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Where Am I?

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For a while now I've been looking around for an application which I could run on my phone which would let me update my location on my web site. There's several about that do this, including Google Maps Mobile, but they tend to cane your battery as the GPS is on all the time.

But I've recently discovered Phonelocator periodic. It's a free service for Symbian S60 v3 and v5 handsets. You can choose to have your phone update their site at fixed intervals or on demand or a combination of both. It works out your location using the phone's GPS, if available, or cell mast or WiFi location data otherwise. Importantly however it only turns the GPS on when it needs it.

If you allow public access to the location data then you end up with a URL for a page like this, which is a bit brutal so I wrote a bit of code to do a screen scrape and I can now present my position rather more elegantly as you can see on this page1.

There's obviously some privacy issues here but as I can decide when the phone updates my location I don't think it's a problem so long as I think about it. My plan is to keep it turned off most of the time and only turn on automatic updates when I'm out and Beth's at home so she can then see where I am.

  1. Which is also my first attempt at using KML - click on the map point and you get a popup balloon with the time and accuracy in it. The "View Larger Map" link has similar functionality. It's a bit clunky as yet but I'll clean that up later.

Tags: maps, web design Written 22/11/10

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