Using Google Maps to Track Friends

Does that sound ominous or nefarious? We’re not talking about surveillance but rather using technology for good. In this case sharing your location with a friend so that you can more efficiently meet up or so that they can confirm you’re safely enroute home when you’re traveling alone. If you want to track someone or want them to track your whereabouts with Google Maps, you’ll need to use Google’s live location sharing feature.

How to share your location on smartphone or tablet

  1. If you want to share with someone who has a Google account, add their Gmail address to your Google Contacts.
    • Find Contacts in your Google menu. Look for 9 dots at top right of your screen (see 1st image below with yellow arrow). Tap it to get drop down menu and choose Contacts (circled below).
    • If they’re not already in your contacts, use the “Create Contact” button to add them (third image below, circled).

2. Then open Google Maps on your phone or ipad, tap your profile picture, and then choose Location Sharing.

3) Next, tap the Share Location button. This will bring up the conditions under which your location will be shared:

4) Choose for how long and with which friend(s) you’d like to share. The default is one hour, but you can easily adjust this up or down as desired.

5) If, for example, you’re trying to meet up with each other or you are concerned with their safe arrival somewhere, after choosing the friend(s), you can also request that they share their location with you (circled below). You can also stop sharing your location (see arrow below), which you should do once not needed in order to avoid extra battery and/or data usage.

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