Map reading has historically been the cause of many an argument, particularly on stressful car journeys. The advent of GPS sat-nav in recent years has completely revolutionised how we plan car journeys, but the development of this technology for mobile handsets has quickly been gathering pace in the last couple of years.

Now, it’s not a matter of getting to grips with the technology itself, it’s now a case of assessing which product is the best fit for your particular requirements. We’ve taken a look at one of the latest to hit the market.

GeoLife’s Navmii

GeoLife has launched Navmii, a GPS navigation system for use on Microsoft Windows mobile devices that uses maps supplied by TeleAtlas. What’s great about it is that using the application doesn’t require any monthly fees or

subscriptions so you’re not bound by a lengthy commitment.

It’s available either on preloaded microSD card, DVD or download. Once you’ve installed the software on a compatible Microsoft Windows mobile device with GPS capabilities, the software is ready to be used. You’ll then see an intuitive map display and user interface, which allows you to route to a chosen destination or find what you need from the points of interest available.

They’ve incorporated GeoFriend into this application. This is an interesting feature and symptomatic of how this kind of technology is moving. GeoFriend allows users to securely send and receive locations to and from other Navmii users.

Over the next few months, GeoLife also intends to roll out additional services including GeoCommerce to locate and navigate to the things you want to buy. It’ll be interesting to see how successful these features are, but in principle sounds as though it could be a very important development in taking this technology further.


Social networking

Moving forward, the amount of content available on mobile GPS is sure to increase. Being able to view amenities in the vicinity will be even more common and there’ll be greater integration with social networking sites, allowing you to upload and tag photos on a map on the move as well as locating friends in a network via GPS.

There is of course the argument that GPS navigation on mobiles will prove to be a passing fad, but this seems not to be true. Most of the major players are investing heavily in the technology and it’s likely to become increasingly common over the next couple of years.

All in all, GeoLife’s Navmii is a perfectly good application. It’s not particularly ground breaking but has all of the major functions currently available. Of these, the public’s reaction to GeoFriend and competitors’ equivalents will be particularly interesting.

There are obvious pros to the technology, in particular being able to keep track of the whereabouts of your children, but there’s the possible danger of being bombarded by targeted advertisements if your location if available.

Also, will people be comfortable having their every move monitored by their friends and family? Only time will tell.

World Wide Web visit http://www.navmii.com/
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