Google Maps has added a new feature to make it easier for friends or family members to find each other. Location Sharing is a real-time feature that could come in handy, especially if you’re meeting someone in a large area such as New York’s Central Park because it enables you to pinpoint your location right on your friend’s smartphone.

google maps location sharing
TeroVesalainen / Pixabay

Real-time location sharing added to Google Maps

The Google Maps team announced the new feature on the company’s blog. Location Sharing enables users to share their location with someone for a set period of time. The feature is being rolled out to users around the globe. Both iPhone and Android phone users will be able to share their locations with their contacts, and those who are on the receiving end will be able to see the locations of their friends on mobile web and desktops in addition to iPhones and Android devices.

As with any technology, this feature has both good and bad uses. It will be quite helpful for those who are meeting someone in a park or other large outdoor area. It can also help you keep track of how far away someone is and how long it might take them to get to you. That way you don’t have to call them and ask them how far away they are. With the growing number of teens and tweens that have phones these days, the feature can also come in handy as a tracker for worrywart parents.

How Location Sharing works in Google Maps

To use the new Google Maps feature, just tap on the blue dot that marks your location on the map. You can also open the menu on the side of Maps. In both cases, choose “Share location,” and then choose with whom you want to share your location and how long you want to share it. You can share your location in real time with Google contacts or family and friends by sending them a link via most messaging apps.

Those you’ve chosen to share your location with will see where you are on their map inside the Google Maps app. As a reminder that you’re sharing your location, there will be a little icon located above the compass on your map. Whenever you stop sharing it — either because you decide to stop sharing it or because the length of time you set to share it has ended — the little icon will disappear.