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A Little Lost?

Get directions at your fingertips.

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This story appears in the October 2003 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

You're stuck on the freeway, and the only view ahead is a sea of bright-red brakelights. Should you take the next offramp or stick it out? Mapopolis.com's ClearRoute service might be able to beam turn-by-turn answers to your wireless Pocket PC.

Traffic flow and other real-time street data are being generated by cameras, in-road sensors and other sources in a growing number of locales, and uploaded by aggregators like Navigation Technologies and Traffic Cast. They combine this data with other information so companies like Mapopolis.com can broadcast detailed verbal and visual driving directions to your Pocket PC for $200 per year. You'll also need a $200 GPS transceiver, which Mapopolis.com can sell to you, as well as cell service from providers like AT&T Wireless, Sprint PCS, T-Mobile or Verizon, which also sell wireless Pocket PC models. Other companies, like TrafficGauge (www.trafficgauge.com), sell directions-only handhelds for less but cover fewer areas.

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