A GPS (global positioning application) for the iPhone has debuted, and though it's somewhat inaccurate, it works to fulfill one of the most contentious functionality gaps left by Apple, showing -- in the iPhone's Google Maps application -- an approximation of exactly where your iPhone is located on the globe.
Dubbed Navizon and available through Installer.app under the "Network" section (see our guide for accessing the wealth of applications offered through this package manager), the applications works
Upon installing and launching the application, you are prompted to register with Navizon by launching the Safari (directly on the iPhone) and filling in a username and password. You can then go back to the application, enter your login credentials and click the "Locate" button. The location process takes a while -- up to a minute -- but works surprisingly well. Google Maps is automatically launched, pegging your current location. Simple and effective. The next time you launch Navizon, it will automatically find your location without any prompting. There is also a Directions button, which will simply launch Google Maps with your current location in the "Start" field.images
The tool is somewhat inaccurate. In our testing, Navizone pegged us directly across the river from our office -- about a 200 yard discrepancy. Still, we're impressed.
Navizon works by triangulating signals broadcasted from Wi-Fi access points and Cellular towers. According to the company Web site:
"The Navizon network is based on a collaborative database. Members with a GPS device can use Navizon to map the Wi-Fi and cellular landscape in their neighborhoods. Once they synchronize their data, it is made available to all the other users of the network. This way, users who don't have a GPS device can benefit from a positioning system. And it's free for personal use!"