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MacRumors
Nov 28, 2007, 01:28 PM
http://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com)

News.com's blog reports (http://www.news.com/8301-10784_3-9824546-7.html?part=rss&subj=news&tag=2547-1_3-0-20) that Google is set to launch a new feature in Google Maps for Mobile that will automatically set our location even in phones that lack a global positioning system (GPS) device.

This "My Location" feature uses the same technology as Navizon (http://www.macrumors.com/iphone/2007/09/19/gps-sorta-on-iphone/) and triangulates your location based on nearby cell phone towers.
The My Location feature "complements" GPS functionality, because it works indoors, doesn't drain the battery as much as GPS does, and is much faster (a few seconds compared with what can be a few minutes on GPS), according to Lee.
The new feature is launching as a "beta" as Google builds the database of cell towers from people using Google Maps and is said to be accurate within 10 city blocks.

Google Maps for Mobile is available for a number of phones including the iPhone. The iPhone's version, however, is not yet upgradable to this new beta version. Apple has indicated it plans on deploying new features to the iPhone over time, so it seems likely that this feature may find its way into a future iPhone software update.

Youtube video of new feature: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v6gqipmbcok

Article Link (http://www.macrumors.com/2007/11/28/mobile-google-maps-to-offer-gps-like-positioning/)



amac4me
Nov 28, 2007, 01:32 PM
Wow :eek:, this is really cool stuff. This will see significant refinements and improvements over the next few years. I wonder how (if at all) it may be used with the new platform Google is building for mobile phones.

yoman
Nov 28, 2007, 01:32 PM
Good news!!! Hope it comes soon..

superleccy
Nov 28, 2007, 01:34 PM
The technology to do this has been around for ages, but I had always assumed it required co-operation from the network provider.

If Google find a way to do this without the explicit support of the network provider, then there's gonna be a lot of annoyed networks out there.

Go Google! :D

SL

Bye Bye Baby
Nov 28, 2007, 01:34 PM
Finally a reason to buy the iphone!

TheSpecialist
Nov 28, 2007, 01:34 PM
Wow this sounds neat! Brint it on:eek:!!!

Mgkwho
Nov 28, 2007, 01:35 PM
I want it on the website too though just for kicks :D

-=|Mgkwho

Clive At Five
Nov 28, 2007, 01:35 PM
How Similar to Navizon? Lame, Google, Lame. I never forgave Apple for cloning Konfabulator, and I may never forgive you for cloning Navizon...

Oh who am I kidding. I love Google. I just wonder when they're going to pop... Seem to be spreading themselves a little thin, don't you think?

Regarless, redimentary GPS should be a requirement of any mobile mapping service, so I'm not complaining about this.

Now to attain a phone capable of accessing Google Maps...

-Clive

commonpeople
Nov 28, 2007, 01:37 PM
Remember, the government can track anyone they want through their cell-phones.

Clive At Five
Nov 28, 2007, 01:37 PM
I want it on the website too though just for kicks :D

-=|Mgkwho

Interesting... Yeah, can't Google just query your IP and put your dot on the map? T'would make it easy for "from here" / "To here" directions...

-Clive

Popeye206
Nov 28, 2007, 01:38 PM
Too Cool! Love it! Bring it on!

arn
Nov 28, 2007, 01:39 PM
Youtube video of the Google Maps "My Location" Feature and how it works

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v6gqipmbcok

arn

Dagless
Nov 28, 2007, 01:40 PM
Very good! I'm after a GPS functionality as I do a lot of climbing and walking over the moors.

Clive At Five
Nov 28, 2007, 01:40 PM
Remember, the government can track anyone they want through their cell-phones.

Which, if I were a wanted man, would make me nervous. But since I'm a law-abiding citizen, Big Brother can watch me drive from home to work and back and I could give a rat's ass.

-Clive

D4F
Nov 28, 2007, 01:40 PM
Sounds promising!

WildCowboy
Nov 28, 2007, 01:41 PM
10 city blocks is a pretty big error bar when you're trying to get directions to something in a city...but it's better than nothing.

aricher
Nov 28, 2007, 01:42 PM
I'm really hoping Apple gets this out there for the iPhone sooner than the February SDK release.

wake6830
Nov 28, 2007, 01:43 PM
This is new? My Helio Ocean has had this exact same thing since I got it back in like May.

Clive At Five
Nov 28, 2007, 01:44 PM
Youtube video of the Google Maps "My Location" Feature and how it works

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v6gqipmbcok

arn

Aha, a technical demonstration! ;)

At least they admit that they can find out your Name and Phone number. It'll probably make some paranoid people think twice about using it...

-Clive

sananda
Nov 28, 2007, 01:44 PM
Very good! I'm after a GPS functionality as I do a lot of climbing and walking over the moors.

many cell towers on the moors?

psychofreak
Nov 28, 2007, 01:44 PM
Navizon does EXACTLY this, even using iPhone's gMaps...hardly a new thing!

Came around 50m from me...

Telp
Nov 28, 2007, 01:47 PM
This is awesome!! I want it now. Theres nothing new under the sun, its great that google is adding this support. Great implanentation.

Roy Hobbs
Nov 28, 2007, 01:47 PM
Navizon does EXACTLY this, even using iPhone's gMaps...hardly a new thing!

Came around 50m from me...

Navizon requires users to "map" out the tower locations

PlaceofDis
Nov 28, 2007, 01:47 PM
apple: implement this now.

Clive At Five
Nov 28, 2007, 01:49 PM
10 city blocks is a pretty big error bar when you're trying to get directions to something in a city...but it's better than nothing.

If you're in the middle of the city, you're probably 30 yards from a street sign...

I see this having more of a use if you get kidnapped and dropped off in the middle of nowhere along a country highway or something...

...or maybe a suburban maze of hell, hehehe. Oh come on, I love the suburbs...

-Clive

kingtj
Nov 28, 2007, 01:49 PM
I played with Navizon a bit, and my experience was, it's accurate to within several buildings of where you're actually located, when it can find a wi-fi hotspot it recognizes. (EG. I was in a McDonalds that had free wi-fi, and Navizon pinpointed me on its map as being about 1 or 2 doors down from exactly where it was.)

When it doesn't have the aid of a known wi-fi hotspot to help locate you, it often reports it can't get a fix on your location at all, or shows something far less accurate.

I would suspect triangulating your location based on strictly cellphone towers relies on being within range of at least 2 or 3 of them. In some cases, I think your phone is only able to really communicate with 1, so Navizon gives up and says it can't locate you?

I have to agree that this is a "good thing", in the sense that I'd love to have this capability on my phone without paying to buy it as commercial software. On the flip-side, it sure does seem like an innovative thing that the Navizon people deserve the credit for building. Can't Google negotiate with them to just buy their product out or something? Seems like the "fair" thing to do.


10 city blocks is a pretty big error bar when you're trying to get directions to something in a city...but it's better than nothing.

xtbfx
Nov 28, 2007, 01:52 PM
I never forgave Apple for cloning Konfabulator...

