Google has announced their “My Location” feature for the google maps for mobile. No GPS needed for the application to be able to locate you. You can see a blue dot with a transparency buffer around that dot representing accuracy. Now,
The my location feature was not able on my Nokia 6230i with j2me. From the mailing list, it appears that it can work if the application can see the cellid. This then leads to the indication that Google has a database of all cell id locations. This database is in turn created by other users that do have GPS whilst using the application. It also means that Google doesn’t have to buy expensive datasets of cell tower locations, or bother about making sure the external datasets are up to date.
User created geodata, done without any conscious participation. Ed says it’s a great example of (Unconscious) crowd sourcing
I wonder how long it would take for someone to hack something useful from the database😉