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Users can now tell anyone where they are with a new application that embeds GPS coordinates in a text message.

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I Am Here App for Android phones

The researchers at RMIT University’s School of Mathematical and Geospatial Sciences have developed a method for embedding GPS coordinates in an SMS message.  

The technique, known as geotagging, can transmit a mobile phone’s current position, or a remote location selected from a map. It works by placing location identifiers in the text, for example: I’m at the pub geo:-37.801631, 144.980294.

PhD Student Matthew Kwan said, “Studies have shown that ‘Where are you?’ is the single most commonly sent SMS. And if you’ve ever tried finding someone at a music festival you’d know that regular SMS doesn’t really do the job. So we developed a geotagging standard, which we’ve called GeoSMS.”

The RMIT researchers have also released a free application for Android smart phones called “I Am Here” that shows the location on a map or displays a compass needle and distance counter that can be followed to the destination.  

Kwan hopes that handset manufacturers will build the GeoSMS service into their phones in future.  

“There’s nothing to stop someone developing a commercial version for the iPhone or Nokia. In fact, we’d encourage it,” concluded Kwan.

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