Find geographical coordinates using Google Maps (revisited)
March 8, 2010,
A little while ago we posted a short instruction on how to find the map coordinates of a location for use on a Google Map. With some new additions to Google Maps, this has now become even easier.
As we explained in the prequel to this article, there are numerous reasons why you might need the map coordinates of a location. To reiterate, you might just want to place a marker on a map, or you're interested in including some microformats into a webpage, or something different altogether. The biggest problem is that it's typically not possible to determine the location, for example because the location is not around the corner. It would save a lot of time and energy if you could just go to Google Maps, look up the location, and get the coordinates. Well, guess what? That's exactly what Google Maps now offers.
Recently, a little red link labeled 'new' has appeared at the right top of the Google Maps page. It offers access to the Google Maps Labs, a collection of experimental features that frequent map users will like. In the line of this article there are two features of interest that you might like to enable. The first is LatLng Tooltip. Enable it, and a tooltip containing coordinates will be following your mouse pointer. The accuracy depends on the zoom level of the map. Having it constantly enabled might be a bit noisy, but at times it's extremely useful. The other useful extension is LatLng Marker. Once you've spotted the location you're interested in, rightclick on it, and select 'Drop LatLng Marker' from the context menu. A minimarker containing the coordinates of the marker is positioned at the location of the click. Again, the zoom level of the map dictates the accuracy of the coordinates. You can't drag the marker, but what's possibly more useful is that you can select and copy its contents for use in other applications. All in all these two features are pretty indispensible for applications requiring map locations.