:rolleyes:

Oh lord, not this again...

arn
Nov 28, 2007, 01:55 PM
This was in Navizon, and credit to them for doing it... but coming from Google/Apple would make it far more accessible and with a much larger database of locations.

arn

deep
Nov 28, 2007, 01:55 PM
Just curious. Someone just posted something about it working with WiFi but I'm not sure how. The video looks like it requires cell towers, therefore EDGE (or whatever service your mobile uses). Any ideas? Maybe those who opt to remove EDGE data plans from their ATT accounts should think twice.

guzhogi
Nov 28, 2007, 01:55 PM
Sounds cool, but I would like REAL GPS. Also, wasn't legislation passed in the USA after 9/11 where GPS had to be in all cell phones so people can find you? Not exactly sure if that's true, much less actually in the iPhone. If it is, it should be fairly simple to tap into the GPS thing and see where you are (and other people, which is kinda freaky).

Squonk
Nov 28, 2007, 01:56 PM
This sounds very cool! I'm inching closer to an iPhone... :)

tgildred
Nov 28, 2007, 01:56 PM
Remember, the government can track anyone they want through their cell-phones.


This is why I periodically give the finger to the sky. Just in case they're watching.

I also do this to bathroom mirrors. 'Cause of the cameras.

psychofreak
Nov 28, 2007, 01:56 PM
Navizon requires users to "map" out the tower locations

No it doesn't...'Locate me' works well...

pgwalsh
Nov 28, 2007, 01:57 PM
This was in Navizon, and credit to them for doing it... but coming from Google/Apple would make it far more accessible and with a much larger database of locations.

arn
It seems like a good idea, but is it really only accurate within 10 blocks? That might not be very helpful if you're starving.

arn
Nov 28, 2007, 01:57 PM
Just curious. Someone just posted something about it working with WiFi but I'm not sure how. The video looks like it requires cell towers, therefore EDGE (or whatever service your mobile uses). Any ideas? Maybe those who opt to remove EDGE data plans from their ATT accounts should think twice.

Navizon's solution also used Wifi hotspots. Google's does not appear to.

arn

Tofaha
Nov 28, 2007, 01:58 PM
so i just updated my sprint phone w/ the new version of google maps...and now..GOOGLE MAPS doesn't work :/
everytime i try loading it i get "application terminated"...well that just sucks

Johnpartridge
Nov 28, 2007, 01:59 PM
Just downloaded the new version with this feature included. (v2.0.0)

Not supported on my Sony Erricson. Only available for the "smart phone" type phones.

Was looking forward to testing it out.

John

Jocko
Nov 28, 2007, 01:59 PM
Wow :eek:, this is really cool stuff. This will see significant refinements and improvements over the next few years. I wonder how (if at all) it may be used with the new platform Google is building for mobile phones.Yeah I agree. They can keep adding infrastructure so that the phones can get more and more accurate. And to provide increased coverage. Maybe someday they could even launch satellites into orbit to give really good positioning capabilities over large areas!

The only thing that makes this even remotely cool is it would give GPS-like features to those of use with iPhones. But honestly I'm not sure how helpful it is to only be navigated to within a quarter mile of my destination and only in places with enough towers. But regardless, the reality is that this is lame and just a hack for devices that don't include a GPS receiver. The "refinements and improvements over the next few years" will be in GPS technology, not this lame waste of time and resources.

guzhogi
Nov 28, 2007, 02:01 PM
Just curious. Someone just posted something about it working with WiFi but I'm not sure how. The video looks like it requires cell towers, therefore EDGE (or whatever service your mobile uses). Any ideas? Maybe those who opt to remove EDGE data plans from their ATT accounts should think twice.

I think there are 2 parts to this: (1) having your cell phone actually be found. This will use cell phone frequencies (GSM or whatever), not edge. (2) Accessing that data. Not sure whether this would be a website or web-enabled app or what, which would require a edge/wi-fi.

grappler
Nov 28, 2007, 02:01 PM
That's cool, but I guess that means my iPhone is now officially behind the times.

Thanks a lot apple, for making me wait till February.

mulletman13
Nov 28, 2007, 02:03 PM
Navizon never worked properly for me. I live in the semi-large city of Milwaukee, and out of the many times I used it, it only produced a result twice (when I was on WiFi). I welcome this new feature coming directly through Google, as I'm sure their database is gigantic.

Also Apple needs to update the iPhone firmware stat with this new functionality -- even if it's in beta.

... I mean, GMail was in beta for years...

savar
Nov 28, 2007, 02:05 PM
Wow :eek:, this is really cool stuff. This will see significant refinements and improvements over the next few years. I wonder how (if at all) it may be used with the new platform Google is building for mobile phones.

I don't really see the point. 10 city blocks? That's 10 blocks wide by 10 blocks tall == 100 square blocks.

What if I'm looking for the nearest Starbucks? It would have me walking past 4 other starbucks just to get to the one that it thinks is closest. What's wrong with adding a real GPS chip?

anubis
Nov 28, 2007, 02:05 PM
I can't believe this thing has gotten 28 positive and 0 negative ratings so far. Did you even read the summery? It can locate you to within 10 CITY BLOCKS! For most places that can be over half a mile off. For navigating around a city, it's completely and utterly useless. What good is navigation if it thinks you're 10 streets away from the one you're actually on? You probably won't see this on the iPhone for another 6 months at least, if it even comes at all.

anubis
Nov 28, 2007, 02:07 PM
That's cool, but I guess that means my iPhone is now officially behind the times.

Thanks a lot apple, for making me wait till February.

February would be the earliest time, if it even comes at all.

The verizon phone I got 5 years ago had GPS in it. Your iPhone was "officially behind the times" 5 years ago.

diamond.g
Nov 28, 2007, 02:07 PM
Just curious. Someone just posted something about it working with WiFi but I'm not sure how. The video looks like it requires cell towers, therefore EDGE (or whatever service your mobile uses). Any ideas? Maybe those who opt to remove EDGE data plans from their ATT accounts should think twice.
EDGE isn't needed to talk to the cell towers. Otherwise no phone would make calls without a data plan.

FX120
Nov 28, 2007, 02:09 PM
Hmmm... This obviously isn't a substitute for real GPS if it is only accurate to a 10 block radius, not good for driving directions, especially if you're in a city or area you're not familiar with, and don't know any of the street names or landmarks.

I'll give it a shot on my Sprint Mogul later today and report back. Might hold me over until HTC finally gets their act together and releases that improved firmware and lets me use the built in GPS chip on the thing along with EvDO Rev. A...

EDGE isn't needed to talk to the cell towers. Otherwise no phone would make calls without a data plan.

No, but EDGE is used to download map data for Google Maps, as well as for when you use the search feature. Turn of EDGE and most of the functionality of the iPhone goes right down the toilet. Maps, YouTube, Email, Visual Voicemail, Safari, iTune store, ect...

diamond.g
Nov 28, 2007, 02:12 PM
Hmmm... This obviously isn't a substitute for real GPS if it is only accurate to a 10 block radius, not good for driving directions, especially if you're in a city or area you're not familiar with, and don't know any of the street names or landmarks.

