If you click on a Google Maps URL link (comgooglemaps://) on a website in Safari or Chrome on an Android or iOS device that opens up the native Google Maps App, can/does Google track the referring website that you clicked the link on?

For example: if you clicked on comgooglemaps://?q=Pizza&center=37.759748,-122.427135 from webmasters.stackexchange.com in Chrome or Safari on iOS or Android, this takes you to the Google Maps native app. Can Google track the referring site (webmasters.stackexchange.com)? If yes, do they?

  • cross posting is not allowed, have flagged with mods
    – Dave
    Dec 12, 2013 at 16:45
  • This question was cross-posted to StackOverflow: stackoverflow.com/questions/20457427/… Dec 12, 2013 at 17:02
  • @StephenOstermiller: The questions are similar, but in this question I was asking if Google does track referrer URL in the described situation. In the StackOverflow question, I am asking if it is programmatically possible for Google to track a referrer URL in an app to app situation. I asked that in StackOverflow because Pro Webmasters is not a programmatic themed site. Dec 12, 2013 at 21:05
  • So if the answer to that question is yes, that it is programatically possible, then Pierre-Marc David Caron here points out that they would likely do so. Dec 12, 2013 at 21:10
  • I think Google definitely would if they could. The StackOverflow answer is saying that it is not programmatically possible for Google to receive the referrer URL since the communication is happening between two native apps which only send the Google Maps Scheme URL. Still not fully convinced that it's true. Dec 12, 2013 at 21:18

1 Answer 1


This is from the Google's Privacy policy.

Log information

When you use our services or view content provided by Google, we may automatically collect and store certain information in server logs. This may include:

details of how you used our service, such as your search queries.

telephony log information like your phone number, calling-party number, forwarding numbers, time and date of calls, duration of calls, SMS routing information and types of calls.

Internet protocol address.

device event information such as crashes, system activity, hardware settings, browser type, browser language, the date and time of your request and referral URL.

cookies that may uniquely identify your browser or your Google Account.

This policy is related to all the services and contents that Google offers, including Google Maps Apps and website.

To answer your question I would say yes they can track the referring Url and yes they do it.

  • Thank you Pierre-Marc. I know they track referral URL's under normal circumstances, but I am wanting to know for a fact if they can track it on iOS and Android devices from one native app to another. Dec 11, 2013 at 0:24
  • They are able to track wich app or referal url have fired any their Apps (including Google Maps), On android or iOS they even made this feature availible to developpers through the Anlytics SDK Dec 11, 2013 at 0:49
  • If you want see it by yourself you can use the shark for root app(Android) exactly what requests(and where) the App is sending when you use it. I don't know if an app like this exist for iOS Dec 11, 2013 at 0:57
  • @novicePrgrmr, why is this not marked as an answer, the answer answer here deserves the 50 bounty easily?
    – Dave
    Dec 12, 2013 at 12:21
  • 1
    @novicePrgrmr If you're good with this answer and want to award the bounty to it, you might have to select "Reward existing answer" since the answer appeared before the bounty was added - see "Can I award a bounty to an old answer?" here.
    – dan
    Dec 17, 2013 at 19:20

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