Google unveils GPS-less location-detection

33 Comments

GoogleGoogle’s updated Maps to version 2.0, and the big new feature is cell-tower triangulation to find your location. This new beta program called My Location sounds a bit like SameCell, huh? Of course, if you have GPS integrated in your handheld, Google Maps can read that too. Google’s obviously keeping BlackBerry in mind, as it’s a Curve cut-out being used in the video demo, but Nokia, Java and Windows Mobile is supported too. Head on over to http://www.google.com/gmm on your mobile browser to check out the beta. Thanks, Ronen!

  • Sumit

    Can this do even a semblance of (updating) navigation?

  • Sumit

    Can this do even a semblance of (updating) navigation?

  • bbva

    Tried it on a 8130. Shows user location estimate within a radius of 1700m. My location was at about twice that from the point indicated.

  • bbva

    Tried it on a 8130. Shows user location estimate within a radius of 1700m. My location was at about twice that from the point indicated.

  • BlackBerry Beard

    Well I downloaded it and “my location” jumps back and forth from about 2000 meters to 4000 meters from my real location – even though I’m stationary at my desk. Not even close to the 1000 meter variance that Google claims. It be really great if I could set my current location; that way it’d be better for me and it would help Google to make their system more accurate.

  • BlackBerry Beard

    Well I downloaded it and “my location” jumps back and forth from about 2000 meters to 4000 meters from my real location – even though I’m stationary at my desk. Not even close to the 1000 meter variance that Google claims. It be really great if I could set my current location; that way it’d be better for me and it would help Google to make their system more accurate.

  • BlackBerry Beard

    To clarify my comment with respect to bbva’s. My actual location jumps from double the edge of the light blue circle to four times that of the light blue circle. In Google’s advert scrren it used 1000m as a distance they stay within so I just doubled and quadrupled that.

  • http://www.blackberrycool.com/ BlackBerry Cool Simon

    Remember, they mention that the more you use it, the more accurate it gets. I gather it’s because it can parse more data from nearby towers you go through to better zone in on your location. Give it a few days of moving around, and I think the accuracy will climb up.

  • http://www.blackberrycool.com/ BlackBerry Cool Simon

    Remember, they mention that the more you use it, the more accurate it gets. I gather it’s because it can parse more data from nearby towers you go through to better zone in on your location. Give it a few days of moving around, and I think the accuracy will climb up.

  • BlackBerry Beard

    To clarify my comment with respect to bbva’s. My actual location jumps from double the edge of the light blue circle to four times that of the light blue circle. In Google’s advert scrren it used 1000m as a distance they stay within so I just doubled and quadrupled that.

  • http://www.blackberrycool.com BlackBerry Cool Simon

    Remember, they mention that the more you use it, the more accurate it gets. I gather it’s because it can parse more data from nearby towers you go through to better zone in on your location. Give it a few days of moving around, and I think the accuracy will climb up.

  • BlackBerry Beard

    I did a distance check with the web version of Google maps and the real error is huge. Its approximaelty 5 miles/8.1 km off. Not even close to either 1000 or 1700 ft. Hopefully it’ll get better in the next few days. I’ll let ya know how it goes.

  • BlackBerry Beard

    I did a distance check with the web version of Google maps and the real error is huge. Its approximaelty 5 miles/8.1 km off. Not even close to either 1000 or 1700 ft. Hopefully it’ll get better in the next few days. I’ll let ya know how it goes.

  • Jeff

    I kind of like it. Yeah it’s not dead on, but it beats paying for verizon. If you are getting directions from your current location to you final location, and you are familiar with your current location, it’s pretty handy. My 2¢

  • Jeff

    I kind of like it. Yeah it’s not dead on, but it beats paying for verizon. If you are getting directions from your current location to you final location, and you are familiar with your current location, it’s pretty handy. My 2¢

  • http://DaveHughes.Com/ Dave Hughes

    I opened it up and it showed me almost exactly where I was. I’m guessing that it won’t work well in rural areas where cell towers are not numerous. But I’ll be testing it.

  • http://DaveHughes.Com Dave Hughes

    I opened it up and it showed me almost exactly where I was. I’m guessing that it won’t work well in rural areas where cell towers are not numerous. But I’ll be testing it.

