Geolocation: Displaying User or Device Position on Maps

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Overview

This tutorial shows you how to display the geographic location of a user or device on a Google map, using your browser's HTML5 Geolocation feature along with the Maps JavaScript API. (Note that the geographic location of a user will only display if he or she has allowed location sharing.)

Below is a map that can identify your present location.

The sample below shows the entire code you need to create this map.

TypeScript

// Note: This example requires that you consent to location sharing when
// prompted by your browser. If you see the error "The Geolocation service
// failed.", it means you probably did not give permission for the browser to
// locate you.
let map: google.maps.Map, infoWindow: google.maps.InfoWindow;

function initMap(): void {
  map = new google.maps.Map(document.getElementById("map") as HTMLElement, {
    center: { lat: -34.397, lng: 150.644 },
    zoom: 6,
  });
  infoWindow = new google.maps.InfoWindow();

  const locationButton = document.createElement("button");

  locationButton.textContent = "Pan to Current Location";
  locationButton.classList.add("custom-map-control-button");

  map.controls[google.maps.ControlPosition.TOP_CENTER].push(locationButton);

  locationButton.addEventListener("click", () => {
    // Try HTML5 geolocation.
    if (navigator.geolocation) {
      navigator.geolocation.getCurrentPosition(
        (position: GeolocationPosition) => {
          const pos = {
            lat: position.coords.latitude,
            lng: position.coords.longitude,
          };

          infoWindow.setPosition(pos);
          infoWindow.setContent("Location found.");
          infoWindow.open(map);
          map.setCenter(pos);
        },
        () => {
          handleLocationError(true, infoWindow, map.getCenter()!);
        }
      );
    } else {
      // Browser doesn't support Geolocation
      handleLocationError(false, infoWindow, map.getCenter()!);
    }
  });
}

function handleLocationError(
  browserHasGeolocation: boolean,
  infoWindow: google.maps.InfoWindow,
  pos: google.maps.LatLng
) {
  infoWindow.setPosition(pos);
  infoWindow.setContent(
    browserHasGeolocation
      ? "Error: The Geolocation service failed."
      : "Error: Your browser doesn't support geolocation."
  );
  infoWindow.open(map);
}

declare global {
  interface Window {
    initMap: () => void;
  }
}
window.initMap = initMap;

JavaScript

// Note: This example requires that you consent to location sharing when
// prompted by your browser. If you see the error "The Geolocation service
// failed.", it means you probably did not give permission for the browser to
// locate you.
let map, infoWindow;

function initMap() {
  map = new google.maps.Map(document.getElementById("map"), {
    center: { lat: -34.397, lng: 150.644 },
    zoom: 6,
  });
  infoWindow = new google.maps.InfoWindow();

  const locationButton = document.createElement("button");

  locationButton.textContent = "Pan to Current Location";
  locationButton.classList.add("custom-map-control-button");
  map.controls[google.maps.ControlPosition.TOP_CENTER].push(locationButton);
  locationButton.addEventListener("click", () => {
    // Try HTML5 geolocation.
    if (navigator.geolocation) {
      navigator.geolocation.getCurrentPosition(
        (position) => {
          const pos = {
            lat: position.coords.latitude,
            lng: position.coords.longitude,
          };

          infoWindow.setPosition(pos);
          infoWindow.setContent("Location found.");
          infoWindow.open(map);
          map.setCenter(pos);
        },
        () => {
          handleLocationError(true, infoWindow, map.getCenter());
        }
      );
    } else {
      // Browser doesn't support Geolocation
      handleLocationError(false, infoWindow, map.getCenter());
    }
  });
}

function handleLocationError(browserHasGeolocation, infoWindow, pos) {
  infoWindow.setPosition(pos);
  infoWindow.setContent(
    browserHasGeolocation
      ? "Error: The Geolocation service failed."
      : "Error: Your browser doesn't support geolocation."
  );
  infoWindow.open(map);
}

window.initMap = initMap;
View example

Try Sample

What is Geolocation?

Geolocation refers to the identification of the geographic location of a user or computing device via a variety of data collection mechanisms. Typically, most geolocation services use network routing addresses or internal GPS devices to determine this location. Geolocation is a device-specific API. This means that browsers or devices must support geolocation in order to use it through web applications.

W3C Geolocation standard

Applications that want to perform geolocation must support the W3C Geolocation standard. Notice that the sample code above determines the user's location through the W3C navigator.geolocation property.

Some browsers use IP addresses to detect a user's location. However, it may only provide a rough estimate of a user's location. The W3C approach is the easiest and most fully-supported so it should be prioritized over other geolocation methods.