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Sean Atukorala
Sean Atukorala

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How to validate the HTML Geolocation API using Selenium WebDriver for Java

You've probably heard of Selenium WebDriver, the widely popular browser automation library right? Did you know that you can validate the HTML Geolocation API feature using Selenium WebDriver? If not, keep reading and you'll soon find out how!

Figure 1: Geolocation API asking for permissions

Figure 1: Geolocation API asking for permissions


For this short tutorial we'll be using the following example Java application hosted on GitHub: Java Selenium Examples

Start by cloning the project and opening it up in Eclipse or Intellij IDEA. I'll be using Eclipse for this tutorial.

Note: If you want to follow along with a different Java application feel free to do so.

Setting up environmental variables

If you're using Eclipse, make sure to following these steps so that the paths to your local installations of geekodriver and firefox.bin are set:

  1. Navigate to the Run Configurations page via Run -> Run Configurations
  2. Select the JUnit configuration that you plan to use in running the tests
  3. Navigate to the Environment tab
  4. Click on Add and enter the following key/value pairs:
    • FIREFOX_PATH: Your local path to your firefox executable file. For example it should look like the following if you're using Windows: C:\\Program Files\\Mozilla Firefox\\firefox.exe
    • GEEKODRIVER_PATH: Your local path to your geckodriver executable file. Here's what a Windows path should look like: C:\\..\\geckodriver\\geckodriver.exe
  5. Click Apply to save changes


Let's navigate to the class and go through its methods, starting with the @Before method:

    public void initFirefox() {
        Properties properties = new Properties();
        System.setProperty("webdriver.gecko.driver", System.getenv("GEEKODRIVER_PATH"));
        System.setProperty("webdriver.firefox.bin", System.getenv("FIREFOX_PATH"));
        WebDriver driver = new FirefoxDriver();
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The above method establishes properties for geckodriver. It needs the local geckodriver executable file path set to the webdriver.gecko.driver property along with the firefox executable file set to wherever your local firefox executable file resides
Finally, we instantiate the FirefoxDriver() class to the driver variable

Next, let's cover the checkGeolocation() method:

    public void checkGeolocation() {
        String baseUrl = "";

        FirefoxProfile geoDisabled = new FirefoxProfile();
        geoDisabled.setPreference("geo.enabled", true);
        geoDisabled.setPreference("geo.provider.use_corelocation", true);
        geoDisabled.setPreference("geo.prompt.testing", true);
        geoDisabled.setPreference("geo.prompt.testing.allow", true);
        DesiredCapabilities capabilities = DesiredCapabilities.firefox();
        capabilities.setCapability(FirefoxDriver.PROFILE, geoDisabled);

        WebDriver driver = new FirefoxDriver(capabilities);


        driver.manage().timeouts().implicitlyWait(2, TimeUnit.SECONDS);


        driver.manage().timeouts().implicitlyWait(2, TimeUnit.SECONDS);

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Here is an explanation for the above test:

  • FirefoxProfile geoDisabled = new FirefoxProfile();: The FirefoxProfile class is a collection of settings, customizations, add-ons and other personalization settings that can be done on the Firefox browser. For our purposes of testing the HTML Geolocation API we need to enabled the following settings:

    • geo.enabled
    • geo.provider.use_corelocation
    • geo.prompt.testing
    • geo.prompt.testing.allow
  • Then we have to add the FirefoxProfile instance to a DesiredCapabilities class instance, which is a class used to set properties of browsers in order to conduct web application testing(more on DesiredCapabilities in this great blog post)

  • As the new FirefoxDriver(capabilities) expression is now deprecated, we can add a @SuppressWarnings("deprecation") decorator in order to silence that warning

  • driver.get(baseUrl);: The get() method is used to launch a new browser session to the URL specified. This URL is specifically picked out because it contains a Geolocation section that prompts the user with a confirmation modal for tracking the user's location

  • driver.manage().timeouts().implicitlyWait(2, TimeUnit.SECONDS): The first implicitlyWait() method we use is for the purposes of indicating the Selenium WebDriver to wait for 2 seconds before continuing execution. This is done in order to allow ample time for the page to load

  • driver.findElement("get-geolocation")).click();: Here we are identifying the Geolocation button by using the method. Afterwards, we click the button via the method click()

  • Assert.assertNotNull(driver.findElement("lat-value")).getText());: After waiting for 2 seconds, we use to identify two <p> elements that contains the longitude and latitude values of the user's current location

Now just right click on the file and select Run As -> JUnit Test in order to run our test.

Figure 2: Initial Page

Figure 2: Intial Page

Figure 3: Geolocation coordinates shown
Figure 3: Geolocation coordinates shown

Figure 4: Our JUnit test is passing

Figure 4: Our JUnit test is passing

And with that, we're able to validate the Geolocation API using by Selenium WebDriver!

Congrats if you managed to get this functionality working. If not, leave a comment in the comments section and I'll get back to you if I find the time.


Thanks for reading this blog post!

If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to post a comment in this post and I will get back to you when I find the time.

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