Mobile Number Locator And Tracer On Google Maps
Have you ever watched a TV show where the police or the FBI or the A-Team or whoever is trying to track down the bad guy, and he’s making a taunting phone call to give them oddly specific clues about his next crime? There’s always a computer hacker (usually wearing a flannel shirt, the universal indicator of “I dropped out of MIT because I was too smart”) furiously typing away at a keyboard “to track the call” while the good guys look anxiously over. The hacker always motions frantically to the police officer to try to keep the bad guy talking, he just needs another minute. We sit on the edge of our seats, hoping that the guy at the computer has enough time to trace the location of the bad guys’ call. Then suddenly, “click,” and the phone goes silent. The hacker pushes back from his desk in frustration. There just wasn’t enough time.
Most of us at one time or another have wished we had that technology available to us…or at least that awesome computer setup…or at least the flannel shirt. Unfortunately, while it is possible to trace a phone call (it doesn’t involve any kind of furious typing, by the way), it’s not something private citizens have access to, at least not yet. (You can buy the cool computer setup if you have the money…or at least the flannel shirt.) Unfortunately, there’s just not any software available like that to private citizens – yet. However, there are a few ways that you can get some location information about someone based on their phone number. In this article, I’m going to show you how you can narrow down the location of a mobile phone number using Google Maps.
Why You’d Want to Find a Mobile Phone Location
There are several reasons you might want to find out where a call is coming from.
- Missed calls from unknown mobile numbers can stress you out.
- You might want to try to figure out who keeps calling you.
- You do not appreciate getting unsolicited calls, and you want to report the caller.
- You might want to know where someone is calling you from before you pick up.
Whatever the reason, below we’ll demonstrated a few ways you can trace a phone number’s location. While you will be unable to pinpoint the exact person, you should be able to get an idea of where they are calling from.
International Numbering Plans
One very helpful website to check is International Numbering Plans. This site provides a number of tools, like IMEI lookups, but for our purposes the most relevant information is found in the number lookup. This service will let you provide a telephone number and will tell you what city or exchange the phone is registered in.
The site is easy to use. Just fill in the phone number, using the international number standards. So for a US number, you would begin with “+1”, then the full phone number. For example, a Colorado-based phone would have a number like “+1-719-XXX-XXXX”. If you’re looking for a number in another country, you can use the Calling Dialing Codes site, which has calling codes for the various countries of the world. The International Numbering Plan site information may not always be accurate – it’s possible for people to relocate, after all. However, I tested it with ten numbers for which I had good location information, and it was accurate nine out of the ten times. The one exception was a friend who had moved from another state – and it did report that her phone was from that area.
Find the Person, Find the Phone
Of course, sometimes what you’re really looking for isn’t the phone, it’s the person who has the phone. There are a number of sites which can help you find people using public records. Most of those sites of course charge money for their service. However, even the free information provided by sites like Intelius, Pipl, and Zabasearch can get you started on tracking someone down. Once you know a person’s general area, it becomes a lot easier to find them with sites like Facebook or LinkedIn, or by doing your own public records searches in that city or state.
Can I share the location of my own phone?
If you and the people you want to find want to be found, Google Maps makes it easy for you to keep track of one another. You can share the location of your phone in real time, and see the information of people who have shared their location with you, using the Google Maps service.
- Open Google Maps.
- Click the blue dot that shows where you currently are.
- Click the top option: “Share your location.”
- Select the length of time you would like to share your location (or “Until you turn this off.”).
- Tap “Select People” to choose the people you want to see your location.
- Then click “Share.”
That’s it! Now the people who you shared with can see wherever your phone goes. This can come in handy if you want to meet up with someone in a crowd, or if you are headed into a sketchy situation and you want someone to be able to keep tabs on you.
How about real-time tracing?
If you want to trace a mobile phone’s location in real time like in the movies, nothing could be simpler. There’s a service called the Visitor Location Register (VLR). The VLR is a service handled by network service providers.Unfortunately for you, it’s the network service provider’s responsibility to protect the privacy of its clients. So there is virtually no chance of entering it, because access to the database is blocked if you aren’t in law enforcement. All you need to do is become a cop and get a warrant.
It always feels like somebody’s watching me…
How does the government track private citizens’ locations using their cellphones? There are a few different ways, but the main one is called “cell tower isolation”. Every time a device connects to a cell tower, the connection is recorded. When someone travels, they connect to a succession of cell towers. With every successive tower, the number of people who have taken that route is narrowed down – until eventually, the NSA knows precisely which person is taking the route, and can track them every time they jump towers. Can you defeat this? Sure – take the battery out of your phone.
Ubiquitous cell phones have put a huge dent in our personal privacy. At least at the moment, however, ordinary people don’t have the ability to track down one another, at least not to any very specific degree. There’s no telling how long that state of affairs will last.
For more on this and related topics, check out our tutorials on finding a person via their cell phone number, how to fake or spoof your location in Google Maps, how to fake or spoof your location on GPS, and how to perform a reverse phone lookup.