I moved, but have the same router and cable box. Now when I visit Google Maps it still shows my old location. I went to the SkyhookWireless update page to update my Mac Address with my new location. The process is you put in your Mac address and it shows you the current location, and then you adjust that location and submit it. When I got the Mac Address from the status page on my router Skyhook reported that location as in Pakistan, which isn't even the correct continent (as my old or new address).

I tried every other Mac address I could come up with: The cable router, the Wireless router's other Mac address, my PC's Mac address, etc. and none of them reported any location on the Skyhook page. So I am guessing that there is another Mac address, or some other bit of information that is used by Firefox when it reports to Google Maps my current location.

Now that you have the back story, how do I find the Mac address or whatever information it is that Firefox (or other browsers) use to determine my Geolocation? Everything I have read online is rather vague.

The next option I am considering is hooking a logging proxy onto Firefox and seeing what data it sends, but I'd rather find an easier method.

Related: How do I update the geo location of my house?


If you are interesting on how the Wireless geolocation in HTML 5 and traditional IP address geolocation technology work, please read this information from the article HTML 5 Geolocation API & IP Geolocation provided by IP2Location.com . It is very useful for understanding between the MAC address works difference than IP address.

  • That looks like what I was looking for. Thanks! – Jim McKeeth Jun 3 '10 at 23:45

When you first visit Google Maps, do you see a link on the left that says "Change default location"? Clicking that should allow you to enter your new address. As far as I know, Google Maps doesn't use your Mac Address or anything else to figure out your location, unless you're on a mobile browser (eg, a phone).


Firefox uses information about the WiFi access points, according to Google blog:

Google Maps asks your web browser for your location. Typically, your browser uses information about the Wi-Fi access points around you to estimate your location. If no Wi-Fi access points are in range, or your computer doesn't have Wi-Fi, it may resort to using your computer's IP address to get an approximate location. As you'd expect, the accuracy of My Location varies with your location, and in some cases, Google Maps may not be able to provide a location at all.

Firefox uses the W3C Geolocation API, which mentions

The Geolocation API defines a high-level interface to location information associated only with the device hosting the implementation, such as latitude and longitude. The API itself is agnostic of the underlying location information sources. Common sources of location information include Global Positioning System (GPS) and location inferred from network signals such as IP address, RFID, WiFi and Bluetooth MAC addresses, and GSM/CDMA cell IDs, as well as user input. No guarantee is given that the API returns the device's actual location.

What IP range is assigned to the router ?

  • Yeah, I read most of that already. This is on my laptop, and it is on wireless, so according to that it is using the Mac of the Access Point, which doesn't pan out with SkyHook's data. Is there another service besides SkyHook for the Geolocation data? – Jim McKeeth Jan 15 '10 at 23:12

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