Today I came across Skyhook‘s Wi-Fi Positioning System (WPS). It’ s a “location platform” that uses the native 802.11 radio in your PC (or even your smartphone) to deliver accurate positioning.

After installing the Loki plugin from the site (actually a product of Skyhook Wireless), my laptop is now able to find its position thanks to a triangulation using WiFi access points around me (provided that the region has been mapped by Skyhook), and I can use it for driving directions or finding businesses in my surroundings. No hardware needed, just a plugin for the browser. And … it works indoors and outdoors, handy when you’re sitting in an office or a hotel room and trying to find your way around.

Skyhook calls it a “metro-area positioning system” that leverages Wi-Fi instead of satellites or cell towers to deliver precise location data supporting the growing market for location-based services.