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Google Gears bringing Geolocation to mobile Web

Google again is expanding its footprint on the mobile world (opens in new tab). Its "My Location" feature, which uses cell towers to roughly triangulate your position in Google Maps, is now coming to mobile Web apps, thanks to the Gears Geolocation API (opens in new tab).

"But, Phil," you say, "I already know where I am. What can this possibly do for me?"

For devices without GPS, it should mean a lot. We're talking about (eventually) more than just smartphones here. The Gears Geolocation API allows Web sites, both mobile and otherwise, to get your location and then customize their content.

Offered as an example is U.K. site m.lastminute.com. Simply click a link and the site tracks down your location. You then tell it what kind of food you want to eat, and it returns the restaurants closest to you.

If you're in the U.K., you can try it out now (IE Mobile only) at m.lastminute.com and m.rummble.com. For the rest of us, see the example video after the break.

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WC Staff
WC Staff
1 Comment
  • Actually the "My Location" features primary location method is using the GPS in the phone, and if it doesn't a have a GPS, then triangulation is used:
    http://www.google.com/support/mobile/bin/answer.py?answer=39894&topic=13541My Location (beta) uses the most accurate available location source to determine your location on the map. In cases where a GPS signal can't be acquired (such as indoors), Google Maps for mobile will use a secondary location method to determine your location, even if your phone has GPS functionality.