I'm having trouble using Google Maps

When I use the Tor Browser to look at Google Maps, I run into troubles that I don’t have with other browsers. I put something in the search bar, submit it, and then when I start using my touch screen to zoom in, I get zoomed in on other places besides what I want to see, and I can’t move the map to my target. So I zoom out, but now I get zoomed out too much, and the details are too small to see. If I zoom back in, the result is the same as before, so I cannot see what I want whether I zoom in or out. And I also cannot move the map with the touch screen.
Any one else have these problems?

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If you are on your phone, try using Orbot. This will allow you to use the Google Maps app directly, instead of the Tor browser.

To avoid using Google Maps altogether, you can try Organic Maps which is available over F-Droid, so you don’t even need to use the Play Store to download it. Organic Maps lacks the usability of Google Maps, but it is free and open-source. Perhaps it will improve over time if more people use and contribute.

T

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I’d like to use a desktop, laptop, or tablet to access Orbot.

Can I use Organic Maps on a computer?

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I believe Orbot is only available for phones and tablets. It is like a VPN app.

OpenStreetMap is the site that the Organic Maps app is based on. I have also heard that Apple Maps has a better privacy policy than Google Maps (source). Maybe it is worth trying.

Both Google Maps and OpenStreetMap work for me with Tor Browser 13.0.15 on both Windows 10 and Android 14 (including touch screen navigation and zooming). Can you give any more information about your system? Let me know what else you try. Sorry I can’t be of more help!

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Well I use Windows 11 on my desktop, laptop and tablet and I use all of them like computers, not like phones, even the tablet.

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So there are a bunch of issues with google maps, including that it uses canvas (IIRC), and recaptcha hell. So assuming a canvas exception is added for the session (if required), and you’re not tagged as a robot or something … which seems the case …

… this then sounds like privacy.resistFingerprinting breaks pinch zoom on DuckDuckGo maps (Apple Maps/MapKit) (#41731) · Issues · The Tor Project / Applications / Tor Browser · GitLab

  • although that is specifically about android, it relates to touch/pointer events - but we treat pointer events differently on android to desktop (bugzilla numbers)
  • 1363508 - spoof/suppress Pointer Events (FF64)
  • 1492766 - spoof pointerEvent.pointerid (FF65)
  • 1607316 - spoof pointer as coarse and hover as none (ANDROID) (FF74)

And we also lie about some touch items on desktop. So all up, something is happening which may be the result of all this. I do have issues open to make all devices return as touch capable etc, since this shouldn’t break anything, and this probably means aligning all that pointer stuff as well - IDK for sure (I do have issues open at gitlab)

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Is it better to use another browser for Google Maps? Like Brave?
I also tried Bing Maps, but the images are too dark and don’t look as good. Is there an alternative to Google Maps on PC’s that’s just as good?

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That’s up to you. You could try using online maps other than google maps. At the end of the day, if you need google maps to work and it’s not working in Tor Browser, then use what you have to - like Firefox :slight_smile: or Edge which is already on your system. You should have a default and/or secondary everyday browser installed anyway

This will not of course hide your IP, that’s up to you, e.g. a trustworthy system wide VPN

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