Google service uses cell towers to locate users

The new Google Maps with MyLocation service allows users without GPS-enabled phones to figure out their location by using nearby cell-phone towers

Google launched a location service for mobile users on Wednesday that doesn't rely on GPS.

Google Maps with My Location, currently in beta, locates users who don't have GPS-enabled phones based on their location to nearby cell towers. The result isn't as accurate as GPS but works for people who lack the positioning technology in their phones.

"It helps users speed up search by showing the general neighborhood they're in," said Steve Lee, product manager at Google for the service. Without the location service, users must type in their address or neighborhood in order to find nearby businesses using Google Maps.

Google Maps with My Location will use GPS data to locate the user if the phone has the capability. But even for users of GPS-enabled phones, the cell location service might be useful, Lee said. That's because the cell tower feature works better indoors than GPS, it doesn't drain the phone battery as quickly and can bring up a result quicker, he said.

View: Infoworld

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