Nov 20 2010

Google Maps for Mobile

Category: Windows MobileChrisM @ 12:50 am

In this series of Windows Mobile based applications, I want to write a few words about Google Maps (for mobile) – you’ll need to visit that link in your phone’s browser to download the latest CAB. Assuming you have a GPS chip in your phone, Google Maps will take a few seconds to display how many satellites your GPS chip has actually successfully locked onto so far, before showing your current location with a blue circle around it. The circle gives you a visualization of just how accurate your fix is. Should buildings, heavy clouds or other reasons prevent a GPS lock, Google Maps will default back to using mobile phone company’s aerial towers to guesstimate where you are. This can lead to an accuracy of within 1km or more, however this is still quicker than trying to pan around a static map in an area you don’t know at all.
Depending on the country you are in at the time (and therefore just how much data Google holds on your current location), you can: use your voice to search for local businesses, get directions whilst driving (perhaps not as well as a TomTom or Garmin devices, but still worth a shot if you don’t want to spend more money), get current traffic information (definitely only available in some countries) for your route/area, use Street View images to double check exactly where you are, and also use Google Latitude to check which of your friends are close to you right now.
[edit]
Ah, I just double checked Google’s information, and the turn by turn navigation feature has not yet apparently made it to the Windows Mobile version of this app. You can still however get a list of directions from your current location to your desired destination.
[edit 2]
I assumed this would be obvious, but just in case it hasn’t occurred to you, you’ll want to ensure you have a good deal on your GPRS/EDGE/3G data usage before using this program – if you zoom in a lot, and then travel just a mile or two, Google will be sending you a lot of graphics to render as a map on your phone.

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