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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Interesting - I'm sure somebody will come out and say this has been used before by other companies (and I'm also sure they wouldn't be wrong). There is a certain freshness with Google's approach to service development though I believe. You get announcements of products/services when they are in a position to actually allow people to use them.

Other companies (software houses for one) would benefit from taking a look at their ethos when it comes to marketing.

Google going from strength to strength eh?

But other operators have basically charged for this service...
One makes you wonder why..
It's a good thing Google is putting some pressure so perhaps operators start to wake up...

I might be mistaken, but I remember Vodafone offering this service 4 years ago when I lived in London. It was also a "Find businesses" in your location kinda thing, and you didn't need GPS for it.

The small footprints say "NOT FREE!.. CHARGE PER CALL".

In my case i disabled the A-GPS, i prefer to wait a few seconds instead to spend money for every request.

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