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Roughly Where Am I ?

Bluetooth WiFi GPS GPRS combine to tell you roughly where you are
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A good number of location based services only really need to know roughly whereabouts you are located in order to provide a useful service. My suggestion is for a couple of new bits of information to be added to 'connected' devices in order to allow a device's location to be ascertained within a good enough degree of accuracy. It goes like this:

My wifi router is static (i.e. it sits on our living room floor), and I know it's geographical grid reference, it can therefore be an authoritative source for location data (and given that it's connected to the internet, it also knows the time too).
Now imagine that I walk past my WiFi router with my WiFi enabled PDA. My PDA now asks the router for it's location and the current time. The router is authoritative for both, so hands over the information.

Now I go out for a walk with my PDA, and 500m down the road (Charing Cross Road as it turns out), another Wifi PDA comes in to range of mine, they talk to each other and find out that
a) my PDA has 2nd hand knowledge of its location 2 minutes ago
b) the other PDA has only 4th hand knowledge of its location, from 2 hours ago (it's been switched off).
So.. the protocol works out that 2nd hand information 2 minutes ago is better than 4th hand two hours ago, and the other PDA walks off armed with a better idea of its location.


Now.. I know this only gives a rough idea of where a device is (but that's all I want), it offers a few advantages over existing more precise technologies
gps: no need for additional hardware therefore cheaper
gprs triangulation: no network charges from the mobile operator (also more private) and works for non phone devices.
neilp, Jan 07 2004

DNS LOC http://www.ckdhr.com/dns-loc/
Here is the protocol you can use for this [krelnik, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Zeroconf & Multicast DNS http://www.oreillyn...12/20/zeroconf.html
(this might help too) [krelnik, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

WiFi triangulation version http://www.newscien...s.jsp?id=ns99996058
Jul 1 2004: Someone has baked a version that simply uses a database of WiFi access points, and triangulation of signals, to estimate your location. [krelnik, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Hitachi AirLocation http://www.engadget...y/5215545011154201/
Jul 22 2004: Baked by Hitachi. It has the interesting characteristic that it can be powered by vibration (like some wristwatches) and turns on automatically when the device is moved. [krelnik, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

[link]






       The basic part of this (asking the infrastructure for it's location) is baked as an extension to DNS called "DNS LOC". See link. I like your peer-to-peer extension where the devices help each other determine location.
krelnik, Jan 07 2004
  

       yeah DNS-LOC would be a good starting point, but hopefully peer-to-peer (and non static ip devices/bluetooth etc.) would make make it more fun.
neilp, Jan 07 2004
  

       I'd prefer the "Roughly, where am I going?" device.
Worldgineer, Jan 07 2004
  

       I thought you meant like:
  

       "Tell me where I am or I'll smash your face in you git"
dobtabulous, Jan 07 2004
  

       or <assumes gruff accent> Where am I?</assumes gruff accent>
neilp, Jan 07 2004
  

       That would be "gruffly where am I?" - a different idea completely!
dobtabulous, Jan 07 2004
  

       <Fast Show voice>Y'int sin me! Roight!</Fast Show voice>
oneoffdave, Jan 07 2004
  

       <fast show>Its Roobbish! Its Aaaallll Roobbish! Everything round 'ere is compete Roobbish!</fast show>
Nice idea by the way!
gnomethang, Jan 07 2004
  

       Read it in NewScientist the other day. Has an accuracy of about 40 meters.
scubadooper, Jul 22 2004
  

       scuba, if you really mean to mark an idea for deletion, you have to spell it out in full or it won't be found when housekeeping (look at the help file for the full spelling).
That an idea is baked, is not grounds for deletion, though. Remove an idea that isn't well known and someone else will just post it again.
Plus, if you anly read about it in New Scientist the other day, you might find that this post predates the article you read by some months.
st3f, Jul 26 2004
  

       In fact, I linked to the NewScientist article three weeks ago. This idea definitely predates it.
krelnik, Jul 26 2004
  

       Thanks for the style points guys! Previous anno has been edited.
scubadooper, Jul 27 2004
  

       Nice. +
sartep, Jul 27 2004
  
      
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