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Geolocation technologies for Web2.0
In this post. I’ll talk about technology that excites the startups and wet-the-pants of incumbents. Most big boys love to remain in status quo(especially in parts of Asia). New technologies are always seen as lowering the barrier-to-entry, and this enables startups to challenge the golliath. Here goes a new technology that might spawn some exciting startups.
Geeks have always wanted to track where their girlfriend(or mum) is. And finally we can do it. With geolocation APIs, you will be able to know where you are, or maybe even write an app to find out where your friends are. A geolocation-aware brower will be able to give website designers the ability to request for location in a web app.
Imagine carrying your laptop around town, and where ever you go, you will still find a lovely coffee shop where you can grab a latte and continue working. The usage scenario is massive. You can write a location-aware photo site and kick Flic*r’s arse(providing that they are not doing it already). You can also write a ground-breaking search engine that returns results that are location sensitive. (the search engine will need to get the permission to retrieve your location)
Geolocation itself is not new, currently web apps use IP addresses to figure out a person’s location. The latest geolocation API endorsed by W3C(web standards body) uses stuff like GPS, WiFi point and Cell-ID. For example, Opera browser uses Skyhook’s service to figure out a location. Your device will not need to come equipt with triangulatin devices
One location-based service is lastminute.com’s hotel radar which uses Google Gears. Another one that I can think of is to bring telco’s friendfinder service to the laptop. In Malaysia (so do other places), the friendfinder app allows you to track the location of you friend based on the CellID of their handphone. By using geolocation build you increase the accuracy of this application by mixing in GPS and WiFi.
So now, budding web developers, here’s another technology to help build the next great web app.
Google Gears Geolocation resources
Firefox Geolocation resources
Opera Geolocation resources
W3C Geolocation API guidelines bewarned of stuff that makes you sleep