About geolocation related context info on Firefox… (I)



So we have to give context info related to the geolocation of what we are seeying on a webpage…

We have two things to geolocate here, that is:

  • Finding where are YOU, the browser, the client…
  • Finding where is located the info you are reading…

On this post, we’ll talk about that first one…

With Firefox, we have an easy way of dealing with it, it used to be called Geode, and now is embedded on Firefox since 3.5 with the motto “Location Aware Browsing” . It works, more or less, on the same way OS X and iPods work for geolocating you when you have no GPS available. A webpage request your position, you allow or disallow it, it gathers your current public IP address and the ESSIDS and MAC addresses of nearby wifi access points, sends it to Google Location Services, where, checking on a huge database of IPs and access points, find your approximate position and sends it back to the webpage it requested, so it can show you geographically related info or whatever.

Asking from your app to the client, and getting a lat/long reading, in just 3 javascript lines, it’s plain awesome, and you just have to take care of having a nice way of geo searching on your database.

This is kind of cool, and is a nice tool for all that webapps with data related to a place, like directories where you can find places to eat or drink, or tourist guides, or location related services. Think about entering Amazon to buy albums, and knowing the exact rate for shipping before even beggining your order, or arriving to a hotel in a strange place, opening your favourite ‘food and drink’ directory, and, since it knows your location, even without having a gps, recomending you the best places for having dinner, a good party or a show from your favourite artist…