In the States, Google is launching a new feature in its Google Maps for Mobile services.

The new "My Location" tool, currently in beta test phase, automatically works out a user's location, even in phones without a global positioning system chip.

How? Via the "cellphone" signal. The feature triangulates the users approximate location based on nearby cell towers so they don't have to type in an address, or an area they're in to find local services.

"We're creating a database of cell tower locations and that database is built from people using Google Maps for Mobile", Steve Lee, product manager for Google Maps for Mobile.

And if a cellphone does have GPS then the My Location feature "complements" it, as it works indoors, doesn't drain the battery as much as GPS, and is apparently much faster.

The downside? It's not as accurate as GPS which can find the user within a few metres while My Location will be within 10 metres, on average.