How to use Google Maps Location Sharing for improved personal safety

We have all used Google Maps as a navigation tool, but not many know that it can also go a long way in ensuring the safety of an individual.

Written by Tanmay Patange | Updated: May 29, 2018 11:48:39 am

Personal safety has increasingly been becoming an issue across the globe, with people going missing all the time. The moment you leave your house in the morning to go to school, college, office, or simply anywhere, there is someone who is concerned about your safety and vice versa. If you have been reading the newspaper lately, you must be aware of growing number of cases related to rape, murder, and kidnapping. Luckily for us, there are everyday technologies which have tremendous potential to come handy in a crisis. One such technology is Google Maps. We have all used Google Maps as a navigation tool, but not many know that it can also go a long way in ensuring the safety of an individual. In this article, we are going to discuss ways to keep in touch with your loved ones using Google Maps and its importance.

share-locationReal Time Location Sharing
We have been using Google Maps for quite some time already, mainly for navigating to various locations, searching for better routes or just getting traffic updates. Earlier this year, Google added a new feature to Maps called real-time location sharing. There are many reasons why you would want to share your real-time location with others. People you decide to share your location with can keep track of your GPS coordinates as you are moving. Let’s consider these scenarios: If you choose to meet someone at a particular location, location-sharing will help the other person figure out where you may have gotten stuck or how much time will you take to reach. Similarly, if you are concerned about your friend or a family member as to whether they will reach home safely or not, asking them to share their real-time location with you is ideal. In that case, you can see exactly where they are heading, have they taken a wrong turn, are they stuck in traffic, etc. Of course, you get to decide who can see where you are and for how long. If you are new to Google Maps or have no idea how to turn the feature on, you need to follow these steps:

Note: If you are using Google Maps on a computer, you can still receive real-time location from others. However, you cannot share your location with others since you must need a mobile device to do that.

1. Open Google Maps on your Android or iOS device and sign in to your Google Account if you have not done that yet.

2. Tap on the hamburger menu at the top left corner and hit ‘Share location.’

3. You will be asked to choose for how long you want to share your real-time location.

4. Select people from your phone’s contacts or send them a link over a text.

5. Additionally, you can also share links with them in other messaging apps like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, etc.

6. Once you choose who you want to share your location with, tap ‘Share.’

7. To stop sharing your location, tap the hamburger menu > Share location > Remove the person you want to stop sharing location with.

Recently, Google added SOS alerts to Maps to help users in crisis. These alerts keep users engaged with Maps and return emergency phone numbers, websites, and translations of useful information. Users get a notification on their mobile device, directing them further to more details, which depends on how close they are to the affected area.

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