Thursday, November 29, 2007

Google delivers "Free GPS" to every cell phone

With it's new "My Location" feature, Google Maps for Mobile has finally let most of us determine (approximately) where we are in the world by looking at our cell phones.

How to use it?
  1. Load the new version of Google Maps for Mobile.
  2. Press the Zero key.
GMM then uses information gleaned from your local cell towers to approximate where you are on it's map. This is useful for you, because you could then ask Google where the closest lunch spot might be. It's good for Google because they are giving you reasonably useful information based on where they think you are.

What's next?

That means Google will soon be able to put adverts alongside the the location data it delivers and stores might be able to use such an advertising platform to deliver promotional information to your phone that might actually be useful to you. I'd like to know if there was one coffee shop or another that might care to issue a coupon for me to step into there shop as opposed to someone else's.

This video explains how My Location works:

qv: Google Maps for Mobile with My Location

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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Santa has taken flight on Google Earth!

Google has announced Santa's flight and the web page is now active. For the next 12 days you can look for presents on Google Earth and watch Santa in flight on the big day.

I'm giddy with excitement!

qv: [Track Santa on Google Earth]

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Friday, December 08, 2006

Santa will be hiding toys on Google Earth

From the Google Earth Newsletter:
Santa Sits
'Tis (almost) the season, and when Christmas Eve finally arrives, Santa Claus fans all over the world will be able to track his minute-to-minute whereabouts, with the help of some friendly elves and Google Earth. Be sure to visit starting on December 12th to learn more.

Santa Tracker is a KML file, viewable in Google Earth that shows a 3D SketchUp model of Santa flying around the world delivering presents on the evening of December 24th, Christmas Eve. This year, Santa will also be hiding some giant toys in Google Earth. Beginning on December 12th, Santa will leave a clue outside of his house at the North Pole up until his flight on December 24th. Each clue can be used to find a city where a giant SketchUp model of a toy is hidden. Each day, the location of the toy from the day before will be revealed. Don't forget to visit the website on December 12th to see Santa.

Just four more days until Santa appears on Google Earth! (I hope he brings that red wagon I've been asking for.)

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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Google Maps for Mobile adds GPS, but where is the Blackberry support?

Google has announced GPS support for their Google Maps for Mobile. Alas, only the Samsung Helio is supported in this initial release. I have used Google Maps on my various Blackberry phones with great success. I have been amazed at just how slick they have been able to make the Blackberry Client. Pan, Zoom, routed directions, and the satellite view all work to the amazement and delight of anyone I show it to. The satellite view really is amazing when you are in an area with good pictures. The only missing feature is the ability to start routing a map from wherever you are, especially if you don't know exactly where that is. I understand that keeping the GPS unit on in the Blackberry would be an incredible drain on the battery, but allowing the software to just ask "Where am I?" on an as needed basis would be a great help with much less impact on battery life.

Blackberry owners unite! Beg Google for GPS support for the Blackberry!

qv: [Google Blog - Get Lost]

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