Mobile technology should not be about cramming the office into your pocket but a way to enjoy your everyday life.

iPod Touch WiFi triangulation working in Finland


I, too, have finally embraced the iPod, the iPod touch to be more specific. There was nothing particularly wrong with my old iRiver but the Touch is so much more.

I installed the new Google Maps application (January 2008 update) and pressed the cross hair target icon - it zoomed right in to the part of Helsinki where I was. How did it do that? It has no GPS. I know it can scan for surrounding WiFi networks and make an informed guess about its location based on this information, but I thought the WiFi location data was only available for North America. I walked to one end of the apartment and pressed the cross hair icon again while holding the iPod up in front of the window. Sure enough, the map scrolled slightly and the street outside the window became centered in the map. I then walked to the other end of the apartment and repeated the process. Again the map scrolled and the street in front of this window became centered on the map. Impressive. I can not even get GPS to work this well in front of a window in this apartment. And it takes a few seconds to find the location, not a few minutes as with the GPS in my Nokia.

It turns out that Skyhook, the company providing the WiFi positioning data to Apple do have data from Finland although mainly from Helsinki:

Finally, after having played around with the iPod for an hour, I connected my earphones and tried listening to music. The iPod can do a lot more than play music but it certainly has not lost its edge when it comes to this essential feature.