I'll give it a shot on my Sprint Mogul later today and report back. Might hold me over until HTC finally gets their act together and releases that improved firmware and lets me use the built in GPS chip on the thing along with EvDO Rev. A...

It isn't a subsitute per se. It can be more accurate the more towers you are near, just like GPS and it's satellites.

Well until the iPhone gets GPS it is the best we have.

mulletman13
Nov 28, 2007, 02:12 PM
I can't believe this thing has gotten 28 positive and 0 negative ratings so far. Did you even read the summery? It can locate you to within 10 CITY BLOCKS! For most places that can be over half a mile off. For navigating around a city, it's completely and utterly useless. What good is navigation if it thinks you're 10 streets away from the one you're actually on? You probably won't see this on the iPhone for another 6 months at least, if it even comes at all.

Useless? Not at all. The 10 city blocks thing is worst case scenario -- having experience with other cell phones that use this technology, it is typically dead on. Even if it is off a street or two, you can zoom in with the iPhone and find a corner (which will pinpoint your area completely)-- navigating an interactive map for a minimal amount of time is so much easier than finding and typing in an address.

Plus the accuracy increases as more and more data is mapped. With a ton of people using Gmaps across the country, the database gets larger and larger -- thus providing more accurate pinpoints as time goes by.

If the technology was completely useless, Google, Navizon and other companies would not have even bothered.

GuardBoy98
Nov 28, 2007, 02:13 PM
Sounds cool, but I would like REAL GPS. Also, wasn't legislation passed in the USA after 9/11 where GPS had to be in all cell phones so people can find you? Not exactly sure if that's true, much less actually in the iPhone. If it is, it should be fairly simple to tap into the GPS thing and see where you are (and other people, which is kinda freaky).

My phone has GPS but it's turned off for all but emergency services ... whatever that means. I think the point is this is quicker than GPS and consumes less power ... it's like GPS Lite ...

rodti
Nov 28, 2007, 02:13 PM
Which, if I were a wanted man, would make me nervous. But since I'm a law-abiding citizen, Big Brother can watch me drive from home to work and back and I could give a rat's ass.

What if Big Brother isn't wearing any trousers? :eek:

GuardBoy98
Nov 28, 2007, 02:16 PM
That's cool, but I guess that means my iPhone is now officially behind the times.

Thanks a lot apple, for making me wait till February.

Are you serious? It was *just* announced today! And it's Beta! And we already have one report on this forum of it breaking on a Sprint phone! I can't stop exclamating!!!

commonpeople
Nov 28, 2007, 02:25 PM
Which, if I were a wanted man, would make me nervous. But since I'm a law-abiding citizen, Big Brother can watch me drive from home to work and back and I could give a rat's ass.

-Clive

So, living in a police state doesn't concern you at all? You trust the government to never track people for purely political reasons? Have you read 1984? The government in that novel was not solely interested in tracking down robbery suspects.

I love the thought of navigation using my cell-phone, but it genuinely worries me that we're walking into a situation where the government can track all people all of the time.

I doubt this new technology changes anything, but in a few years we'll all have GPS enabled cell-phones and so can be tracked to within a meter continuously throughout the day.

MacsRgr8
Nov 28, 2007, 02:28 PM
I use Navizon on my iPhone from time to time... Also paid for it, because I really think it is cool!
But, in about 3 out of 10 tries Navizon comes up with an error because it can't find *something*.. and that can be pretty annoying.

But, I did manage to find the nearest sushi bar in Berlin a few weeks ago when I was walking along the Kurfürstendamm.... and felt a bit pekkish. :)

BTW.. Berlin is cool.

opticalserenity
Nov 28, 2007, 02:29 PM
I don't think it's designed to help you get directions. I think its more useful in finding a place to eat, or maybe a local hospital, what have you.

And, really, Apple needs to push this out to us like yesterday. No reason why the individual widgets on the iPhone can't self upgrade OTA like we can on installer.app.

MacsRgr8
Nov 28, 2007, 02:35 PM
So, living in a police state doesn't concern you at all? You trust the government to never track people for purely political reasons? Have you read 1984? The government in that novel was not solely interested in tracking down robbery suspects.

I love the thought of navigation using my cell-phone, but it genuinely worries me that we're walking into a situation where the government can track all people all of the time.

I doubt this new technology changes anything, but in a few years we'll all have GPS enabled cell-phones and so can be tracked to within a meter continuously throughout the day.

Relax. They can do already.
You read and believe too many stories of frightening governments.

Bright side:
About a year ago some idiotic kids threw large flagstones off a bridge onto a highway where are lady was passing underneath in her car at around 80 mph, and that flagstone crashed through her front window, killing her.

Luckily these #$#%%^Y^$ kids were caught thanks to the fact that one of their cellphones was switched on at the time and scene of the crime.

Tnx to CCTV many crimes are solved and others prevented.

Just because your whereabouts can be pinpointed doesn't mean every government will use that information for political reasons. :rolleyes:

Unspeaked
Nov 28, 2007, 02:42 PM
Pardon me if I'm wrong but I was under the impression that Navizon was not free and this Google solution appears to be - is that correct?

Compile 'em all
Nov 28, 2007, 02:44 PM
Navizon does EXACTLY this, even using iPhone's gMaps...hardly a new thing!

Came around 50m from me...

You don't know what you are talking about.

Navizon uses wifi, and users have to register their access points.

Clive At Five
Nov 28, 2007, 02:44 PM
So, living in a police state doesn't concern you at all? You trust the government to never track people for purely political reasons? Have you read 1984? The government in that novel was not solely interested in tracking down robbery suspects.

Okay, I fail to see how the capability to locate my cell phone to within 10 city blocks, my name and telephone number has anything to do with Totalitarian Oceania. The goverment already knows my name and number, and if I leave my phone on the nightstand Big Brother will think I'm at home in bed. Big whoop.

Now, implanting GPS, for example, is a different story.

-Clive

indiekiduk
Nov 28, 2007, 02:48 PM
You don't know what you are talking about.

Navizon uses wifi, and users have to register their access points.

actually, navizon uses cells AND wifi. And users don't register their access points, users with GPS collect wifi aps and cell towers by war driving and get paid for it.

liberty4all
Nov 28, 2007, 02:50 PM
*nm*

j-a-x
Nov 28, 2007, 02:51 PM
Damn.. apparently this doesn't work with the older (2nd generation) Nokia series 60 smartphones (ie: my phone). :( But it does work with the newer 3rd generation ones. That totally sucks. At least the google maps app is updated...

lazyrighteye
Nov 28, 2007, 02:54 PM
I say "bring it."
The ability to self-locate can really come in handy when in uncharted waters.
As has been stated - not meant so much for step by step directons as it is to get one's barings.

macncheeselovr
Nov 28, 2007, 02:57 PM
Check this article (http://navizon.typepad.com/my_weblog/2007/11/google-and-priv.html).
Apparently, Google was collecting data to build the database with letting the users know about it.

ChrisA
Nov 28, 2007, 03:02 PM
10 city blocks is a pretty big error bar when you're trying to get directions to something in a city...but it's better than nothing.

