “Get Started” button in it.
Step 4: Now comes the part of sharing your location. You can opt to do so for a specific amount of time (1 hour, 45 minutes and so on). Or you can opt to keep sharing your location until you switch off sharing. You can also specify where you want to send a person the message: on FB Messenger, on e-mail, on SMS… there are a number of options. You can even share your location on your Facebook story.
Step 5: This will generate a link that will be sent to the person(s) you have chosen to share your location with.
Step 6: All people need to do to see where you are is to open the link sent to them. They do not even need to have Google Maps — all they need is a mobile phone connected to the Internet.
Step 7: You can continue sharing your location as long as you want (suppose you are on a late night trip and do not feel safe). If you have set location sharing for a specific time, the link you have sent will stop working after that time — otherwise you will have to turn it off.
No, it will not offer you as many options as dedicated apps like Glympse (yes, we will write about it at some time — stay tuned) but Google Maps’ location sharing saves you the need to download another application if all you want is to simply let people know where you are, or want someone to keep an eye on you.
Traveller’s Note: Sharing your location can consume a lot of battery, as your phone’s GPS is used. So make sure you have plenty of battery to spare on your device when you get into location sharing mode. Ideally have at least 50 per cent battery if you plan to share your location for about an hour!