Navizon pays users to help build location database

Pub_navizonI thought news from The Apple Blog was interesting this morning, considering we were were just talking about Skyhook Wireless and location-based systems. You can use the $9.95 Navizon application on your iPhone 3G and actually earn money back. Using the software, your iPhone will collect and send back data points of WiFi signals a cellular network towers, which Navizon will then use in their database. With that information, Navizon says they can pinpoint your location to within 10 to 30m on a non-GPS device. You won’t get rich on this deal because it takes 10,000 points to earn back your $10 software purchase: you’ll see 15 points for a new cell tower and 3 points for a new WiFi access point. If they’re already been discovered by another Navizon user, those rewards drop to 2 an 1 point respectively.

The news isn’t actually all that new since the rewards program seems to have been in place for well over year, but I never caught wind of it. Navizon offers a free "lite" application on the iPhone that I’ll have to take for a spin. If it seems worthy of my $10, I’ll upgrade to the full version since being on the run can earn back some money and make the overall system better for everyone who uses it. This makes me wonder: how did Skyhook Wireless create what’s arguably the largest location database for WiFi access points and cellular towers?

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