It's good enough that they can get the right map on the screen. Then all you need to do is read a street sign and match it to the map.

Apple could have installed a GPS receiver in each phone. But that would add at least $80 to the cost of each phone and it only works outdoors. the the GPS antenna is about an inch square and would have to go "some place". Tower triangulation works any place there is cell phone service and oof course does not need a second antenna.

One more thing. I doubt Google had to deal with actually triangulating the towers. This is almost certainly a core feature of the phone firmware that is made available to all applications. We will know if I am right when the SDK is out early 2008. But I can't see any other way

Yes Apple would have to work with the cell companies to get the location data but at least in the US all cell phones are required to be able to know their locatrion so it can be transmitted durring 911 calls. Like I said "location" (but not displying it) is a core funtion of the phone. Google is just using this.

After the SDK is out you or I could use the location feature too. Maybe write some kind of game that is played over a city sized area that can somehow use the camera too?

commonpeople
Nov 28, 2007, 03:05 PM
Okay, I fail to see how the capability to locate my cell phone to within 10 city blocks, my name and telephone number has anything to do with Totalitarian Oceania. The goverment already knows my name and number, and if I leave my phone on the nightstand Big Brother will think I'm at home in bed. Big whoop.

Now, implanting GPS, for example, is a different story.

-Clive

It appears that the technology is in practice usually more accurate than 10 city blocks- more like 1 block.

That's good enough to determine whether you're attending a political rally for instance.

And the technology will only get better.

Don't assume I'm being a tinfoil-hat here. Remember, the American government is already known for illegal wiretapping and monitoring of the internet. They're also currently trying to subpoena Amazon to give up purchase lists. It's not a great stretch to imagine that the same government will misuse cell-phone location data- and even if the US government doesn't- some other government will.

I'd like to know what privacy the users of this service can expect- if any. I think it's an important question.

indiekiduk
Nov 28, 2007, 03:06 PM
Check this article (http://navizon.typepad.com/my_weblog/2007/11/google-and-priv.html).
Apparently, Google was collecting data to build the database with letting the users know about it.

Yes I thought it was rather suspicious this new version of google maps mobile I tried located me exactly at my house and there is no way cell locate is that accurate. But thats exactly the spot where I tried the old version with a GPS. So it would appear to me the old version logged the cell id at my house without my consent.

Hattig
Nov 28, 2007, 03:07 PM
Aha, a technical demonstration! ;)

At least they admit that they can find out your Name and Phone number. It'll probably make some paranoid people think twice about using it...

-Clive

The video that you are quoting says exactly the opposite.

I work near Tottenham Court Road (it's my tube stop of choice). Chicken Tikka Masala is quite nice, but get a Chicken Jalfrezi instead, eh? King Prawn Jalfrezi ... mmmm. Now I want a curry :(

The video explains why the function is useful, to all you who are moaning that it isn't exacting. If you are in a city, you can find a damn street sign, and thus find yourself on the presented map quickly. It's like an automatic "this is the area I am in" function, so you get where you are, rather than the entire map of the UK, or whatever.

ChrisA
Nov 28, 2007, 03:14 PM
I say "bring it."
The ability to self-locate can really come in handy when in uncharted waters.
As has been stated - not meant so much for step by step directons as it is to get one's barings.

The classic example is when you see an accident on the road and call 911.
The operator asks you where you are. "I'm standing on the road next to my car"
I'm sure is the most frequent reply.

The FCC has a web site that explains this.
http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/consumerfacts/wireless911srvc.html

Once we called 911 by accidient from the phone on the wired phone. It was a
2 second call that got hung up. the police were there in five minutes asking
what was up. The FCC has required that in time cell phones will allow this
to hapen too. Phone companies are working on their equipmet to allows
this.

telecomm
Nov 28, 2007, 03:19 PM
My rather unexciting phone has done this since I got it earlier this year. No GPS, not even Edge needed. All that's needed for this is a provider that provides this feature, working within their own map system. Orange in the UK has this (and has since I've used their service). Is this new in the US, then?

Or am I missing something here? :confused:

Clive At Five
Nov 28, 2007, 03:20 PM
It appears that the technology is in practice usually more accurate than 10 city blocks- more like 1 block.

That's good enough to determine whether you're attending a political rally for instance.

And the technology will only get better.

Acuracy is irrelevant. If I leave my cell phone at home, or even just turn it off, my location can't be pinpointed using it. As long as it isn't teathered to my body at all times, I'm not worried about it.

Don't assume I'm being a tinfoil-hat here. Remember, the American government is already known for illegal wiretapping and monitoring of the internet. They're also currently trying to subpoena Amazon to give up purchase lists. It's not a great stretch to imagine that the same government will misuse cell-phone location data- and even if the US government doesn't- some other government will.

Enough of us know better than to trust the government, but as far as today goes, as long as you're not being a screw-off, you'll stay off the RADAR. And as long as our government is playing tug-of-war with this ridiculous two-party system, I don't see that changing. There is no middle ground, so there is no compromise, so there is not progress. We are in a political stalemate and the government has to resolve its own issues before it works on enslaving us.

I'd like to know what privacy the users of this service can expect- if any. I think it's an important question.

Probably about the same privacy as without mobile Google Maps... If the government can already pinpoint your cell phone's position with this pseudo GPS, what does it matter whether you can too?

-Clive

WhySoSerious
Nov 28, 2007, 03:23 PM
I have this on my Blackberry Curve now....and it's smooth as can be. Pinpointed my location almost to the T!! I live in Dallas and tested this throughout the day all around the city....never failed....within 1 block each time.

Good stuff!

:apple:

Ryan5505
Nov 28, 2007, 03:28 PM
I just installed on my BB 8130 and it works. I will be canceling VZ Navigator. :D

rtdunham
Nov 28, 2007, 03:38 PM
10 city blocks is a pretty big error bar when you're trying to get directions to something in a city...but it's better than nothing.

yeah, isn't 10 city blocks about a mile?

NOTE: I've seen the subsequent posts explaining it could be used to pull up an "area" map and you could then orient yourself to the map. I'd still prefer GPS, but i do see the value in this now.

geese
Nov 28, 2007, 03:41 PM
Well, hopefully it'll work better then the GPS in my N95, which still refuses to pick recognise the the satellite signal after a month owning it.

plumbingandtech
Nov 28, 2007, 03:42 PM
see box33's comment.

Maybe he can add more to this..

irun5k
Nov 28, 2007, 03:42 PM
First, adding capability like this with a software-only update is pretty cool. Definitely counts as a freebie if we'll be getting it for free.

Second, it may not have much use in Manhattan. But what about the suburbs where most of us live? Many interstate off-ramps are miles apart, not blocks apart. If you can get 10 block fidelity in these areas, it is useful. Maybe I want to know if I accidentally passed exit 20, and I haven't seen a sign or another exit in 15 minutes.

