Google trials GPS-without-GPS mobile navigator
For all web-enabled handsets
Google has begun testing a mobile phone mapping service which it promises will find your location and send you on your way, even if your handset’s not GPS-enabled.
Dubbed My Location, the service initially requires you to download Google’s free Google Maps software onto your handset. Then, whenever you need to find a location, simply type in the destination, and Maps will work out where you are and guide you there. Google claims the software can triangulate your location by communicating with nearby mobile phone masts, removing the need to type in your staring position.
How My Location works
No video? You'll need to download Flash Player from www.adobe.com
However, Google admitted that its accuracy is within approximately 1km – which is quite a long way if you’re driving, let alone walking. Having a GPS-enabled phone will narrow that right down, and at least My Location can ignore all the triangulation stuff if you have sat nav on board already.
My Location is compatible with most web-enabled handsets, such as BlackBerry phones, Windows Mobile OS devices and Nokias running on Symbian.
Users can try out the service for free now and Register Hardware would love to know how everyone gets on with it.
A bit fuzzy still...
In both my home and office, I'm getting my location within a "1,700m radius." That being said, despite Google using that disclaimer, the location that it's placed has has never been more than 600m away or so.
Still, given that I both live and work in Zone 1, London, a little disappointing. Unless this is just a reflection of how crap O2's network infrastructure is in the city.
At least I'm safe from the black helicopters...
But it does not have a facility for an external GPS reciever.
...sitting at home and it's about 20 yards (er...about 130 linguine) out. Plus it can give me directions to the pub along the road. Better get me coat, it's a bit nippy out tonight...
(Latest version of Google Maps under Windows Mobile 6 on a T-Mobile/HTC MDA Vario thingy, if anyone's interested)