Posts Tagged ‘skyhook’

OpenCellId – collecting data for mobile location-based services

Monday, August 18th, 2008

It is great to see a revived buzz around mobile location based apps and services. There are lots of new services to try. I try loads of them, the most recent was Moot just a few days ago (I love their video which I’ve embedded here – very cute), but there are way more than I can keep up with.

One problem they all share before they get to offer you their variations on useful location-based services is how to figure out where you are in the first place.

GPS is an obvious response, but not everyone has it on their mobile, and even if you do, it has some big problems – it can take a while to get a fix, won’t work indoors, etc.

Good solutions supplement this with other sources of information. Skyhook is getting a lot of attention at the moment for their service – mainly due to it being used in the iPhone. It means that the iPhone (and other devices using Skyhook) can work out where it is using GPS, but if a GPS fix cannot be made (or in the interim time while waiting for one) it can give an approximate location almost instantly using cell-tower triangulation and/or known WiFi access points.