Google Gears Geolocation API Gets WiFi

Andres Ferrate, October 22nd, 2008

Google GearsGoogle has just announced a nice addition to the Google Gears Geolocation API: the ability to use WiFi on laptops to locate users to within 200m accuracy in major desktop browsers in hundreds of cities around the world. We originally covered the GeoLocation API back in August, when Google first announced the release of the API for use in mobile devices to get a more precise estimate of a user’s location.

This latest release now gives developers the ability to provide geographically relevant content to users with WiFi-enabled laptops.

Per the Google Code Blog:

When we originally proposed the Gears Geolocation API our goal was to make it easy for developers to deliver location enabled web sites on mobile phones. However we realized laptop users would benefit from location enabled web sites too. Today we are adding WiFi signals to the Geolocation API so that laptop users can benefit from location enabled web sites for the first time and mobile users from the increased accuracy.

Some existing web sites are already making use of this API, including lastminute.com’s new Radar application, a Google Earth mash up by ITN, and Rummble’s social discovery site. Note that the same code developed for mobile browsers can be used for desktop browsers, and for security reasons the API does not record the user’s location. Keir Clarke over at Google Maps Mania comments that this move by Google may be in direct response to Mozilla Labs recent release of Geode, a geolocation add-on for Firefox.

You can find additional information in our Google Gears Geolocation API profile, and be sure to check out Yahoo!’s FireEagle geolocation API, which serves as a geolocation broker service.

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6 Responses to “Google Gears Geolocation API Gets WiFi”

October 22nd, 2008
at 3:06 am
Comment by: Google Gears Geolocation API Gets WiFi

[...] Random Feed wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptGoogle has just announced a nice addition to the Google Gears Geolocation API: the ability to use WiFi on laptops to locate users to within 200m accuracy in major desktop browsers in hundreds of cities around the world. We originally covered the GeoLocation API back in August, when Google first announced the release of the API for use in mobile devices to get a more precise estimate of a user’s location. This latest release now gives developers the ability to provide geographically relevant co [...]

October 22nd, 2008
at 10:16 am
Comment by: Todd

Not mentioned in the blog post, WiFi Geolocation is part of the Open Source version of Android released yesterday.

Open Source Android doesn’t contain the software stack for a radio or connecting to a carrier’s network – making it like the iPod touch ( “WiFi only” ).

January 28th, 2009
at 9:21 am
Comment by: Google Gears – Lifeline of SaaS | CloudAve

[...] to Make Inroads into Web Email Google Gears comes to Gmail Holy Smokes! Gmail Gets Offline Support! Google Gears Geolocation API Gets WiFi Gmail for Mobile Gets Offline Support Gmail Goes Offline With Google Gears Posted Under : [...]

May 13th, 2009
at 2:42 am
Comment by: Your Morning Commute is Unique: On the Anonymity of Home/Work Location Pairs « 33 Bits of Entropy

[...] privacy standpoint is that the accurate geolocation technologies like the Skyhook plug-in (and a competing offering that is part of Google Gears) require user consent. However, I anticipate that once the plug-ins [...]

May 26th, 2009
at 10:31 am
Comment by: Surveillance by geo-location-33 Bits of Entropy « FACT – Freedom Against Censorship Thailand

[...] privacy standpoint is that the accurate geolocation technologies like the Skyhook plug-in (and a competing offering that is part of Google Gears) require user consent. However, I anticipate that once the plug-ins [...]

May 5th, 2011
at 8:43 am
Comment by: Bill

About wifi geolocation, Maxidix Wifi Suite (http://www.maxidix.com/products/wifi-suite) using geolocation api.

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