Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Cell phones and GIS

There's been a lot of buzz around Asheville lately wondering what the best cell phone solution is for those of us who are geospatially addicted. We've been wondering how we can use our phones to help us gather information about the world around us and incorporate it into the daily work we do - even if it's not necessarily work related. Who wouldn't love to have a phone they could map my rides via GPS and Google Maps as well as geo-tag photos along the way.

I currently use Verizon and can get a service call VZNavigator for $9.99 a month or $2.99 for a day. I have to say it's pretty cool. It has local search, voice activated turn by turn directions, I can see my lat/long and a map. It doesn't fully integrate with the rest of the computer world I live in though and it certainly doesn't geo-tag the photos I can take. I probably won't keep paying for it - I just wanted to check it out and show my classes however if I get lost I'll certainly pay the $2.99. Maybe I'll keep the service til I get back from

Nokia is obviously taking a big jump towards this with things like the Wireless GPS Module LD-3W and their purchasing of a major GIS data company . Today, I learned about the Helio Ocean that has a full qwerty keyboard and GPS enabled GoogleMaps and geotagging of photos. Pretty cool. This guy runs on it's own network and carrier. You sign up with Helio and they rent space from Sprint towers. I guess this will work on the new WiMax network Sprint and Google are dumping $3 billion dollars into.

This just get's me thinking about the future of it all. If you want to here it summed up in 23 minutes... check out the NPR segment last week - Phones of the future and Google's cell phone debut. Now these guys have the right idea.

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