Anyway, sounds like it will be free and I don't have to use it if it doesn't work for me. Therefore, I'll happily take it!

solace
Nov 28, 2007, 03:47 PM
so far this is incredibly accurate on my BlackBerry Pearl (white T-Mobile one, not the 8130/8120 w/ actual GPS).

it's off by less than 100' here in my office

i will test it more on the bus ride home, but so far i'm very impressed :D

John A
Nov 28, 2007, 03:49 PM
installed and working on my T-Mobile BB Pearl, but fidelity seems poor so far. Then again, my T-Mobile signal is weak here. Will test on the drive home, but seems to work great so far.

It's even showing realtime traffic status.... awesome.

BiikeMike
Nov 28, 2007, 03:58 PM
Works on my Verizon Blackberry 8830. Yeah, the one with a GPS in it that they facking disabled! (God I hate Verizon)

I am in my apartment right now, in the city, and it found me about 5 blocks off. Thats pretty damned impressive!

calvy
Nov 28, 2007, 04:30 PM
I can't tell you how many times I've pulled up Google Maps while using EDGE, and had to painfully drag the map around to find my current approximate location, so that I can then search for whatever I'm looking for.

So I can see a use for this, even in it's worst case scenario.

And Navizon was worthless to me. I never once was in a location that it could locate.

aarond12
Nov 28, 2007, 04:32 PM
Finally a reason to buy the iphone!

Works great on my SonyEricsson W580i...

shoobe01
Nov 28, 2007, 04:40 PM
OMG! Its 10-year old technology! Maybe older, but I worked on UI for this in 2000 or so, before the carrier I worked for had GPS in anything.

Cell - A couple miles
Sector - 800 yards
Triangulation - at least 200 yards, often much better

GPS telemetry is already in /lots/ of devices (its not "in a few years"). Why not the iPhone, I cannot imagine. Similarly, I cannot imagine why this could not have been implemented at launch time for the iPhone. Doesn't need to be all new technology google only has access to. I don't get it.

SiliconAddict
Nov 28, 2007, 04:49 PM
Alternativly you can just GET a GPS enabled phone. But hey. Its iPhone. Why would one ever want something with more, and better features. :rolleyes:

tschull
Nov 28, 2007, 04:55 PM
I can't believe this thing has gotten 28 positive and 0 negative ratings so far. Did you even read the summery? It can locate you to within 10 CITY BLOCKS! For most places that can be over half a mile off. For navigating around a city, it's completely and utterly useless. What good is navigation if it thinks you're 10 streets away from the one you're actually on? You probably won't see this on the iPhone for another 6 months at least, if it even comes at all.

I would hazard to guess the accuracy is related to the density of cell phone towers. Ten city blocks (I'm guessing they mean 10 (city blocks)^2) in rural areas would be quite adequate to figure out where you are on a map. If you're in the city, you can always look at a street sign to dial in your coordinates, if there is some doubt.

nsayer
Nov 28, 2007, 04:57 PM
How about simply adding support to the iPhone for getting position information from Bluetooth GPS modules? Who says that the GPS has to be built-in to the phone? I'd be ecstatic if I could just keep a BT GPS unit in my car and have the iPhone google maps use it.

bytethese
Nov 28, 2007, 05:03 PM
Works decent on my BB Curve 8320, altho it does show me about 1/4mi away across the river from where I live. :)

CANEHDN
Nov 28, 2007, 05:23 PM
My boss just downloaded the beta for his Blackberry. Works awesome. Calculated exactly where we were.

grappler
Nov 28, 2007, 05:31 PM
February would be the earliest time, if it even comes at all.

The verizon phone I got 5 years ago had GPS in it. Your iPhone was "officially behind the times" 5 years ago.

I assume that the Navizon application will be available for unhacked phones come February.

muskratboy
Nov 28, 2007, 05:37 PM
yeah, 10 city blocks makes this just about useless as actual GPS.

"here in the future we can give you really vague directions from the large area where you might be to somewhere else, kinda"

not exactly flying cars here, people.

operator207
Nov 28, 2007, 05:56 PM
Interesting... Yeah, can't Google just query your IP and put your dot on the map? T'would make it easy for "from here" / "To here" directions...

-Clive

If they are pulling this IP from your wireless, chances are it will be a 192.168.x.x o4 a 10.X IP. Which will give squat for a location.

If they are pulling the IP you get from your EDGE connection, its not going to be accurate. Its going to be where that IP was allocated. Last time I looked into this, the IP I acquired from ATT was "Allocated" in New York, or someplace up north. I live in Dallas TX. Now thats a big jump, forget 10 blocks. ;)

The best solution with the tools we have on the iPhone, would be to triangulate via cell towers, signal strength, movement of you from tower to tower, etc. its not as accurate as GPS, but will be much better than IP address allocation location.

Assuming your wifi connection gives you the IP of 192.168.0.31 (DHCP acquired IP from my wireless AP):

>whois 192.168.0.31

OrgName: Internet Assigned Numbers Authority
OrgID: IANA
Address: 4676 Admiralty Way, Suite 330
City: Marina del Rey
StateProv: CA
PostalCode: 90292-6695
Country: US

Ya, thats not gonna work.

Assuming you get an IP from ATT 10.120.125.238 (IP I acquired from turning off wifi, and checking mail on iPhone via ATT's EDGE service):

>whois 10.120.125.238

OrgName: Internet Assigned Numbers Authority
OrgID: IANA
Address: 4676 Admiralty Way, Suite 330
City: Marina del Rey
StateProv: CA
PostalCode: 90292-6695
Country: US

Ya, still not gonna work.

Your gonna need to do this via towers, and their lat|long, the signal strength, and the other towers your phone can see.

See what I mean?

pcorajr
Nov 28, 2007, 06:00 PM
10 city blocks is a pretty big error bar when you're trying to get directions to something in a city...but it's better than nothing.

I would not use this even if you paid me to do so. 10 City block is to much of an error margin. U would rather see google implement better GPS support in Google maps/mobile. With an 75 Dollars investment I can buy a GPS puck for my BB and get True GPS using G maps on the BB why cant they o this for the Iphone?

psychofreak
Nov 28, 2007, 06:01 PM
I would not use this even if you paid me to do so. 10 City block is to much of an error margin. U would rather see google implement better GPS support in Google maps/mobile. With an 75 Dollars investment I can buy a GPS puck for my BB and get True GPS using G maps on the BB why cant they o this for the Iphone?

I can use Navizon, then search for a restaurant and it finds he ones closest to me...

Dagless
Nov 28, 2007, 06:13 PM
many cell towers on the moors?

Yup. 3 big ones including Winter Hill. It's the only place I get a full signal on my phone.

They build masts up there as the hills overlook the large towns and cities.

Dagless
Nov 28, 2007, 06:19 PM
yeah, 10 city blocks makes this just about useless as actual GPS.

"here in the future we can give you really vague directions from the large area where you might be to somewhere else, kinda"

not exactly flying cars here, people.

You must have a very bad GPS system. It's perfect here, our Tom Tom 910 even has our driveway marked out (it's a hidden private road, must have got it from a helicopter/satellite) and finds our location in a couple of seconds from when it's switched on.

knewsom
Nov 28, 2007, 06:38 PM
I just installed it on my blackberry pearl. Works like a charm, on a device half the size of an iPhone, that does twice as much, for half the price.

