I was sitting in a coffee shop, grabbing a bite to eat – trying to find the place where I was going to meet some friends.
I was at Highland Coffee – they had free wireless.
Bring up Google maps – where am I? What was that positioning software that worked off geolocation for triangulation?
Geosense for Windows
Windows 7 introduced the new Sensors and Location platform that would let Windows automatically respond to environmental changes sensed by light, orientation sensors, or GPS chips. This makes your computer more aware of its surroundings and change itself accordingly. The location platform is especially interesting, as it brings the potential of automatic location based search and maps to your PC. Unfortunately, most laptops today are not equipped with GPS chips. Thanks to Geosense, however, you can still use the location platform.
Geosense uses IP lookup, WiFi and Cell tower triangulation, and more to find your location as accurately as possible. Geosense lists itself as a sensor in the Windows Sensors and Locations, so once you’ve installed it, all location-aware applications and services will be able to pickup your location from it. Please note that Geosense only works on Windows 7 Home Premium and higher, as Windows 7 Starter doesn’t include the Sensors and Locations platform.
When it is finished installing, you are ready to use Geosense. First, lets make sure Geosense is enabled. Enter “Location” in your Start Menu search, and select “Location and Other Sensors”.
Here you should see Geosense listed as a sensor. If it is not enabled, click the check box beside it and click Apply.
Location-aware Google Maps
A location aware application is a Google Maps app available from the Geosense site. This will automatically open a Google map at your current location, so you can easily search for directions and nearby businesses. This was very useful at the coffee hotspot to pinpoint my location.
Geosense and the Windows 7 Location Platform gives you a great way to make your mobile computing experience even more interesting. Geosense brings location awareness to a much broader audience than previously possible, so watch my blog for unique and innovative uses in the near future to see my ideas on situation awareness.