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Realizing that GPS cellphone technology can do more than show you the closest Starbucks, Kyoto University has partnered with the research arm of Japanese cellphone carrier KDDI to see how mobile phones with GPS could be used to help with evacuations in a disaster area. Using about 30 students equipped with GPS phones, a computer system actually figured out where they were located, searched for the five closest evacuation centers and sent them each a map. Not bad, especially considering GPS is fast becoming a service we expect in phones and other portable electronics.

GPS cell phones tested for guiding evacuees [JP News]