When the iPhone arrived on the scene in 2007, it brought with it the ability to pinpoint your location to a fairly small area. This meant that if you were looking for, say, a local fish and chips restaurant, the iPhone would provide the closest matches. It did this by using the same techique as GPS — triangulation — with the signals from cell towers. The second generation iPhone includes real GPS, making it even better at finding your current location, and makes location-aware application much more enjoyable.
Of course, the iPod touch is limited to connecting with WiFi signals, which means the only way for it to find your location is through a database of WiFi hotspots set up by Skyhook wireless. This list tracks the ID of your router and connects that to coordinates on a map.
You can even submit your own router data, and enjoy the nerd bonus points that come along with having your iPod find your house. To do this, navigate to Skyhook’s submit page and enter your address. Once the map appears, move the pin to as close to your house as possible and fill in the additional information. The ID of your router is found in your administration panel. For Airport Extreme users, it is called the Airport ID and is displayed on the summary page of the Airport Utility.
It took more than 3 weeks for my iPod to be able to find my house. If it seems that nothing has happened after submitting your info, just be as patient as possible and give it a few more days.
So give it a try if you want to impress your friends with an iPod that knows where it is.
Photo edited to make it look like I live on Apple’s Cupertino campus. Sadly, that is not the case.
[tags]iPhone, iPod touch, Google Maps, GPS[/tags]