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Location as a commodity

Recently there’s been a rise in the use of GPS in the marketplace.  We’ve all seen in-car navigation systems, where the combination of a GPS receiver, intelligent map data and user-friendly software in a compact package makes for a incredibly useful product.

GPS on iPhone using the Maps applicaitonMore recently GPS receivers are being integrated in smartphones.  Usually when they’re included in a phone they can give a position where GPS signal is unavilable (indoors, or under trees).  Nomally the phone indicates a less accurate position where GPS is not being used.  But where does that less accurate position come from?

 It turns out that it can use triangulation from cellphone towers and WiFi signals.  The best explanation for this is contained in this article at Wired.com: I Am Here: One Man’s Experiment With the Location-Aware Lifestyle

The ability to access relatively accurate positions easily is aready starting to change the way we live, work and play – Location is becoming a commodity – but that’s a topic for another post….