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Windows Phone

Windows Phone 7 : Working with Maps

12/15/2010 9:07:42 AM
The map on your phone has multiple zoom levels. With a few moves of your fingers, you can change from a view that shows entire continents to one that lets you make out your neighbor’s house and cars parked out front.

1. Moving Around the Map

Here’s how to navigate the map:

  • Flick your finger across the screen in any direction to move the map that way. The faster you flick, the faster the map scrolls.

  • To zoom closer, spread your fingers apart on the map. To zoom out, pinch your fingers together.

  • Double-tap the map to automatically center and zoom in on that spot. Double-tap again to get even closer.

2. How Does My Phone Find Me?

It’s one of the almost-magical qualities of modern smartphones: their uncanny ability to locate you, just about any time or anywhere. To do this, Windows Phone 7 relies on three different techniques. The first and most accurate is GPS. By pinging the network of Earth-orbiting satellites that make up the Global Positioning System, the phone can narrow down your location to about 30 feet—or roughly the length of a school bus.

But a satellite fix can take time, and it isn’t often possible when you’re indoors. So Windows Phone tries to provide a quick guesstimate by using other means. One way is by sniffing around for a Wi-Fi signal. Every Wi-Fi access point has a unique network address. By comparing this address against a database of Wi-Fi access points, your phone can narrow down your location to about 325 feet.

Finally, there’s the cell tower technique. By using the known locations of nearby cellular antennas, Windows Phone can pinpoint your whereabouts to within one-third of a mile, give or take. Outside big cities, cell towers can be spread farther apart. So, if you’re in a rural area and Windows Phone can’t get a satellite fix, it might be able to place you only within a mile or two of your actual location. But, hey, at least you’ll know roughly which town you’re in.

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