Does this service exist? It should.
June 2, 2007 9:31 AM   Subscribe

I'd love to know of a phone number I could call for voice directions, based on my cell phone's GPS; ideally, a 1-900-like service, charged per-call. Better still... free!

You see, my boo's new car has this: It is quite cool. My cell phone (Motorola E815 phone) is GPS-capable, but it's too old for Verizon's similar, proprietary service. Seems that an business based on that kind of thing wouldn't be too hard to do. I might invest in it. I get lost easily. You?
posted by derekb to Technology (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Here's the link mentioned above
posted by derekb at 9:32 AM on June 2, 2007

If you don't need the "voice" directions, Google Maps Mobile would work perfectly. Some devices are GPS enabled.

Personally, I think the interface of a navigation device is extremely important, and I'm not sure that I've seen any non-dedicated device that's done it quite right. If the cell phone solution proves inadequate, I would recommend just looking into a dedicated device. (I have the Nuvi, which I love.)
posted by IvyMike at 9:45 AM on June 2, 2007

Somebody tried to start a service like this in the UK, using taxi drivers to take the calls (the ones who have "the knowledge").

He went onto a TV program called Dragon's Den, where contestants can try and attract venture capital funding. He was laughed out of the room.

Part of the problem is that we have computerised maps, and we have printed maps, and we have people passing on the street who we can ask... It's never been easier to get around. This kind of service just wouldn't be needed.
posted by humblepigeon at 10:00 AM on June 2, 2007

It's not turn by turn, but maybe TellMe would help?
posted by occhiblu at 10:38 AM on June 2, 2007

All the taxis in Madrid are equipped with GPS enabled Palm Pilots. The driver doesn't have to know their way around the city, they just enter the address in their palm pilot and it will show them how to get there by map. I don't know what the software is but the system is slick.

A funny thing in the same city was when the GF and I were looking for a certain street that was near to where we were walking. We needed help and so who better to ask than the cop that was at the corner. Unfortunately he wasn't any help because he got around with a GPS enabled map device. He too didn't need to know where streets were, the unit would tell him where to go for any emergency call. Technology tends to make people more helpless.
posted by JJ86 at 4:55 PM on June 2, 2007

There are businesses based on this - they're the developers who work with the cell phone companies to provide the service like the Verizon one that unfortunately doesn't work on your phone.

The wireless carriers control the data going from your phone, as mentioned above, the data from the GPS satellites is "free" and it goes to your phone.

2 really long shots you can try: contact Verizon and tell them you what phone you have and that you really, really want navigation. Maybe they need 100 customers to request it and they'll make it happen, and you're the 100th caller.

Or, maybe you can somehow talk them into a handset upgrade. You'll probably have to sign some more of your life away to them, but what's a little additional indentured servitude when you have a cell phone that can give you directions? :)
posted by altcountryman at 7:52 PM on June 2, 2007

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