Internet probe can track you down to within 690 metres

April 6, 2011 | Source: New Scientist Tech

Yong Wang, a computer scientist at the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, and colleagues at Northwestern University have used businesses and universities as landmarks to achieve as much as 100 meters accuracy in identifying a computer’s location.

Wang’s team used Google Maps to find both the web and physical addresses of such organisations, providing them with around 76,000 landmarks. They then used three steps involving ping times to the target machine and Google Maps landmark servers.

The method could be useful for certain kinds of geo-specific advertising.

The current best system can be off by as much as 35 kilometers.