  • Cliff V

    To me it seems to really just locating the tower nearest to me, but not me in general. I have only used it at work and at home, and funny enough there is a tower from each location less than 1/4 mile away. But the blue dot seems to be in that exact location where the TOWER is. What about me! LoL ill test it out once I get my phone turned back on, couldnt pay my bill!! any donations? lol

  • Cliff V

    To me it seems to really just locating the tower nearest to me, but not me in general. I have only used it at work and at home, and funny enough there is a tower from each location less than 1/4 mile away. But the blue dot seems to be in that exact location where the TOWER is. What about me! LoL ill test it out once I get my phone turned back on, couldnt pay my bill!! any donations? lol

  • BlackBerry Beard

    Well obviously it doesn’t like me. Over 30 hours since I installed it, with it running continuously (mostly in the foreground) and its still 5 miles/8 kilometers off. At home it thinks I’m Shrek because its also 5 miles off but here it puts me in the middle of a swamp. Sigh.

  • BlackBerry Beard

    Well obviously it doesn’t like me. Over 30 hours since I installed it, with it running continuously (mostly in the foreground) and its still 5 miles/8 kilometers off. At home it thinks I’m Shrek because its also 5 miles off but here it puts me in the middle of a swamp. Sigh.

  • BlackBerry Beard

    Well obviously it doesn’t like me. Over 30 hours since I installed it, with it running continuously (mostly in the foreground) and its still 5 miles/8 kilometers off. At home it thinks I’m Shrek because its also 5 miles off but here it puts me in the middle of a swamp. Sigh.

  • http://DaveHughes.Com/ Dave Hughes

    It seems to me that the farther I get away from a highly populated area, the worse it gets. I’m guess that if it doesn’t have three towers to triangulate your position, it gets lost. I’ve only got one tower near my rural-area house and it puts me up to 10 miles away. Other places closer to the city it puts me about 3 miles off. But at my office, it puts me right where I am correctly.
    Hopefully Google can figure out a way to make it more reliable. It’s certainly a great first step.

  • http://DaveHughes.Com Dave Hughes

    It seems to me that the farther I get away from a highly populated area, the worse it gets. I’m guess that if it doesn’t have three towers to triangulate your position, it gets lost. I’ve only got one tower near my rural-area house and it puts me up to 10 miles away. Other places closer to the city it puts me about 3 miles off. But at my office, it puts me right where I am correctly.
    Hopefully Google can figure out a way to make it more reliable. It’s certainly a great first step.

  • BossHogg

    Let´s get one thing straight: this doesn´t triangulate SHIT. In order to triangulate a cell phone (this is, using three towers and measuring the distance… assuming the hardware is installed by the operator, which is not likely) you would need to have a special warrant AT LEAST. I work in special projects in the largest cell operator. The thingy is very much on the line of most google products: let the users work for google (which harms noone actually).
    All cells know what antenna they´re connected to (some ID), and they´re connected always (while in coverage) by one and NOT MORE than one. So what Google does is take advantage of its already emplaced GPS apps on many Blackberrys, all of the GPS-BBs upload the cell tower ID related to the GPS location to Google and they can map in “what location” a tower is… then, with enough data, they have the problem covered.
    About the people that say that the error is too large. It´s most probably because you are in less populated areas. In cities a single antenna can cover as little as some meters while in rural areas it can reach miles.

    Cheers.

  • BossHogg

    Let´s get one thing straight: this doesn´t triangulate SHIT. In order to triangulate a cell phone (this is, using three towers and measuring the distance… assuming the hardware is installed by the operator, which is not likely) you would need to have a special warrant AT LEAST. I work in special projects in the largest cell operator. The thingy is very much on the line of most google products: let the users work for google (which harms noone actually).
    All cells know what antenna they´re connected to (some ID), and they´re connected always (while in coverage) by one and NOT MORE than one. So what Google does is take advantage of its already emplaced GPS apps on many Blackberrys, all of the GPS-BBs upload the cell tower ID related to the GPS location to Google and they can map in “what location” a tower is… then, with enough data, they have the problem covered.
    About the people that say that the error is too large. It´s most probably because you are in less populated areas. In cities a single antenna can cover as little as some meters while in rural areas it can reach miles.

    Cheers.

  • dlj

    Works perfect for me. But I do live and work in central London.

  • dlj

    Works perfect for me. But I do live and work in central London.

  • dlj

    Works perfect for me. But I do live and work in central London.

  • dlj

    Works perfect for me. But I do live and work in central London.

  • dlj

    Works perfect for me. But I do live and work in central London.

  • http://locatecellnumbers.yolasite.com/ Garry Butkovich

    Interesting read. There is currently quite a lot of information around this subject around and about on the net and some are most defintely better than others. You have caught the detail here just right which makes for a refreshing change – thanks.

  • http://locatecellnumbers.yolasite.com/ Garry Butkovich

    Interesting read. There is currently quite a lot of information around this subject around and about on the net and some are most defintely better than others. You have caught the detail here just right which makes for a refreshing change – thanks.