Earlier applications and services required the integration of GPS coverage for locating places. Now, RIM has come up with a new Geolocation service adding in the Locate Service toolkit for Blackberry devices, reveals the official Blackberry Developer’s blog. This service seemingly allows developers grab location data with the use of cellular tower if they are in an area without the coverage of GPS.
According to the official Blackberry Developer’s blog, the accuracy of the fixes from this service probably might not match the steps of GPS while locating restaurants and points of interest (POI). Hence, there are applications in the service that require highly precise GPS capabilities and also applications that do not need any GPS coverage. Users can opt for this service and access quick and precise information without utilizing GPS. The service is said to be simple yet adequate for location fixes that does not require high accuracy.
Developers can put together the Locate Service and the Blackberry Maps Service for accessing features from navigation directions to POIs. This service will also provide map displays for requesting or embedding a user’s location. They can refer to net.rim.device.api.lbs.MapField class and the net.rim.blackberry.api.invoke package details for APIs on Map Service.
The Geocoding functionality of the Blackberry Device Software has also been enhanced. Developers can opt for reverse geocoding function as well which allows them to convert latitude and longitude into a meaningful address. This feature also enables them to ask for contextual location fix at varied levels from the street address to the state. It depends on the granularity needed by the application. Developers can enjoy this service by just a single method call.
These new features and capabilities are known to have expanded the platform of location-based services. For the Blackberry Application Platform v5.0, the company revealed an expansion API to its Location API (JSR 179). This extension effortlessly works and creates new opportunities for application developers to benefit locations within the applications. Additionally, the company released a set of adjustable Location Picker UI components that combine Blackberry Maps, Contacts applications and GPS capabilities of the handset.
The Locate Service is absolutely free for developers. They can ask for a location fix from their LocationProvider or BlackberryLocationProvider by using the Criteria or BlackberryCriteria for the Cellsite mode. This service is applicable only for Blackberry Application Platform v5.0 or higher. Users must sign up with a carrier that has incorporated these capabilities.