My Location

Google Maps My Location uses either GPS (if it's available on your phone) or triangulation from the closest towers to show where you are. And yes, it works in Australia.

But it's not as impressive as I first thought. When I tried it initially in the Melbourne CBD (where there are

lots of towers) on my non-GPS-capable Nokia 6230i, it showed the map and pinpointed to within a few hundred metres of where I was at the time, pointing roughly to the corner of Swanston Street and Flinders Lane. Wow!

Alas it turns out that it points to that location wherever I am in greater Melbourne. Oh dear.

Still, at least it got the right city and continent. That's a start.

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2 thoughts on “My Location

  1. Chris Till

    The entire design of the GSM system ensures there are always plenty of towers within range and that your handset will pick the one with the strongest signal (and thus better quality, reduced power consumption to transmit to it, etc).

    Given the range of the towers and that reception is coverned by so many factors including line of sight, it’s hard to comprehend that it is at all reliable that any particular spot can be determined accurately by your phone coverage.

    In a city area especially, the concentration of towers let alone the range you would get depending on the buildings around you should mean that a system trying to determine your location based on tower reception would be next to useless.

    And the further out you to in the burbs, to the point where you’ve got minimal coverage, the problem only gets worse since a single tower or two are happily giving you extensive coverage over a large distance… so yet again the best you would know is that you are “in” a suburb… which is surely useless information?

    Unless I’m missing something here and it can somehow use signal strength between towers to determine distance from a number of towers to triangulate a position, but should still be useless as the laws of physics and nature mean that signal strength is not a predictable event…?!?

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