RIM has announced the following:
Adding to the GPS capabilities already supported on the BlackBerry Application Platform today, RIM will introduce three new location-based services for developers to build highly responsive, location-aware applications for BlackBerry smartphones. The three new location-based services include cell site geolocation, reverse geocoding and travel time.
- Cell Site Geolocation – Cell site geolocation is a new service that will provide developers with an alternative to GPS, providing an estimate of a smartphone’s location based on cell tower triangulation. Cell site geolocation is generally faster than GPS, uses less battery power (which makes it ideal for applications that run in the background while multi-tasking), and is ideal for indoor use where the line-of-sight to satellites required by GPS receivers is not always available. The cell site geolocation service is planned to be available in the first half of 2010. It will be supported on BlackBerry smartphones running BlackBerry OS 5.0 or higher.
- Reverse Geocoding – RIM is introducing a new reverse geocoding service that converts geolocation coordinates to a specific address for use in BlackBerry applications. Reverse geocoding is available today with BlackBerry smartphones running BlackBerry OS 5.0 or higher. A reverse geocoding API is available with the BlackBerry® Java® Software Development Kit 5.0 (BlackBerry Java SDK 5.0) which is available in beta at http://na.blackberry.com/eng/developers/devbetasoftware/javasdk5.jsp.
- Travel Time – RIM will also launch a new travel time service. Using a simple API call, developers will be able to incorporate estimated travel time within their applications for almost any destination in the US and Canada. The travel time calculations will be based on distance, speed limits and aggregated traffic conditions. The service returns values for an estimated arrival time, total travel time and total distance that can be used in an application. The travel time service is expected to be available in the first half of 2010.