The Google maps geocoding API has a sensor parameter that is mandatory in V3:

sensor (required) — Indicates whether or not the geocoding request comes from a device with a location sensor. This value must be either true or false.

requests without it are denied:

"REQUEST_DENIED" indicates that your request was denied, generally because of lack of a sensor parameter.

Why is this? Why do they want to know so badly whether the request comes from a client with a sensor or not?

Is it for statistical reasons, or to be able to provide services in the future?

  • I could take a guess, but the only people really able to answer this would be Google employees that are working on the project.
    – MBraedley
    Mar 7, 2011 at 2:42

2 Answers 2


The sensor parameter is required by Google as they need this information for statistics as part of their licensing terms with their data providers.

Taken from this Google Groups post (from a Google employee by the looks of it)

The sensor parameter doesn't give you any geo location capabilities it just lets us know as part of our licensing terms with our data providers that the map is being used in conjunction with some sort of geo location functionality.


The Google Maps docs have been updated and as of June 2014 and the &sensor parameter is no longer required for JavaScript or Web Service API calls. The parameter will now be ignored if passed along with any request.



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