Poor man's GPS

I know I’m a fully paid up Googlephile, but today’s Google mobile announcement is absolutely great. Google are providing a service in their Google Maps for mobile: now on the little maps is a blue circle showing your approximate location — even if you don’t have a GPS receiver.

The trick is for it to use the mobile phone mast data to triangulate your position. It’s not as accurate as GPS, but it’s accurate to within a kilometre. Testing it here in the office and it thinks I’m about 800 metres from my actual position — not amazingly accurate but quite enough to get you on the right track if you’re totally lost.

If only I’d had this at the weekend, Ness and I got a bit lost on the way to Dorset with no map. We ended up relying on the mobile with Google Maps as our in-car navigation, (G.P.Ness?), constantly trying to guess where we were and find a route to our destination manually.

Filed under: Blog
Posted at 15:07:00 GMT on 29th November 2007.

About Matt Godbolt

Matt Godbolt is a C++ developer working in Chicago in the finance industry.