Google Maps Compass: A Simple Guide to Finding Your Way

Have you ever wondered how to use the compass feature in Google Maps? If so, then you’re not alone. Similarly, many people likely rely on Google Maps for navigation and guidance whenever traveling to places they know well or discovering new locations.

However, did you know that Google Maps has a built-in compass that can help you find your way even better? To get the compass on Google maps follow the steps mentioned below:

  • First, open the Google Maps app on your smartphone or tablet.
  • Next, tap the blue dot that represents your location on the map. This will enable compass mode.
  • Then, look for the compass icon in the top right corner of the screen. It may look like a small arrow or a traditional compass rose.
  • After that, tap the compass icon to activate it. The map will automatically align in the direction you are facing.
  • Finally, move with your phone and watch the compass and map orientation change as you turn.

In this blog post we’ll show you how to activate, calibrate and use the compass in Google Maps, as well as some tips and tricks to get the most out of it.  

How to see Compass on Google Maps ?  

If you’re looking for a way to orient yourself and find your direction on Google Maps, consequently, you may want to use the compass feature. This is often referred to as ‘compass reading’. Furthermore, in this section, we’ll show you how to view and use the compass in Google Maps on your mobile device.

Follow below mentioned steps see Compass on google maps using mobile device:

  • First, open the Google Maps app on your smartphone (Android or iPhone) and make sure it is updated to the latest version.
  • Next, tap the blue dot that represents your location on the map on the right-hand side of your screen. This will allow the app to orient the map based on where you are.
tap on the blue dot to use google Maps compass
  • Then, look for the compass icon in the top right corner of the screen. It could be a magnetic needle or a traditional compass rose.
tap on the compass icon to use Google maps compass
  • After that, tap the compass icon to activate it. The map will automatically align in the direction you are facing.
automatic align the direction
  • Finally, move with your phone and watch the compass and map orientation change as you turn, based on your accurate location.

A few things to keep in mind: The compass only appears when you are viewing your current location on the map. Conversely, it does not appear when navigating to another destination. Additionally, it depends on your phone’s gyroscope, magnetometer, and proximity to nearby cell tower working properly to determine direction.

Also Check: Turn on Google Maps dark mode

How to get Compass on Google Maps desktop ?

There is no built-in compass feature on Google Maps desktop, unlike the mobile app. However, you can still use some tricks to orient yourself on the map. Here are some possible ways:

Use Street View

  • First, enter your desired location in the search bar on Google Maps.
  • Next, drag and drop the orange “little orange man” icon in the lower right corner onto the location to activate Street View (if available).
  • Then, look for the compass icon in the lower right corner of the Street View window. The red tip of the needle points north, regardless of its orientation.

Rotate the map manually

  • First, hold down the Ctrl key on your keyboard.
  • Next, click and drag the map with the mouse to rotate it in the desired direction.
  • Finally, this method is not as accurate as a compass, but it can give you a general idea of the direction you are facing.

Consider alternatives

  • First, if you need a compass for navigation, consider using a dedicated compass app on your phone or computer.
  • Alternatively, other mapping services like Bing Maps or OpenStreetMap could offer a compass feature in their desktop versions.

Also Check: How to delete Google Maps search history ?

How to use Google Maps Compass ?

Google Maps is a powerful tool that can help you with many things, from finding places to getting directions. However, it can be difficult to figure out how to use all of its features.

In this section, we’ll show you how to perform some of the most common tasks in Google Maps, such as:

Find a location

  • Search bar: Type the name of the place you are looking for in the search bar at the top. Google Maps will suggest results as you type.
  • Browse the map: You can pan and zoom the map to find the location you are interested in.
  • Tap a point on the map: If you see a place you’re interested in on the map, simply tap it to get more information.

Getting directions

  • Enter your starting point and destination: first, in the search bar, type your starting point, then tap “Directions.” You can also choose your mode of transportation (driving, walking, cycling, public transportation).
  • Choose your route: Google Maps will show you different route options, along with the estimated time and distance of the trip. You have the option to select the best route for your needs.
  • Start Navigation: Once you’ve chosen a route, tap “Start” to begin turn-by-turn navigation. Google Maps will use your phone’s GPS to guide you to your destination.

Exploring your surroundings

  • Search Nearby: Tap the “Explore” tab at the bottom of the screen to see restaurants, cafes, shops, and other points of interest near you.
  • Street View: You can see panoramic street-level views of many locations by tapping the “Street View” icon next to the location name.
  • Layers: Tap the layer’s icon in the top right corner to see different overlays on the map, such as traffic, public transportation, and bike lanes.

