Thursday, November 29, 2007

Google Maps for Mobile now gets the location even without GPS


Guys at Google continuously crank new features to their Google Maps Mobile -application. Now they're added acquiring the phone's location without GPS.

The blog posting does not say much how exactly the location information is resolved. Is it calculated on the google's servers, using the CellID and possibly other data sent by the GMM application? Or does the application figure it out by itself.

I bet the first option is the correct answer. On that case I wonder has Google harvested the cellid location data already for some time with the existing gmm applications out there, and therefore figured out the locations of most of the cell towers? The video on the blog post says that "the service gets better the more you use it", it might refer to data collection of some sort.

Interesting development nevertheless.

If you are using gmm a lot, make sure your data plan is either unlimited or the flat rate quota is put high enough - the maps eat the megabytes pretty fast.

Update: One analysis is saying that gmm is really using the CellID data sent by the existing users with gps and data sharing enabled. The location data is then only valid if someone has used gmm before on that area with GPS, or if Google has preloaded some information on its systems. There has been many projects of getting CellID data around the world, so I would assume that the results of those initiatives have been feed also in to the system. In most of the projects the databases have been public (?)

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