Ahead of the curve my butt.

Schtumple
Nov 28, 2007, 06:43 PM
Sounds like a neat, easy to implement (as in, no gps hardware is required) piece of software. Good job to google.

dvkid
Nov 28, 2007, 06:46 PM
You are very right. When talking about cell phones. However, Clive was talking about Google being able to use this for To: From: directions on a computer connected via Cable/DSL/Dial-up/Etc. This would mean you could pull up Google maps on your desktop and get directions to somewhere without typing in your current location.

I had thought Google Earth had this for a while, but I don't remember.

If they are pulling this IP from your wireless, chances are it will be a 192.168.x.x o4 a 10.X IP. Which will give squat for a location.

If they are pulling the IP you get from your EDGE connection, its not going to be accurate. Its going to be where that IP was allocated. Last time I looked into this, the IP I acquired from ATT was "Allocated" in New York, or someplace up north. I live in Dallas TX. Now thats a big jump, forget 10 blocks. ;)

The best solution with the tools we have on the iPhone, would be to triangulate via cell towers, signal strength, movement of you from tower to tower, etc. its not as accurate as GPS, but will be much better than IP address allocation location.

Assuming your wifi connection gives you the IP of 192.168.0.31 (DHCP acquired IP from my wireless AP):

>whois 192.168.0.31

OrgName: Internet Assigned Numbers Authority
OrgID: IANA
Address: 4676 Admiralty Way, Suite 330
City: Marina del Rey
StateProv: CA
PostalCode: 90292-6695
Country: US

Ya, thats not gonna work.

Assuming you get an IP from ATT 10.120.125.238 (IP I acquired from turning off wifi, and checking mail on iPhone via ATT's EDGE service):

>whois 10.120.125.238

OrgName: Internet Assigned Numbers Authority
OrgID: IANA
Address: 4676 Admiralty Way, Suite 330
City: Marina del Rey
StateProv: CA
PostalCode: 90292-6695
Country: US

Ya, still not gonna work.

Your gonna need to do this via towers, and their lat|long, the signal strength, and the other towers your phone can see.

See what I mean?

SPUY767
Nov 28, 2007, 07:52 PM
The technology to do this has been around for ages, but I had always assumed it required co-operation from the network provider.

If Google find a way to do this without the explicit support of the network provider, then there's gonna be a lot of annoyed networks out there.

Go Google! :D

SL

Lat lon of cell towers is public records, me and some friends were working on a triangulation algorithm months ago, I got the math bit done, but it never came to fruition. It's a relatively simple formula, basic geometry when you've figured out the range of ping times for a known distance. No explicit permission necessary. Each cell tower has a known ID as well, there's already an iPhone app that will tell you that.

SPUY767
Nov 28, 2007, 07:54 PM
I just installed it on my blackberry pearl. Works like a charm, on a device half the size of an iPhone, that does twice as much, for half the price.

Ahead of the curve my butt.

Chime in to flame. Good times. Go troll somewhere else. K, thx, good talk.

knewsom
Nov 28, 2007, 08:19 PM
...at least not in that sense. Just trying to light a fire under the rears of anyone from Apple who might be reading.

Don't get me wrong - I LOVE Apple. I'm tying this on my Mac right now, and I'd never own a PC unless I HAD to. They had a GREAT opportunity to make something incredibly ground breaking with the iPhone, and in the arena of design, sure, it's prettier than any other phone out there. But as far as what it DOES, it's not exactly groundbreaking, let alone ahead of the curve.

This is the sort of thing that is GOOD for Apple, and especially good for users of its products.

As for me? Well, as soon as there's an iPhone with some serious memory, or at least user expandable/swappable memory (CF, SD, etc), and some third party development going on, and they don't cost an arm and a leg:rolleyes:, I'll probably get one. But in the meantime, I'm going to stick with my $150 unlocked blackberry pearl with interchangeable memory cards, swappable sim cards, plenty of multimedia functionality, and a TON of 3rd party apps and games.

elcid
Nov 28, 2007, 08:52 PM
The technology to do this has been around for ages, but I had always assumed it required co-operation from the network provider.

If Google find a way to do this without the explicit support of the network provider, then there's gonna be a lot of annoyed networks out there.

Go Google! :D

SL

I second this. It is just triangulation between towers. Thought it would require network provider too but you never know what google has up their sleeve.

TurboSC
Nov 28, 2007, 08:52 PM
niiiiiice.

I can't wait to see what the SDK will bring in terms of functionality for the iPhone... I'm excited.

plumbingandtech
Nov 28, 2007, 09:06 PM
...at least not in that sense. Just trying to light a fire under the rears of anyone from Apple who might be reading.

Don't get me wrong - I LOVE Apple. I'm tying this on my Mac right now, and I'd never own a PC unless I HAD to. They had a GREAT opportunity to make something incredibly ground breaking with the iPhone, and in the arena of design, sure, it's prettier than any other phone out there. But as far as what it DOES, it's not exactly groundbreaking, let alone ahead of the .

Yah. That Curve is JUST like an iPhone. Might as well call it the iCurve.

Where do I _not_ sign up.

:rolleyes:

clevin
Nov 28, 2007, 09:06 PM
as of now, it only supports BB, WM Nokia, not iPhone nor treo

mustang_dvs
Nov 28, 2007, 09:19 PM
Sounds cool, but I would like REAL GPS. Also, wasn't legislation passed in the USA after 9/11 where GPS had to be in all cell phones so people can find you? Not exactly sure if that's true, much less actually in the iPhone. If it is, it should be fairly simple to tap into the GPS thing and see where you are (and other people, which is kinda freaky).

The Wireless Communications and Public Safety Act of 1999 stipulated that cell phone carriers implement mobile phone location as part of an e911 service. Carriers in the U.S. either use Triangulation-Assisted GPS (Verizon and Sprint - both CDMA) or Time Difference of Arrival Triangulation (AT&T and T-Mobile - both GSM/GPRS).

Alternativly you can just GET a GPS enabled phone. But hey. Its iPhone. Why would one ever want something with more, and better features. :rolleyes: Very few GPS 'equipped' mobile phones (all of them CDMA phones) actually allow users to access the GPS data, as it is a far less accurate GPS location than most GPS navigation devices (hence the need for triangulation assistance for e911 service).

MacinDoc
Nov 28, 2007, 10:33 PM
Excuse my ignorance, but exactly how much use is a GPS-like device that's accurate within ten city blocks? Let's see, is this my destination, or is it on the other side of the freeway? Is this the right place to turn, or should I have turned 9 blocks back? This level of accuracy may be sufficient when targeting a nuclear bomb, but for most other uses, other than determining whether you're in the correct city, it's of little use.

mulletman13
Nov 28, 2007, 10:56 PM
What is with people constantly complaining about the 10 city block thing?

That is a worst case scenario.

If you actually take time to read how the actual thing performs it is accurate within a block, or even pinpoints the location perfectly. Also, as more data is logged, more towers are put up and so on -- the devices will get more accurate.