Saving your places

  • Featured Places: Tap the star icon next to a place on the map to save it to your “Featured Places” list.
  • Lists: You can create custom lists of places, such as “Restaurants to Try” or “Places to Visit on Vacation.”

Offline Maps

  • You can download maps for offline use, so you can access them even when you don’t have an Internet connection.  

Also Check: How to calibrate Google Maps ?

How do I find north on Google Maps ?

There are different ways to find north on Google Maps depending on the device and mode you are using. Here are some general steps to find north on Google Maps:

On a PC or Mac, the north side of the map is always at the top of the screen. Subsequently, you can also use Street View to see a compass icon in the lower right corner pointing north.

On an Android phone or tablet, you can tap the location button near the bottom right corner of the map to center it on your current location. Then, tap the compass button near the top right corner of the screen to see a red “N” on the compass indicating the north direction.

On an iPhone or iPad, you can tap the menu icon in the top left corner of the screen and then tap Settings. Following this, scroll down and tap Navigation Settings and then enable the Keep map facing north option. Consequently, this will ensure that the north side of the map is always at the top of the screen.

How to Fix Google Maps Compass Not Working ?

The compass feature in Google Maps can help you orient yourself and find your direction. However, sometimes it may not work correctly or display inaccurate results. Therefore, here are some possible methods to fix Google Maps compass not working:

Calibrate the compass manually

Firstly, you can do this by opening the Google Maps app, furthermore, tapping the blue dot that shows your location, and selecting “Calibrate Compass” at the bottom left of the screen. Then follow the instructions to move your phone in a figure eight until the compass accuracy is high.

Check your location settings

To begin with, make sure your location services are enabled and that Google Maps has permission to access your location. Additionally, you can also try switching between different location modes, such as high precision, battery saver, or device only.

Update the Google Maps application

Sometimes the compass issue may be due to a bug or glitch in the app. As a result, to fix this issue, you can update the Google Maps app to the latest version from the Google Play Store or App Store.

Restart your phone

Frequently, a simple reset can solve the problem by clearing your phone’s cache and memory. To restart your phone, press and hold the power button and select “Restart” or “Power cycle” from the options.

Reset app preferences

As a further troubleshooting step, this method will restore the default settings of the Google Maps app and erase corrupted data. To reset app preferences, go to your phone’s settings, tap “Applications” or “Application Manager,” find and tap “Google Maps,” and select “Clear data” or “Clear cache” from the options.

Use another compass app

As a final option, if none of the above methods work, you can try using another compass app to check if the problem is with your phone’s magnetometer or the Google Maps App. Specifically, you can download a free compass app from the Google Play Store or App Store and compare the results with the Google Maps compass.

Contact Google Support

As a last resort, if you still can’t fix Google Maps compass not working, you can contact Google support for further help. You can do this by opening the Google Maps app, tapping the menu icon in the top left corner of the screen, selecting “Help & Feedback,” and choosing “Send Feedback” or “Contact Us” from the options.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the Google Maps compass is a useful feature that can help you find your way and orient yourself on the map.

Whether you use it on your Android device or iOS device, you can easily activate, view, and use the compass in Google Maps . Remember to calibrate your compass before embarking on a journey for accurate results.

Additionally, you can also calibrate and adjust the compass settings to improve its accuracy and performance. The Google Maps compass feature can enhance your navigation experience by showing you which direction you’re facing, how to align the map with your surroundings, and how to follow the route to your destination.

Frequently Asked Question’s (FAQ’s)

Can I see direction on Google Maps ?

Yes, Google Maps shows you directions to places. You can search for a place or tap it on the map. Then, pick your route and travel option.

Is there a compass overlay for Google Maps ?

Yes, there is a compass overlay for Google Maps that shows the direction of the map and your device. You can access it by tapping the My Location icon in the app.

Do Google Maps show true north ?

Google Maps does not show true north. It matches the north grid on a regular Mercator map, where true north is only at the middle line.


Content Writer

Smith Ron, the writer at Assistme360. He has extensive experience in crafting straightforward, step-by-step guides for technical issues. His broad knowledge ensures accurate solutions. Kindly spare a moment to drop a comment down and express your opinions. Your feedback can be valuable in assisting others who may come across similar problems.


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