You don’t need GPS

If I made a list of all the things I wanted for Christmas, it would include two items. A new laptop and a GPS receiver. Unfortunately, the laptop is a little more necessary.

There was some good news last week that made everything better. Google released a really cool update to Google Maps. Now that Google has released a new version of Google Maps for mobile devices (with My Location), I can do 70% of what I would do with a standard GPS receiver (Garmin, TomTom, etc.) on my Blackberry, which, unlike most other gadgets, I always have with me. Using this new version of Google Maps I can determine my position to within a few hundred meters; close enough for things like driving directions and finding the nearest Starbucks. The Google Maps application does this by using your cellphone to figure out where you are in relation to the nearest cell towers. It works very similar to GPS in that instead of determining position by triangulation against orbital satellites, it just asks your phone where the nearest cell towers are and figures it out from there.

Google was nice enough to put together an informative video about how it works:

One comment

  1. Thanks for the tech update. I don’t have the needed phone…… some day perhaps. That is an exciting concept.