Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Where am I?

Call if you are lost
 
(+1, -1)
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With GPS it is hard(er) to get lost, but do you always have a GPS widget at hand? Most likely not and in a big city the signal may be too weak. So, how to find your way if no trustworthy or frienly enough local is around? Call 1-800-IAMLOST from any public phone and a friendly automated voice tells you where you are. (The friendly voice has a data base with the locations of all public phones.) The service is financed with advertisements for services in the immediate neighborhood that are sent before the location information like "This service is sponsored by Joe's coffee shop. Look around you for the green store sign. Joe will be happy to serve you the best coffe in town."

Cell phone providers could offer a simliar service because they can detect what cell you are in, but it may not be as accurate.

kbecker, Aug 27 2003

Enhanced 911 in U.S. http://www.fcc.gov/911/enhanced/
Mentioned by [fogfreak], here are the details [krelnik, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

[link]






       [C_T] Those services are baked as Psychic reading, but they usually have 900 numbers and cost money. :-(
kbecker, Aug 27 2003
  

       I'm not sure I need this. It'll be the same answer every time. "You drank too much and passed out on your ex-girlfriend's doorstep. The vomit on your trousers is not your own. You live at 3535 11th Steet, apartment 51"
I could just record it on microcassette recorder and carry it around in my pocket...

But I think [C Trebor] will need this so + for you
DeathNinja, Aug 27 2003
  

       “Oui, hello?” he yelled into the phone. “This is Paul Gauguin. Yes, I say, where do we come from? Hello, hello, are you still there?” He banged the phone against the arm of his chair, then put it back to his ear. “Ok. Yes, please, what are we? Where are we going? What, what? Oh, I see.” He hung up and looked at the attractive, mostly nude Tahitian girl curled up in front of him. “We don’t have a street address.” he told her.

“No pizza?” she said, pouting
pluterday, Aug 27 2003
  

       She looked at the little flat disc of seasoned meat Paul had balanced on his fingertip and wondered why he thought it significant.
bristolz, Aug 27 2003
  

       If I'm REALLY lost, there are no public phones around, and my mobile has no signal.   

       Most likely, if I'm REALLY lost, knowing the name and location of my location won't help either, as actually being there obviously isn't ringing a bell for me.   

       The service should be satellite-based and, instead, answer the question of "How the hell do I get back to a place that I know?" and then... I will croissant!
X2Entendre, Aug 27 2003
  

       [Rods] - that's the question we all ask ourselves at some time or other. Some of us are (un)lucky enough to find the answer.
PeterSilly, Aug 28 2003
  

       most 'phone boxes have their location printed inside anyway ...
pjd, Aug 28 2003
  

       I just called one of those automated services with voice recognition, was the first time i've encountered it and i was a bit stunned even though i'm a technophile.... this reall throws people:   

       Recorded message: "... I can undestand what you say." then it might go on to ask "Are you an existing customer?" ..... seems limited to yes or no answers and individual numbers and lettesr... but it's good to see this technology out in the field.   

       So, in application with a 1-800-whereami, a voice recognition system could whittle down a persons question to what they are asking, be it, where is the nearest public transport, or pizza or whatever. In response to "Where the F### am i?" you'd get "Ok calm down dude..."   

       nice
venomx, Aug 28 2003
  

       The knock at the door startled her, but she woke from her reverie and got up to open the door.   

       "Pizza for a Mr. Gauguin. That'll be $3,414.29, or 360,000 French Pacific Francs, ahem, tip not included, ahem."   

       "What?"   

       "Well, I'm afraid the address we received was rather vague, and it's taken me just a bit over seven years to find you. So naturally, there have been costs well beyond that of the pizza itself. I mean, 'somewhere in the South Pacific...' At any rate, Mr. Gauguin authorized the extra expense when he ordered the pizza."   

       "I see. Well, I'm sorry to report to you that Mr. Gauguin has passed away."   

       "Oh dear."   

       "...and I'm afraid I don't have the funds to pay you. Would you accept one of these paintings for your troubles?"   

       "Are you insane? That's obviously the work of a child. There's no way it's worth the kind of money we're talking about."
beauxeault, Aug 28 2003
  

       Darn it, I keep dialing 1-800-IALMOST!
k_sra, Aug 28 2003
  

       Damn it. I just paid $3,414.29 for this pizza and it's 7 years old. I should have told the guy I'm not Paul Gauguin and I didn't know where Paul Gauguin is (without dialing 1-900-Where-Is-Paul-Gauguin, a service that for $2 tells you "somewhere in the south Pacific"), but pizza really sounded good to me.
Worldgineer, Aug 28 2003
  

       It is a requirement by the FCC in the United States, though some of the cellular operators have been balking at it. It is called "Enhanced 911", see link. Have no idea whether this has been required by any other governments outside the US.
krelnik, Aug 28 2003
  

       What we need is an "Enhanced-411" that can tell you how long to broil your pork chops for at different altitudes...
DeathNinja, Aug 28 2003
  

       When I was about 12 my older sister (around 14 at the time) was trying to make cookies when our parents weren't home. She didn't know how many cubes of butter (why are they called cubes? rectangular prisms) in a cup, so she called information (411). The person that answered happened to know.
Worldgineer, Aug 28 2003
  

       We already have enhanced 911 in the UK (dial 112). It triangulates your position from the transmitters without GPS.
chud, Aug 28 2003
  

       Triangulating cell call origination has been baked in the US for some time. Only recently was it made known to the public and subsequently marketed as an add-on (pay-for) safety feature (those bastards).   

       This system could have it all, with cell call triangulation, integrated white pages, Mobil Travel Guide ratings database, MapQuest functionality, and a VRU... You wouldn’t need to know where you are *or* where you are going, only that you will arrive at the best whitebait feast you’ve ever attended. (+)
Shz, Aug 28 2003
  

       If the pizza was 7 years late, wouldn't they have to let you have it for free?
Detly, Aug 28 2003
  

       You are in a phone booth. Please insert $6 now.
Katt, Aug 29 2003
  

       BT is already doing this with their internet enabled payphones. You can tap a button on the screen and it displays a streetmap with the phonebox at the center with a you are here arrow. You can scroll around the map etc etc. The service is completely free too!
lob5ter, Aug 29 2003
  

       I don’t get this. Are the pay phones mobile? If not, why not just put up a street map in the booth, with you-are-here?

For cell phones, on the other hand, it's a terrific idea.
pluterday, Aug 29 2003
  

       I dunno, [UB], if someone tried to hand me a seven year old pizza... they'd have a hard time getting me to pay them for it.   

       Perhaps an idea is baking here... all seven year old pizzas should be free to whomever wishes to have one!
X2Entendre, Aug 29 2003
  

       Yeah, but we have to wait 7 years to get them. Unless you know of someone who has already started aging unwanted pizzas...
DeathNinja, Aug 29 2003
  

       Most pizza joints here promise half-hour delivery or it's free. Perhaps the 7yr old pizza was not free because it technically was not pizza any more.
lintkeeper2, Aug 29 2003
  

       "Here you go sir, your 7 year-old pepperoni pizza. I've scraped as much mould as possible off, there doesn't appear to be much left. Do you mind the flies, sir, or should I spray before I leave?"
PeterSilly, Aug 30 2003
  
      
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