Compass Google Maps: How to calibrate it and how to know the exact orientation

In the new digital era, it is very common to use online services on computers and cell phones to navigate both the digital world and the real world, and of these programs, those created by the great mega company Google are considered to be the best optimized. and more useful on a general level, as well as its search engine, its navigation application, and its geographical and GPS mapping service, known as Google Maps.

And this application is known thanks to all the options and possibilities that it always provides, especially for using it as a guide, and that is where the compass plays an important role, since not all cell phones have a compass application already downloaded, and the The idea of ​​cell phones has always been to minimize the amount of tasks that must be used.

How to know and see my current location on Google Maps

The Google Maps application has the option of using a compass, which is a tool that works by showing where the north is due to the earth’s magnetic fields, and thanks to the magnetic sensors that the most recent cell phones have, it is able to to use the tool in conjunction with the map options. The important thing is to know how to read and calibrate it in the application.

Understand the compass

A digital compass operates in the same way as an analog compass, it works using an arrow cross with an arrow, usually red, that will always point north while the others show south, east and west, with south being opposite north. , the east to the right of the north and opposite to the west, although in the version of Google Maps it works only showing the north with the red arrow and the south with a white arrow.

a man is shown using google maps

Where does the map point?

It is necessary to understand how the compass works in the two versions of Google maps, that to be able to use them it is necessary to have the application updated to the newest version, which can be done in a simple way , since in mobile versions you can see the map in a satellite way and in 2D, and a more personal version in a mix between Street View 3D and satellite 2D; the difference between the two is the compass function, where in the satellite version it will always show the map with the north at the top of the screen, while in the other it can be altered.

The compass and its use in Maps

Since it is understood that only one mode in Maps allows you to see the movement of the compass, a question may arise: Is there no way to know the user’s orientation in the satellite version? And the answer is yes, there is a very simple way to understand the user’s orientation, since to know where it is located, the application indicates the user’s location with a blue dot.

This blue point works as a personal options tab where you will also find the option to calibrate the compass, but that will be discussed later, for while it should be understood that this blue point shows a blue arc in the direction towards which the cell phone, and therefore the user, is also seeing, although this arc can vary in size, which guides us to talk about calibrating the tool.

How to calibrate Google Maps compass on Android or iPhone

Remember the blue dot just mentioned? When it comes to calibrating the compass, it is necessary to enter it to find the option in the lower left corner, it is a very simple process, but in any case it is interesting to note that when calibrating a cell phone, it is important to follow the guidelines that the cell phone dictates, normally it asks the cell phones to move in a figure of eight (8) to calibrate the sensors.

person using google maps

Calibrate Google Maps compass with Live View


In this way we can calibrate our compass with the new augmented reality. This can be quite useful when we are on the street. Follow the steps below, which are a bit like the ones mentioned above:

  • First, you must open the Google Maps application on your cell phone.
  • You must press the blue circle that is shown in the current location.
  • Now, select “Calibrate with Live View” and press start.
  • At this time you should focus on the buildings on the street that the application is locating.
  • Finally, restart the application.

Use system settings

With the settings we can change or modify any configuration that the application that we put has at any time without realizing it. Something quite common in this case is when the compass is always pointing in the same direction and we do not know why.

Normally it points North, this is because there is an option activated that “the compass always points North”. To be able to enter the settings you must follow the steps below:

  • Enter the Google Maps App and select your profile photo.
  • Press where it says “Settings”.
  • Then in “Navigation Settings”.
  • In the option “Keep the map with north up” you must activate it and that’s it.

With third-party applications

Sometimes we can see that our compass does not calibrate well directly from Google Maps. If your question is if you can use other applications to perform this function, other than Google Maps, the answer is yes.

You can download an application and with the steps that they mention when you are already inside, calibrate your compass in order to improve the location.

Google maps

Third-party applications to calibrate compass and know my direction

If you are sure that you want to use a third-party application to carry out this activity, we can recommend the following apps. Both are easily found in the application gallery of the Play Store, so you will have to open it and look for the following apps:

  • Compass Calibration Tool
  • Compass Galaxy

These apps allow you to calibrate your compass quickly and effectively. Likewise, as well, they are different applications that you can use an integrated compass that it has for free.

However, we do not highly recommend the idea of ​​using compasses from other applications, since Google’s own compass already has a fairly effective calibration service which works perfectly.

Use third-party applications if the Google Maps application does not work to calibrate the compass.

How to activate High Precision mode on mobiles

Activating the High Precision mode will help us find the location (with the blue dot in Google Maps) more precisely.

  • Enter your mobile phone settings.
  • Select “Location” and activate it.
  • Then, press where it says “Mode” and then “High precision”, activate it and that’s it.

I can’t calibrate the Google Maps compass: How to fix it

Many times we find that the compass is not actually calibrating as it should be, or it just isn’t. This can be due to many factors. For example, the weather or a software or hardware failure of the mobile.

Likewise, we recommend that you close the application, update it and reopen it. If this doesn’t work, try restarting your device. Or a pretty good option is clearing the cache of the application, this way it can work correctly.

phone with google maps

Tips for using Maps smoothly

It is important to highlight the usefulness of the application to be used as a GPS, either for walking through cities or riding in vehicles such as bicycles, cars and public transport, so it is important to learn that it is possible to use Google Maps with a driving mode , as using the app normally would be dangerous.

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