It's like how phone companies tell you that your phone will be activated within 2 days -- when its typically online and active within minutes.

jpine
Nov 28, 2007, 10:57 PM
10 city blocks is a pretty big error bar when you're trying to get directions to something in a city...but it's better than nothing.

A city block, depending on how one defines a city block, can be as long as two tenths of a mile. We could be talking about 2 miles here. Still, it is a start for a devices that is not meant to measure distance or give direction. Just don't ask for the nearest ER. :-)

mcarnes
Nov 28, 2007, 11:02 PM
I don't think this is accurate enough to use reliably in the city. And in the woods I want my Garmin. I don't think Steve would use this in the iPhone.

jokarak
Nov 28, 2007, 11:39 PM
Hm...just installed it on my E61. The map claims an accuracy of about 1.7km, but looking at the map, it's off by about 6~7 miles. I'll try again tomorrow when I'm on the road, because I have lousy reception at home.

Cool, nonetheless, though...gotta love technology :D

edit: Another downer: they've added two confirm prompts where before there were none. One seems to be EULA and the second is one of those "don't use while driving" disclaimers.

edit2: Thinks are looking better on the disclaimer front: you only get the warnings on the first run of the program (and when you reset it - I did that by mistake). Moreover, you are no longer prompted on the E61 to choose a connection, it remembers the last connection and automatically logs on. Haven't gone to the street to see how accurate "my location" is in an area with better reception/more cell towers than home.

BiikeMike
Nov 29, 2007, 12:06 AM
I just tried it again while out, and it said "accurate to within 5,000 meters" :confused:

TurboSC
Nov 29, 2007, 12:49 AM
It's like how phone companies tell you that your phone will be activated within 2 days -- when its typically online and active within minutes.

True. Once Google starts expanding their tower locations it'll be pretty accurate...

I can only imagine how google will use this technology and Android to take over the mobile front haha. I'm glad Google and Apple are buddies :)

phastings
Nov 29, 2007, 01:25 AM
Damn.. apparently this doesn't work with the older (2nd generation) Nokia series 60 smartphones (ie: my phone). :( But it does work with the newer 3rd generation ones. That totally sucks. At least the google maps app is updated...

Ok, I'm a little confused. I have been using this technology since my Nokia 720 ten years ago.

There are plenty of other mapping solutions out there - I have been using the one supplied by Orange on my phone for those same 10 years to get me out of trouble when the pubs turf out and I need a local taxi firm.

So therefore is it not Google that are behind the times?

Cleverboy
Nov 29, 2007, 04:05 AM
Ok, I'm a little confused. I have been using this technology since my Nokia 720 ten years ago.

There are plenty of other mapping solutions out there - I have been using the one supplied by Orange on my phone for those same 10 years to get me out of trouble when the pubs turf out and I need a local taxi firm.

So therefore is it not Google that are behind the times? Welcome to how technology works. People rediscover things that have existed before, but in limited, far less ubiquitous ways. Like the solution for your Orange phone may not have had a mapping solution as nice as Google maps tied to it that reports traffic conditions, etc. Only you know if it does. This is a huge advancement for ubiquity.

I'm anxious to see when the service will stabilize and become a fixture. I assume Google may add WiFi spots to its database in the next revision and cross-match phones with GPS, so that it begins to let folks with laptops logged into, for instance, Starbucks... use "My Location" from their browser-based Google maps.

I remember listening to an interview with Eric Smidt on 20/20 or something, where he openly discussed the idea that Google wants people to be able to comparison shop while standing in front of a product on a shelf. Allowing folks to find nearby locations that sell the item, and show how much the nearby location is charging. Moreso than your Nokia 720 running something "10 years ago", we're entering a much more accessible level of expectation for location-base search.

Along with Google's WiFi, wireless spectrum and dark fiber initiatives... somehow I think they've got their eye on a bigger picture of how all this wonderful technology (however long in coming) integrates together.

As an aside, I really hope Apple doesn't let TOO much time pass on implementing this... and/or doesn't have something planned that's not as good. Considering Google is on the board, it seems silly to think they weren't long aware of this rollout. The "BETA" status of the service does seem more than enough for Apple to take the scenic route.

~ CB

sunfast
Nov 29, 2007, 04:49 AM
I echo a few opinions on here - that it doesn't seem accurate enough for city use and, anywhere important, I want my proper GPS.

That said, I'd be very interested to see it in real world usage.

Cleverboy
Nov 29, 2007, 05:02 AM
I echo a few opinions on here - that it doesn't seem accurate enough for city use and, anywhere important, I want my proper GPS.

That said, I'd be very interested to see it in real world usage.That's odd, I'd think it was just the opposite. It can be fantastically accurate in the city, but not so in rural areas. "Anywhere important" just sounds impossibly subjective. If Navizon is a judge (and theoretically move the service quality UP from there), it will be fine for many many people as a fallback way to grab a sense of where you are. For others, it simply won't always work when they need it to. It's no replacement for GPS tracking, but an extremely welcome option that shouldn't be apart of any "EITHER/OR" scenario. Having used Navizon, I remembering thinking very much... "Boy, I bet if Google did this, the performance would be better, and they're network of data would be more robust". I didn't even realize how much more they could do as well.

~ CB

spedney
Nov 29, 2007, 05:13 AM
Just installed and tried it on my Nokia 5500. Works fine... says accuracy is 1.7km but is actually only about 200 metres out. Not bad for Norway!

superleccy
Nov 29, 2007, 05:45 AM
Works good on my Nokia N95.

The N95 has GPS anyway, which I generally don't use because of the crapness of Nokia's software, and the time it takes to find enough satellites (sometimes hours).

The new version of Google Maps will work with either the N95's GPS, or use cell positioning. Cell positioning picked out a location about 5 mins walk away (but did it very quickly), and GPS positioning homed in on my exact location to within a couple of meters, but it did this gradually as it found the satellites one by one.

At least the cell positioning is good enough to get you "on the right page" of the map.

And positioning aside, the new Google Maps is a slick bit of software... and when it's free, who's complaining? :)

SL

ma2ha3
Nov 29, 2007, 05:49 AM
at my place it is about 3 km out, according to verizon i am living in the middle of a major highway. Verizon think i am a trailer.

twoodcc
Nov 29, 2007, 06:24 AM
even though it's not all that accurate, still looking forward to this in my iPhone :cool:

operator207
Nov 29, 2007, 07:07 AM
You are very right. When talking about cell phones. However, Clive was talking about Google being able to use this for To: From: directions on a computer connected via Cable/DSL/Dial-up/Etc. This would mean you could pull up Google maps on your desktop and get directions to somewhere without typing in your current location.

I had thought Google Earth had this for a while, but I don't remember.

Thats a lot to get out of:
Interesting... Yeah, can't Google just query your IP and put your dot on the map? T'would make it easy for "from here" / "To here" directions...

-Clive

I do not see any remarks towards DSL Cable or computer. You DO realize your phones, with internet access, do have IPs, right? Regardless....

