Google Takes Mobile Maps to the Next Level

November 29th, 2007 - 11:37 pm ICT by admin  

On Wednesday, Google released the second iteration of its Google Maps for mobile phones, a mobile mapping and local search application that sports several new bells and whistles. The new version features Google’s “My Location” technology, which uses cell tower information to provide users with their approximate location to help them determine where they are and what’s around them.

The most common source of location information to date — GPS technology — is supported on fewer than 15 percent of the mobile phones sold in 2007. With Google’s My Location technology, users who don’t have GPS-enabled mobile phones still can have Google Maps position their location on the map.

According to Google, the My Location technology will complement GPS-enabled devices by delivering a location estimate more quickly than GPS can and providing coverage inside buildings where GPS signals can be unreliable. Google promises its technique doesn’t drain phone batteries as quickly as GPS does.

Press Zero, Get Location

“We’ve all been there: You’re out and about, and you need to figure out where you are, what’s around you, and how to get there. Google Maps for mobile can help you do all that, but first you have to enter in a starting point using the keypad. And let’s face it — entering things into your phone using the keypad is so 2006,” Mike Chu, a software engineer on the Google mobile team, wrote on the Official Google Mobile blog.

With Google Maps loaded, users have only to press zero on the keypad to fire up the My Location service. The map then automatically indicates the approximate location information by centering on a blue circle. Of course, Chu admitted, the technology is still in beta. That means it might not be 100 percent accurate and it is not supported on every mobile device.

Google has noted…

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