tiistai 9. helmikuuta 2010

Geolocation; Street View in Finland

Tangentially related to nothing in particular, I felt like sharing an interesting service I just found: Geolocation in Firefox. Based on the WLAN access points the computer sees, it is scaringly accurate at best. I have tried it in two separate urban locations and in both the coordinates were extremely accurate: the margin of error was probably less than 100 meters. Just follow the link above, click on the "Give it a try!" link, and then click "Where am I?" below the map that opens.

Note that when I say "extremely accurate" I don't mean that it could even be compared to the 3—4 meters that you can get with a GPS receiver. However, it is extremely accurate in the sense that traditionally you would get the location of a computer based on its IP address, and then you are lucky if you even get the city or state right.

In other news, Google launched Street View for Finland today. In case you haven't heard of Street View, it is a supplement to Google Maps that you can use to virtually drive inside cities. They have taken thousands, if not millions, of photographs of many major cities and composed seamless landscapes out of them, so why don't you take a while and go for a tour in Helsinki? :)

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