Google triangulates its users, now they not only know what you’re looking at, but where you are as well.
Google has launched a new feature which allows users of Google Maps to automatically show your location without the need of GPS soft or hardware.
As with all things Google, the monetisation of this new feature is clear, by integrating the ability to know where you are allows Google to push adverts at its users that are geographically targeted, local bars, clubs and restaurants for instance – all groupings which may have been reticent to part with cash on AdWords.
This beta feature triangulates your approximate location based on nearby cell towers so you don’t have to type in your address.
“The new feature is launching in beta to get it into the hands of consumers faster”, said Steve Lee, product manager for Google Maps for Mobile. “The performance of the technology, which was developed in-house, will improve the more people use it”, he said.
"We’re creating a database of cell tower locations and that database is built from people using Google Maps for Mobile," Lee said.
Sterling said the new feature has been "pretty consistently available" in his testing of the service.
The My Location feature "complements" GPS functionality, because it works indoors, doesn’t drain the battery as much as GPS does, and is much faster (a few seconds compared with what can be a few minutes on GPS), according to Lee.
However, GPS is accurate to a few meters whilst Google triangulation will be within 300 metres, on average.
The Google Maps for Mobile software is a downloadable program being preinstalled on some phones. The new feature will be available on most smart phones, including the BlackBerry, new Nokia Symbian devices and many Windows Mobile devices.
"Clearly we think location technology will make advertising more relevant to users and advertisers in the future," said Lee. "So, it’s something we’re looking at."