Make dropped pins on Google Maps more accurate with these tips

ASK: What can I do to make dropped pins more accurate on Google Maps?

ANSWER: Pins, which are run by pressing anywhere on a map view, are very useful for locations that don’t have a physical address, such as the United States. B. A remote hiking area or in regions of the world where physical addresses are not displayed on each building.

Google has invested heavily in the development of Google Maps, but it can only be as accurate as you and your device allow it to be.

Precise location setting

First, make sure you allow Google Maps to use your precise location, which improves accuracy from within 100 meters to 1-5 meters depending on where in the world you are.

Android users can check this by going to the “Location” menu in Settings and then to Google Maps Permissions, which should show the “Use precise location” option.

iPhone users can do the same by going to the “Privacy” menu in Settings and then to the “Location Services” screen, which should display your apps in alphabetical order.

This doesn’t change location permissions for other Google services, only Maps.

More about search engines: Are you looking for an alternative to Google? Try Startpage or DuckDuckGo

Zoom before dropping

Google Maps will show you your current location with a blue dot and depending on how far you’ve zoomed out it can be quite inaccurate.

The two things I always do to improve accuracy are zoom in as much as possible and turn on the “satellite” view, which can provide visual aids.

I never rely solely on where the blue dot is when dropping a pin, especially when trying to give someone else navigation instructions.

In some cases, as you zoom in, you’ll see the blue dot slowly move closer to your actual location, but if the visual aids indicate it’s still not where you actually are, ignore it altogether.

Using the satellite imagery to pinpoint the location you want to share greatly improves accuracy in both rural and urban areas.

Calibrate your compass

Another step you can take is to calibrate your device’s compass, which can be indicated by how wide the blue dot’s directional beam is or if it’s pointing in the wrong direction.

Android users can do this by opening Google Maps and making a few figure eights with the smartphone.

iOS users can go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services > System Services and ensure “Compass Calibration” is enabled.

Plus Codes

Another useful tool in Google Maps, known as Plus Codes, converts longitude and latitude into a more manageable combination of numbers and letters.

This can be very useful, for example, if you want to coordinate with someone at a specific door in a large building, as the address itself would not be unique enough.

Plus codes are generally located near the longitude and latitude information in the details of each dropped pin that you generate.

For example, here’s the Plus Code for one of my favorite hikes near Phoenix: XQ8F+29 Rio Vista, Phoenix, AZ, which you can copy and paste into Google Maps to view.

Ken Colburn is Founder and CEO of Data Doctors Computer Services, Submit any technical question below or on Twitter @TheDataDoc.

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