Both Google Maps and Apple “Find My” have the ability to share locations with specified people. Once that’s done, you can look at a map at any time and see where your friends are. For example, I just looked at my Google Maps and noticed that the icon for my friend Dee was getting close to Dallas, so I sent her a text about a park where we stayed in the area called East Fork Park. She wrote back that her son has property in the area and that’s where they would be parking the RV. I’m happy to have learned more about her family – and all because we share our locations with each other.
Next week we plan to rendezvous with friends for a day of river rafting in Colorado. They will be coming from Arizona and we from Florida. Sharing our location with each other will make this process stress-free. No need for constant text messages, “Where are you?” We just look at the map.
How to share location using Google Maps
The initial sharing must be done from the Google Maps app on a mobile device. From then on, you can see the friend’s icon on either mobile or web.
- Open the Google Maps app and tap the account button (your face in upper right)
- Select location sharing, then tap “Share location” (if you’ve done this before, you may see a button for “+New Share” – tap that)
- Tap where it says, “1 hour” – Here you can choose to add more hours or to set it to “Until you turn this off”
- Find the friend you want to share with. If it’s a close friend, you may see their icon appear right away; if not, then scroll over till you see More …
- Here you will be asked for permission for maps to see your contacts. This is not required, but it does make things a bit easier.
- At the top of the screen, you can type in the email address for the person with whom you want to share. This must be an address associated with a Google account – usually @gmail.com. Choose the person from the list that appears.
- Tap “Share” in upper right.
- You’re done. Your friend can now open Google Maps (either on their computer or on a mobile device) and see your icon at your current location.
How to share location using Apple’s “Find My” app
If you don’t use Google Maps and have an iPhone, the same feature is built in to the app called “Find My.” It used to be 2 separate apps: Find my phone, and Find my friends.
- Open “Find My” and make sure you’re on the first tab – People – and swipe up till you can tap on “Share My Location”
- Enter the email address of the person with whom you want to share and tap Send. This must be an address associated with an AppleID – so the person can use Find My on an Apple device. It’s usually @icloud.com or @me.com or @mac.com
- Share for one hour
- Share until end of day
- Share indefinitely
Now you can have fun traveling even if it’s not your own travels!
Chris Guld is President and Teacher-in-Chief at GeeksOnTour.com. She and her husband, Jim, produce a free weekly YouTube show called What Does This Button Do? They have been Fulltime RVers, popular seminar presenters at RV Rallies, and regular contributors to RVTravel.com, for many years.