RIM (aka the "Blackberry" folks) have introduced a new geolocation feature of its Locate Service. The Geolocation service uses cell towers to gather quick location information and deliver it to applications on BlackBerry smartphones. Because it uses cell tower information, no GPS is required -- meaning developers can have their applications call on location information in areas where there is no GPS coverage.
The location data provided by the Geolocation service is quick and general, so not as specific as GPS information, but perfect for applications that need to point to close by areas of interest or other geographical points/information without going into too many details. And once a user is back in GPS coverage, the application can call for more detailed information, if needed.
The Geolocation service joins existing capabilities in the Locate Service for the BlackBerry Application Platform, which include:
- Reverse geocoding capabilities enable applications to convert a user’s latitude and longitude to an address
- Integration with BlackBerry Maps Service offers a variety of app features, ranging from navigation directions to POI recommendations. BlackBerry Maps Service compliments Locate Service by providing map displays that can be invoked or embedded to indicate a users location
For more information on the service and developer APIs, see the BlackBerry Dev Blog.