How to Get a User’s Location With Javascript?

With the getCurrentPosition method, you can find out where the user is right now. How to use HTML and JavaScript to find...

Written by Niel Patel · 3 min read >
How To Track Child’s Location Without GPS

Javascript is not only a popular term for developers or tech-savvy ones but also for humans pursuing other professions. Javascript can be defined as a highly efficient language for the web. It is greatly helpful for performing manifold tasks in a jiffy, furthermore making the web even more dynamic. We all know how tracking user location through location APIs is common and performed by thousands of people worldwide. This scripting language is also popular for offering help in decoding a person’s location or tracking the user. The collected user location is utilized to track customers, boost the mapping facility, advise users on certain things based on their location, and so on. 

Have problems perceived the whole phenomenon? Take the example of the Food Ordering app that you often use, that is a prime example of using user location and suggesting you the best restaurants nearby. 

Introducing Javascript and its Location API 

Geolocation API is a product of Javascript offering an incredibly methodical and standard way of requesting the user for their location. You might have often noticed an app asking for your permission to access the location for a certain cause, that is how the user tracker works. Depending on the device used by the partner, the location is confined to operating IP Geolocation, WiFi, GPS, and similar approaches.  The permission is sought to provide user privacy, and the location can only be tracked if the user approves it.

What All Sources are Used by Javascript Geolocation API? 

The Javascript Geolocation API leverages particular sources for generating the user locations. Some of them are GPS, WiFi, and more. Each of these approaches differs in terms of precision.

  1. GPS or Global Positioning System: GPS is regarded as the most authentic method to derive the location. The accuracy of the GPS is tracked up to 1 foot. The best part is, most of the devices have GPS in them. 
  2. WiFi: Another convenient mode of device location is WiFi. Not only modern but traditional devices also support a WiFi connection. Despite offering a weaker connection than a Geolocation, WiFi is advantageous in devices where Geolocation is not offered or non-GPS devices. 
  3. IP Geolocation: This option has received the last position probably because of offering the least precision. Only if the device supports neither GPS nor WiFi, there is a use of IP Geolocation. 

Javascript Geolocation API (h2)

The driving force behind Javascript’s location function is – navigator.geolocation object. The object offers the following methods for deriving the device location.

  1. getCurrentPostion(): This approach is used to draw the user’s current location. The method will provide information with the help of an object that comprises the longitude, latitude, accuracy in meters, and so on. 
  2. watchPosition(): In this approach, the user will state all about the location changes. And if any location change occurs, it will call for a function. 
  3. clearWatch(): This technique is useful in erasing any handler attached to a watchPosition() call, and the site will not track the user if any change in location takes place. 

How to Obtain the Current Location with Javascript? 

All the information above is targeted towards one thing, knowing how to obtain the user location using Javascript. It should be noted that you can make use of certain free APIs which will perform similarly. To start with, we need to derive the getCurrentPosition() method pertaining to the Javascript geolocation object. 

Step 1: Geolocation API (h3)

The property named ‘navigator’ is found on the’ window’ object inside the browser. The ‘navigator’ is itself an object that further comprises a property called ‘geolocation’ which is again an additional object. 

Note: You might find it suitable to wrap your code in an ‘if’ statement since not every browser backs up the Geolocation Web API.

When you will note the browser backing it, follow it up by requesting the user’s location from the Geolocation API utilizing the ‘getCurrentPosition’ function. The term ‘request’ is used since it relies on the sole user’s decision to grant permission.

Step 2:  Get the Current Position

Two arguments are circling the getCurrentPosition function. These are callback functions determining the victory or defeat of the geolocation. When you notice a user approving the request to share the location, you will receive information regarding their longitude and latitude of them. You might be requiring a Geocoding service for decoding the information into real locations. 

Step 3: Geocoding 

One will encounter plentiful Geocoding providers. You can use any free address lookup API to translate the longitude and latitude. Once you gather your API and account keys, generate a function for a thriving callback. Post that, hook it up to the ‘getCurrentPosition’ function. You will be receiving numerous metadata but there is a ‘results’ array consisting of a specific item comprising all the location details. You will soon gather all the location details through the ‘components’ option that provides immediate entry to every trivial data.

Obtaining user location with the help of Javascript isn’t that complicated, is it? The steps above will thoroughly guide you toward victorious user location tracking. 

Also Read: The Best Geolocation API: How to Choose the Right One for Your Project

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