Location-based services ?

Remember how Google built up its cell ID->lat-long databases? They used the existing infrastructure and their software already spread on user devices to build it and now they can provide location features on devices that do not have a GPS receiver. Earlier this week a blog post on official Google mobile blog confirmed that. I found out via Tom that there is a similar “Open Source” initiative called: OpenCellID which tries to build up a “cell id database” with downloadable client. Getting the user location seems to become easier every day and it is interesting to see that GPS is not the only solution to retrieve a position and there are open solutions but the real question remains “what is all good that for ?”

We have been talking about Location-Based Services for quite a long time and there does not seem to be yet a killing application even though Devices have built-in GPS (like my Nokia N95) or Location API (like Androïd). It’s the “big thing” we are still waiting for and maybe the problem is that we are not “nomad” enough, just too “local” as pointed by the New York Times based on a field study:

“Individuals display significant regularity, because they return to a few highly frequented locations, such as home or work”

Via (#) and (#)


  1. Howie

    Hi J
    There is also cellspotting with quit smart solution regarding ugc-cell-id-db. What I am very wondering is, if Google get’s in Switzerland directly of any MNO access to theirs Network to get accees to trace the cell-id of users. The user which uses g-mobile-map’s will see on his display on the m-device where he is? Google then alos know where the user is. W2ABW.