Share the smartphone physical position. Maps

All smartphones have an integrated GPS device since long time, which allows the location of the device with the Global Positioning System (GPS).
This method is based on radio signals obtained from several artificial satellites orbiting the Earth.


Tracing a smartphone means finding a device that we have forgotten where we left it, finding the person who stole it, or finding out where a person with that device is at the moment.

This technique is called geolocation, originally invented for military purposes, then also distributed for the commercial sector. It can identify the position of an object in a very precise way, anywhere in the world, with a negligible error.

The technique now has a low cost and is widespread because it is used in many applications.
For example, you can find your car when you do not remember where you parked it or when it is stolen, you can track a fleet of industrial vehicles, to always know where they are.
You can insert a GPS into your dog's collar, to find it when it runs off.
You can know where your child is, you can also know where your partner is right now, but in this case you have to be authorized, for the usual privacy.

The GPS device is very small, so it is suited to be inserted anywhere.
In this lesson, however, we refer to the GPS you already have in your smartphone or in the one of the people you know.


You can also make a very useful temporary use.
Suppose you have to meet with a person in a certain place. Imagine a large, crowded square, or another difficult place to describe, for example an airport. You can temporarily share your smartphone location, so you do not need to communicate by phone often.
Your friend can see in real time where you are.

One of the most popular apps for managing your smartphone GPS is Google Maps.
I'm sure you've already used Maps to find directions and go to some address.
Now I show you how to use Maps to track down a person who has a smartphone with him.

Here's how to see another person's real-time position.
To perform this sharing you must have their smartphone available, or ask to respond to your request.
In practice, the smartphone that does the operation is the one that offers the possibility of being traced, if you want two smartphones to see each other, you have to do the same procedure on both.
This operation can only be done by smartphones, not computers.

  • Add the address of the other smartphone to your contacts (if you have not already done so).
  • Then open Maps.
  • Menu Maps -> Sharing location -> touch the symbol at the top right (+ add people)
  • In the window that opens, choose how long the sharing should last.
  • Then choose how to send the link you are about to create:
    WhatsApp, Viber, Messenger, email, phone message, etc.
  • The other smartphone will receive a message with the link to connect to and can see your position.

Google, to respect privacy, with an email periodically reminds you that you have an active sharing of your position and the name of the person who is sharing.

To temporarily block sharing.

Open Maps
Menu Maps -> Location Sharing
At the top, select the symbol of the person you want to block.
In the new window, open the menu and press Block.

To delete sharing.

Open Maps
Menu Maps -> Location Sharing
Press the X on the right of the name you want to remove.

Warning: possible errors of identification of the Maps position.
The GPS technique is very precise, but the detection of the position by Maps can sometimes generate surprises, for example:

  • Location detection can be done anywhere in the world, but only when the data or WiFi network is active.
  • The position may be wrong, because it depends on the menu Settings-> Geographical Mode.
    In places where the GPS signal is too weak, Maps may try to identify the location based on the location of the IP address.
    When connected to a WiFi signal and the service is managed with a network of shared IPs, you may find it even localized in a wrong city.
  • There are Apps that offer the ability to provide false data to the geolocation of the smartphone.

Careful with partners. If by chance you rely on this system to demonstrate your loyalty as a couple, you must be aware that sometimes an error of those described above could be misleading.