Google Maps Has Found A New Way To Get Your Location Out Of You

by on January 18, 2016

in consumer

Google Maps

Over the years Google Maps has pretty much become the default mapping app that most folks use these days. So too, have I become accustomed to the process of using Google Maps. Let’s face it, compared to the other processes, they do have a smoother interaction and usually, superior results.

As of a year or so ago from the date of this post, if you ever set Google Maps to open at a location of your choosing, all you had to do was use that “gear” icon in the lower right corner of the map, and use the options to set your default location.

Once I did that, it was a very awesome experience.

Let’s cut to today, when all the rage and business focus is tapping into your exact location for purposes of advertising to you, and focusing those ads from businesses as close to your location as possible. And that ‘gear’ logo is gone, as is the old way of being able to freely choose how Google gets your location from you.

Or in Google-speak, they’ve made it user friendly and more accommodating to our purchasing needs. Or some such rhetoric.

Over the last several months (at least) I noticed that my Maps no longer opened to the location I set it to.

What the hell, why can’t anyone just listen to what a user wants in their environment? It is not like Google doesn’t have a few programmers under their cap that might know how to actually set up software to “hear” what the user says they want?

So today I decided to beat this bug once and for all. I want to set my Google Maps to open to where I want it centered, not where it thinks or wants to know where I am. Bluntly put, I am tired of Google thinking I want downtown San Francisco as my start point. You, Google, are wrong about my location! Ha, I’ve gamed the system enough to trick them, but still…

After digging and digging, and finding even some official Google threads pointing out incorrect directions for setting my location, I hit upon two excellent answers.

One answer, excellent for myself. The other answer, excellent for Google’s business interests.

How A User Can Set Their Default Location In Google Maps:

You can change the part of the map that you see when you open Google Maps in two ways:

  • Turn on Location History for your Google Account. If you have Location History turned on, your location could be based on the location of your mobile device.
  • Allow Maps to get your location when you’re on a desktop.

Or how I do it…

I use a custom web page that I’ve created with links to my favorite or most visited websites and I place and maintain that page on every PC I use, at both work and home. I make that page my start up or home page, instead of all the other pages that want me to make themselves their home page for me.

It’s a flaw, but I don’t like using third-party services, so I’ve set up this simple web page. I don’t trust third-party intents.

This just adds to my frustration with Google not giving a shit about what a user wants.

The other day I discovered that my Chrome App on my smartphone updated itself. Despite my having turned off all automatic update settings everywhere on my phone.

The bottom line is, unless you want to learn how to create and use a Linux home operating system, we, the consumer do not have much control over our personal computing devices. It feels like trespassing when websites and software companies take over our desktops because their user agreements say they will.

But we are the consumer, and we are never right, when it comes to our computers. Never, we’re allowed to use and borrow the desktop space while they trespass on our stuff in our homes and our cars and on our walk abouts.

Any way, a personal start page is one way to set up things to get around these defaults that software force on us.

Sighing off.

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