Google Expands ‘My Location’ On The Desktop, Tests Search Layers In Maps

Two pretty cool things coming out of Google Maps today: First, an official announcement that Google’s “My Location” feature is now available more widely on the desktop. Second, Google Operating System has discovered what looks like a test that lets users create “search layers” in Google Maps. More on that in a moment.

If you’ve used Google’s mobile Maps application, you know (and probably enjoy) the “My Location” feature that pinpoints where you are and makes searching nearby much more convenient. A couple months ago, Google announced that My Location was available on the desktop via a new version of the Google Toolbar. It’s now available on a wider basis, but is still only supported on certain web browsers: FireFox 3.5, Google Chrome 2.0 and higher, and any browser with the latest version of Google Gears installed. (Note: I’m running an older version of Firefox with Gears installed, but the feature is not available to me. It’s not available on my older G5 Power Mac, but is available on my newer Intel-based Macbook; same browser on both.)

mylocationIf My Location is available, you’ll see a new circle on the left of the map, between the zoom and pan controls. Clicking that activates the tool. My Location will try to estimate your location based on Wi-Fi access points nearby, or via your IP address as a second option. Neither is guaranteed to be accurate, so My Location’s success in knowing where you are may vary — and sometimes may not work at all, as Google points out.

The second addition I mentioned above is a test feature in Google Maps that saves your recent searches and lets you add those earlier results as layers on top of your most recent search. On the screenshot below, searches for Italian and Chinese restaurants in Seattle are shown together, and each set of results is color-coded.

map-layers

You can combine any combination of searches — like “seattle hotels” and “seattle italian restaurants” or “seattle movie theaters” and “seattle hotels.” The possibilities are wide open for this very cool and potentially very helpful feature.

Postscript, July 22: Google has announced that this feature is now live for all users.

Related Topics: Channel: Local | Google: Maps & Local

Sponsored


About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Search Engine Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He recently launched a site dedicated to Google Glass called Glass Almanac and also blogs at Small Business Search Marketing. Matt can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog.

Connect with the author via: Email | Twitter | Google+ | LinkedIn



SearchCap:

Get all the top search stories emailed daily!  

Share

Other ways to share:
 

Read before commenting! We welcome constructive comments and allow any that meet our common sense criteria. This means being respectful and polite to others. It means providing helpful information that contributes to a story or discussion. It means leaving links only that substantially add further to a discussion. Comments using foul language, being disrespectful to others or otherwise violating what we believe are common sense standards of discussion will be deleted. Comments may also be removed if they are posted from anonymous accounts. You can read more about our comments policy here.

Comments are closed.

Get Our News, Everywhere!

Daily Email:

Follow Search Engine Land on Twitter @sengineland Like Search Engine Land on Facebook Follow Search Engine Land on Google+ Get the Search Engine Land Feed Connect with Search Engine Land on LinkedIn Check out our Tumblr! See us on Pinterest

 
 

Click to watch SMX conference video

Join us at one of our SMX or MarTech events:

United States

Europe

Australia & China

Learn more about: SMX | MarTech


Free Daily Search News Recap!

SearchCap is a once-per-day newsletter update - sign up below and get the news delivered to you!

 


 

Search Engine Land Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors

Get Your Copy
Read The Full SEO Guide