accurate mid-air location sharing ;)

I flew from Los Angeles to Toronto on Virgin America recently and I noticed in flight internet was free – so I decided to try something that as far as I know had never been attempted…namely to exchange a precise location with a friend…using echoecho of course 😉

I had a bunch of phones with me (iphone 3gs, LG WP7, Samsung Galaxy S and Nexus One) – but I chose to use the Nexus One – mostly because with Android I can explicitly differentiate between Network location (wifi and cellid) and GPS.

Initially I turned GPS off and when I checked my location on the echoecho minimap it showed me at LAX airport.

Oh.

I should mention that at this point I was just over an hour into the flight and at about 30000 feet and travelling at 500mph (ground speed).

Amusing.

Anyway – remember there’s no cellid signal up here – and the reason why the lookup was showing LAX was presumably because google’s databases had the wifi SSID mapped to LAX.

So then I turned GPS on. I sat close to the window. I was about to give up after just over a minute but then….the minimap snapped into position and I had a lock.

So as part of this test I put my phone down – set my friend to autoReply (this is a basic echoecho feature which allows any close friend of yours to remotely query your phone’s location) and I waited.

A few minutes later (yes I know this was a planned test but you get the point) my friend sent an echo from their iphone.
I got notified immediately that my Nexus One replied – and they saw this:

mid-air-echo

Thassit – so now you can ask and answer the question “where are you?” even if someone is on a plane 😉

By the way – the iphone screenshot above shows the new beta build of echoecho on the iphone – not yet on the appstore (with direct calling and texting from the map)

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