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July 7, 2008

Mashing the GPS potato

EDINBURGH, Scotland – Some like them roasted, others like them au gratin. Me, I like them mashed. Which is why Rob Dunfey’s little mobile web server-GPS-Google Maps mashup stood out. Using a copy of Mobile Web Server, a Nokia N95 and ‘a handful of HTML, Javascript and PHP goodness’ he created a simple dynamic tracking web service and mapping website.

Okay, so Rob is an engineer working for ESRI and clearly knows a thing or two about maps. Still, his little app is pretty cool. His point is to prove that creating a tracking solution needn’t require expensive hardware and software. With a few simple, readily (and mostly freely) available tools he built his little app. When online, it tracks the location of his phone and plots it onto a map on his site for all to see.

He taps into the N95’s ability to be “location aware” and uses Nokia’s Mobile Web Server which turns his N95 into a web server. He then set up web requests which tap into his N95, asks for its current location which is returned as an XML file, which is then plotted onto the Google Map.

This is open source in action. Both Google Maps and Mobile Web Server are free to use. What’s more, Rob makes the instructions of how to do what he’s done available on his site, along with an explanation of how he does it.

We’re always seeing cool stuff being done using Nokia products and services and this one is no exception. Long may it continue. Now, how about sharing other cool mashups you’ve come across? Feel free to add them below.