Google maps on a mobile phone

I’ve just installed Google’s mobile map application¬†on my Nokia N80¬†. It works. It wasn’t all that clear how to actually access the application after I installed it, but that is more a feature of the way the Nokia works than any reflection on the google map application. Once I’d located it (under a funny little icon called “My Own” in the tools bit) I was able to customise my standby settings so that icon shows on the main screen.

So, all I do is select the icon, it makes a GPRS connection to the web page and then I have the option of showing my current location, listing things like pubs, restaurants, shops etc nearest my current location and plotting directions to some other location identified, quite easily, by postcode. Not tried that yet.

Google say that using GPRS to identify your location relative to phone masts is much quicker than using GPS to find your location using satellites. It does seem to be, and it does offer the additional advantage of allowing you to work out where you are when indoors which GPS systems have a problem with. However where I live, mobile reception is particularly bad so the location it gave me was about 6 miles out. Not very good if you’re relying on it to work out where you are when you’ve got lost.

Still, it’s early days and it’s just a beta product. I like the functionality and will continue to explore its potential.

About Gill

Having worked as a Research Fellow with the Institute of Educational Technology at the Open University, I have now semi-retired but retained my association with the OU as an Honorary Associate.
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