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December 14, 2009

Share Web Pages and Your Location in Google Toolbar

Google Toolbar 6.4 for IE and Firefox adds a feature that lets you share web pages using social networking sites, mail services, bookmarking services and other sites. You can select your favorite services from the settings page or repeatedly click on one of the options to bring it to the top of the menu.

If you share links using Twitter, you'll notice a new URL shortening service: "Google URL Shortener at is a service that takes long URLs and squeezes them into fewer characters to make a link that is easier to share, tweet, or email to friends. The core goals of this service are: stability, security and speed." The service is only used by Google Toolbar and FeedBurner, so there's no web interface or API for

Another new Google Toolbar feature implements W3C's geolocation API, which allows web pages to access detailed information about the locations of their visitors. "We use information transmitted by nearby WiFi access points to determine your approximate location. Accuracy and coverage will vary by location, and we're working to improve both over time," explains Google. This feature is already available in Firefox 3.5, so Google only added it to the IE version of Google Toolbar.

One of the few sites that use the geolocation API is Google Maps: "visit Google Maps and click the My Location button above the zoom slider. Click Share my location if you give your permission for Google Maps to use your location, and the map should center on your approximate location, if available."

{ via Google Blog }

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