How to Find Your Direction of Travel Using Google Maps

Finding Your Direction of Travel with Google Maps

Google Maps is more than just a digital map; it’s a navigational powerhouse that can help you find your way anywhere. But did you know it can also tell you which direction you’re currently traveling in? Here’s how to find your direction of travel using Google Maps on both mobile devices and desktops:

Using Google Maps on Mobile Devices (Android & iOS):

There are two ways to find your direction of travel on your phone:

1. Using the Compass Icon:

  • Open the Google Maps app and ensure your location services are enabled.

  • You’ll see a blue dot representing your current location on the map.

  • Look for a small compass icon in the top right corner (or near your location dot on some versions).

  • Here’s the key: The red tip of the compass needle always points north. The direction you’re traveling in will be relative to the compass needle. For example, if the red tip is pointing towards the right side of the map and your phone is facing forward while you’re walking, you’re most likely traveling in an Easterly direction.

2. Using Live View (Walking Mode Only):

  • This method works best when you’re walking and have a clear view of your surroundings.
  • Make sure you’re in walking mode on Google Maps (tap the walking icon at the bottom left corner).
  • Tap the blue “Start” button to initiate navigation.
  • In Live View mode, your phone’s camera will display the real-world view in front of you with directional arrows overlaid on the screen. The arrow will point in the direction you need to walk.

Using Google Maps on Desktop:

  • Open Google Maps on your web browser.

  • Allow location access if prompted.

  • Your location will be represented by a blue dot on the map.

  • Unfortunately, there’s no compass icon on the desktop version of Google Maps.

  • Here’s an alternative method: Rotate the map itself! Click, hold, and drag the map in any direction. As you rotate the map, the blue location dot will rotate as well. The direction the top of the blue dot points to is the direction you’re facing (assuming your computer is facing forward).

Additional Tips:

  • Ensure you have a good GPS signal for the most accurate location tracking.
  • While using Live View, keep your phone steady and pointed in the direction you’re walking.
  • Remember, these methods indicate your direction of travel, not necessarily your destination.

By following these tips, you can transform Google Maps into your personal direction-finding tool, whether you’re exploring a new city or simply want to know which way you’re headed on a walk.