Sunday, March 18, 2012

MapQuest To Continue Deal with TomTom

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TomTom, the Dutch navigation and mapping company, has announced that it has expanded its deal with the GPS navigational software company MapQuest. The original deal, which was first struck in 2012 and has been extended since then, allows MapQuest to use TomTom’s extensive map database for its digital platforms. But this year, some additional things were added.

According to the press release, MapQuest, a subsidiary of AOL, has also brokered access to TomTom’s traffic information, leading speculation that MapQuest will soon be offering better traffic options. Currently, MapQuest already offers some traffic information for drivers, although it is not always accurate. However, this partnership may mean some big things for MapQuest. read more

It is Illegal to Use Phone GPS While Driving in RI

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The Rhode Island Traffic Tribunal made a landmark decision recently that may have cemented the beginning of troubles for phone GPS apps. Recently, the ruling from the Tribunal’s Appeals Panel upheld a state fine for a man in Rhode Island who was given a ticket for looking at his phone while driving. The man claimed that he was checking his GPS, not texting.

“…Based on the plain language of the statute,” the judges wrote in their decision, “a reader may be looking at any visual display on the phone’s interface and be in violation of the statute. To hold otherwise would defeat the purpose of the statute: to prevent drivers from distractions caused by operation of a cell phone while driving.” read more

5 Reasons Why You Need a GPS Bike Computer

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As the fight to help reduce the use of fossil fuels heats up around the world, more and more people are walking, taking public transportation, and riding bicycles. And, while the average smartphone can definitely do a lot of the same tracking and such that a dedicated GPS bike computer can, there are also some major benefits to having a separate device for your bike. read more

Google Maps May Be Adding Speed Limits

 

The above image was posted on Reddit in September

The above image was posted on Reddit in September

Since the advent of the smartphone, the GPS market has been fighting an uphill battle to prove to consumers that smartphones really can’t do everything. While standalone GPS devices are a bit more expensive, there are still some things that they do better than the almighty smartphone including signal reliability and better directions. But, it looks like that list might be getting shorter by the day.

Last month, several Google Maps users reported seeing speed limit indicators in the bottom corner of the Google Maps app. Waze, which Google purchased fairly recently, already had this capability so it’s not a huge surprise, but it is definitely worthy of note. read more

Pokémon Go Increases General Public’s Spoofing Knowledge

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Pokémon Go is an augmented reality game where players go to actual locations (museums, stores, churches) using GPS to capture Pokemon and visit PokéStops. Originally designed to get you out of the house while you hunt, encouraging both socializing and exercising, days into the release of Pokemon Go players had already discovered a way to cheat.

It’s really just the basic spoofing concept—making an electronic think that it is somewhere other than its real physical location. We are no strangers to the idea of spoofing, and by tricking their phones GPS to think it was somewhere they weren’t, the game got a lot easier. Most spoofers don’t even have to leave the house—eventually your phone thinks it’s walking when it’s not. read more

Could Pokemon Become The Next Big GPS Game?

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Could 2016 be the year Pokemon dominates the geolocation game space? If Nintendo have their way, it very well could be.

Nintendo and the Pokemon Company have teamed up with Niantic Inc to announce that they intend to release the first Pokemon Geolocation game next year.  Called Pokemon Go, the game will be available free of charge for Android and iPhone mobile devices, although Nintendo does warn that there will be the dreaded in-app transactions.

The Pokemon franchise began life as a videogame for the Ninetendo Game Boy back in 1996 and has since spawned a number of sequels, comic books and movies.  However the Pokemon Go augmented reality app would be a new departure for the franchise. read more

Pokemon Brings Smartphone GPS Games to Forefront

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When you think about GPS, you probably imagine satellites hovering over the Earth, sending down rays of signals to help pinpoint an exact location. Or perhaps it brings to mind your latest hike, run or ride. Maybe you think about getting directions to your in-laws house last Christmas, or your spouse getting lost (somehow) by not paying attention and forgetting their GPS. But for many people GPS will soon be synonymous with something completely different–gaming.

Smartphone gaming has been taking off in recent years, and so it’s not really that much of a surprise that a few companies have begun to utilize ways to use GPS technology to make a game more interactive. Heck, GPS games like Wherigo have been around for years. Even Geocaching is kind of a like a game. But now developers like Nintendo are getting in on the action with popular titles like Pokemon. read more

Offline GPS App Provides Walking Directions

 

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There are a lot of different choices for GPS apps if you’re looking for navigation on the highway. From Google Maps to Waze or even some of the more expensive applications like Sygic Navigation. However, while these apps all have their own pros and cons, most of them don’t offer a lot in the way of street navigation and all of them use your phone’s data.

I know I have talked about the fantastic little app MAPS.ME before as it’s my current favorite mapping program for those moments when I’m out and about with friends or family and don’t have my GPS on me. The app is free to download and provides some pretty good maps powered by OpenStreetMap and my phone’s admittedly not the greatest GPS. However, it looks like MAPS.ME recently got a huge upgrade in the form of walking directions. read more

Make Art with Your Phone’s GPS

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Smartphone GPS really isn’t all that great at anything. In a pinch, it can get you from Point A to Point B but I wouldn’t recommend relying on it for anything major. You never know when your phone is suddenly going to lose signal, battery or both. However, there is one cool thing that you can do with your phone’s GPS, and that’s GPS art. read more

Sygic Expands App Capabilities With Update

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Despite the fact that dedicated GPS units tend to outperform smartphones as far as actual GPS signals go, a majority of people utilize some form of smartphone GPS application instead of a dedicated unit. I can’t deny it’s more convenient, at the very least, as most people won’t leave the house with a smartphone in hand. But, if you’re using your smartphone for directions, then you have the conundrum of which GPS app to use and you haven’t got any shortage of choices.

One of the companies that we don’t talk about all that much is Sygic. Unlike the more common free alternatives, Sygic is both more expensive and arguably more accurate. Powered by TomTom maps, Sygic offers an experience that is more akin to a dedicated GPS unit than a smartphone. Recently the company added a slew of features that might just be enough for you Google Maps users to sit up and take notice. read more