You know that big blue circle that hangs out around your icon in any Google-powered maps application? That whole area is where you might be, be it that Google didn’t quite nail your actual location. That margin of error is a must in tower-based GPS, as peaks and valleys in the signal can really tweak the results. It’s not as big of a problem in big cities; the more towers you’re near, the more accurate the positioning will be.
Google made some changes this week to allow any Google maps powered mobile application to recognize that. If you’re in a big city and surrounded by dozens of towers, the circle surrounding you will be smaller. Out in the middle of the countryside, barely catching any signal at all? The circle will be huge. It doesn’t necessarily change the accuracy, but better represents the margin of error associated.
The really nifty part? All of these changes were made server-side at Google HQ, so no patching or downloading required. Any Google powered geolocation application should already be good to go.