I'm impressed by a Google Maps feature I just used for the first time. Walking around Manhattan, and it complained that location accuracy was low. Usually that's followed by it instructions for calibrating the accelerometer, involving a complex pas-de-deux with your phone.

This time it just asked me to point the camera at... basically anything. It instantly recognized my position from a random view on a random street.

While clearly it knew my approximate location, so the search space isn't unlimited, there could be different cars going by, etc. etc., not to mention an arbitrary field of view. I'm impressed.

Anyone have any details on how this computation is done?

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