RIM adds GPS-free Geolocation to BlackBerry Locate Service

Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) expanded its BlackBerry Platform Application Locate Service triangulation solution with the addition of Geolocation, promising developers a new channel to query for location without relying on conventional GPS tools. Writing on the BlackBerry Developers Blog, RIM application development consultant Shadid Haque explains that the free Geolocation service enables applications to pinpoint user location inside indoor sites with no GPS coverage, guiding consumers to restaurants and related points of interest within their immediate vicinity. "Although the accuracy of the fixes obtained from the Geolocation service may not always be as high as with GPS, it has use cases for apps that require highly accurate GPS fixes as well as apps that do not," Haque explains. "Apps that require high accuracy can use this service to quickly show the user an approximate location while it waits for a more accurate location fix using GPS. This can offer a huge user experience improvement. For applications that do not require high accuracy, this service can be leveraged as a simple yet effective mechanism to provide location information."

Haque also recommends developers integrate the Locate Service with RIM's BlackBerry Maps Service to incorporate map displays that can be invoked or embedded to identify the user's whereabouts. He adds that a new enhancement to the Locate Service's existing geocoding functionality also enables reverse geocoding capable of converting latitude and longitude to a meaningful address. "One of my favorite features of the new reverse geocoding functionality is that you can ask for contextual location information at a variety of levels from the street address to the state depending on the granularity required by your application," Haque notes. "As a developer, you are able to take advantage of this service with a single method call while we do all the heavy lifting behind the scene." For more information on the Locate Service, click here.

For more on Geolocation:
- read this BlackBerry Developers Blog entry

Related articles:
RIM retools BlackBerry App World--new devices coming?
RIM touts new BlackBerry app development tools
RIM extends BlackBerry Push Service to developers