Google Maps: Now With Auto-Location

TechCrunch reports that location awareness has come to Google Maps when accessed from Chrome and Firefox browsers. This basically means that Google Maps on your desktop will locate you (based on Wi-Fi positioning) the same way it does on mobile devices.

As we’ve said many times (e.g., here and here), this is coming and is being inspired by what’s happening in the mobile realm. Not only that but the demand (and user comfort levels) for the location aware mapping is coming straight from mobile experiences.

Not much more to say about this beyond what we’ve repeated many times: Location awareness “in the background” will be a big step toward more targeted content and ad delivery. Eventually banner ads and other ad formats will utilize this to serve more effective advertising.

The capability has previously been available on the desktop through various plug-ins and toolbars like Loki. Today’s move makes it more automatic, and tied to Google’s reach. These will be major adoption drivers.

Image credit: TechCrunch

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. David Mihm

    Mike, how did you get the above screenshot…just type in ‘maps.google.com’ ? I am using Chrome and it still doesn’t know where I am located (although I am using a hard-wired Comcast connection…but why should wi-fi be any different since it would hook up to the same modem?).

    Thanks for the heads-up.

    dm

  2. David Mihm

    Sorry to leave a second comment (I didn’t see an edit link) — it looks like you have to have Gears installed in order for Google to be able to do it. I missed that line in the TechCrunch article at first.

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