IF and only IF you do not use wireless or a router for your DSL Cable etc. If you do, then the same iana IPs apply. Every DSL and Cable company around here offer a router for some price when you get your DSL or Cable. Most of the time its free, or very close to free. If directly connected to your DSL or Cable, no router and have the ISP acquired IPs, then I guess this would be ok, but that is so far and few between, that I seriously doubt many are like that.
ATT DSL Modems have a router built in, at least for my father's (also has wireless) and a friend's (just wired router). Neither payed anything for them. Both have had them for years, then replaced them with new ATT stuff ~2-6 months ago.

Still, the IP that you get from ATT or whomever, will be dependent on where its allocated.

The IP for my parents DSL, in Arlington Texas, shows the address of:
OrgName: AT&T Internet Services
OrgID: SIS-80
Address: 2701 N. Central Expwy # 2205.15
City: Richardson
StateProv: TX
PostalCode: 75080
Country: US

Ya, thats a hell of a lot more than 10 blocks. (~34 miles)

I guess what I am trying to say is, your wrong, it STILL APPLIES to your computer. Either you have a iana IP, and it won't matter, or you have your DHCP/Dynamic/Static IP from your ISP, and it will have your ISP's address, not yours and will either be inaccurate, or highly inaccurate. Either way, it will be less accurate than 10 city blocks.

jokarak
Nov 29, 2007, 12:04 PM
Ok, I'm testing this again in an area with better cell coverage, and it is off by the stated margin of error (1.7km - my actual location is at the inner edge of the margin of error circle). Pretty fancy, I must say.

TimJim
Nov 29, 2007, 12:06 PM
Thats good news, it will be navigation without buying anything extra.

kingtj
Nov 29, 2007, 12:22 PM
It's plenty accurate enough to roughly find your location, and target-market some advertising to you that's relative to the stores in the vicinity. :)



I echo a few opinions on here - that it doesn't seem accurate enough for city use and, anywhere important, I want my proper GPS.

That said, I'd be very interested to see it in real world usage.

elistan
Nov 29, 2007, 03:24 PM
Some friends of mine actually worked on e911 stuff years ago when they worked for Alcatel, so this sort of capability has been around for a while.

This is not a competitor to turn-by-turn GPS systems like the TomTom. Prior to this, Google Maps didn't allow for ANY automatic positioning and that's still true for PCs, Macs and iPhones. Yet still find the application extremely useful, and I expect a lot of other Google Maps users do to. So what does this do? It adds a little bit of extra functionality to make using the app easier. It's not a Jesus App, here to grant digital salvation. It's just a nice little upgrade, one that I've actually wished for several times.

There have been plenty of times I've brought up Google Maps to look for a restaurant, book store, street address, whatever, except the last time I used the app I was 30 miles away (easy to do in DFW.) So I have to zoom out, scroll over, zoom back in... It's not the end of the world of course, but it'd be nice to just slect a single button and have the app re-center over my general area, so that I can do my search for "indian restaurant" or whatever. Most of the time I'm not interested to know that I'm within 10 feet of a particular location. I already know where I am! I just want to be able to do a search of my general surroundings, so I can find whatever it is I'm looking for.

That's not to say that I wouldn't welcome true GPS positioning - I'd love to have that feature, to be honest. (I can't see any technical reason why Apple couldn't add bluetooth GPS to the iPhone's profiles.) But I'm not going to deride the cell-tower triangulation feature because of its limitations - it's not everything I want, but I still want it.

WestonHarvey1
Nov 29, 2007, 04:28 PM
I live in Chicago, and I have never once had Navizon return a single result - ever. Not in the city, not in the suburbs, not anywhere.

It isn't like this is a small city.

Cleverboy
Nov 29, 2007, 05:26 PM
That's not to say that I wouldn't welcome true GPS positioning - I'd love to have that feature, to be honest. (I can't see any technical reason why Apple couldn't add bluetooth GPS to the iPhone's profiles.) But I'm not going to deride the cell-tower triangulation feature because of its limitations - it's not everything I want, but I still want it.Perfectly said. Cheers. :)

~ CB

rxse7en
Nov 29, 2007, 07:43 PM
Very good! I'm after a GPS functionality as I do a lot of climbing and walking over the moors.

Stay the road and stay off the moors.

http://allost.ru/img/ost/3328/covf.jpg

telecomm
Dec 1, 2007, 04:02 AM
Stay the road and stay off the moors.


Nice. :D

I'd keep out of the Slaughtered Lamb too.

sactown
Dec 1, 2007, 12:17 PM
I tried this feature on my blackberry pearl and it was WAY off. It positioned me about 7 or 8 blocks from where I actually was. I guess it would be good if you woke up in the middle of a strange city and wanted to know where you were, but I don't see that happening to most of us. They are going to have to refine the technology quite a bit before this is useful.

John Musbach
Dec 1, 2007, 07:19 PM
http://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com)

News.com's blog reports (http://www.news.com/8301-10784_3-9824546-7.html?part=rss&subj=news&tag=2547-1_3-0-20) that Google is set to launch a new feature in Google Maps for Mobile that will automatically set our location even in phones that lack a global positioning system (GPS) device.

This "My Location" feature uses the same technology as Navizon (http://www.macrumors.com/iphone/2007/09/19/gps-sorta-on-iphone/) and triangulates your location based on nearby cell phone towers.

The new feature is launching as a "beta" as Google builds the database of cell towers from people using Google Maps and is said to be accurate within 10 city blocks.

Google Maps for Mobile is available for a number of phones including the iPhone. The iPhone's version, however, is not yet upgradable to this new beta version. Apple has indicated it plans on deploying new features to the iPhone over time, so it seems likely that this feature may find its way into a future iPhone software update.

Youtube video of new feature: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v6gqipmbcok

Article Link (http://www.macrumors.com/2007/11/28/mobile-google-maps-to-offer-gps-like-positioning/)

This sounds pretty sweet, especially when you're in a foreign place you've never been to before. No longer will you have to approach and ask a stranger where you are.

littlewaywelt
Dec 4, 2007, 02:14 PM
Which, if I were a wanted man, would make me nervous. But since I'm a law-abiding citizen, Big Brother can watch me drive from home to work and back and I could give a rat's ass.

-Clive
It's always sad when someone gives up his own privacy bc he feels he has nothing to hide. Perhaps we should get rid of the 4th Amendment and warrants all together.



The locate me now thing isn't working in the dc market yet.

operator207
Dec 5, 2007, 12:59 PM
It's always sad when someone gives up his own privacy bc he feels he has nothing to hide. Perhaps we should get rid of the 4th Amendment and warrants all together.



The locate me now thing isn't working in the dc market yet.

He did not say he was giving up his privacy, he said he does not care if BB knows where he is. Sorry, but even IF you care that BB knows where you are, BB will STILL know where you are if they want to.

It saddens me that people do not read very well, or read too much into a simple statement.

Personally I am with Clive, I do not care if BB knows where I am. I have done nothing wrong, therefore they would have no need to know where I am. I would however find it odd if they were watching me. I am sure if that were the case, I would bore them to death.