Location awareness

Hello, location aware world!

Use the W3C Geolocation API to create location aware web sites
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10 Practical Tips For Using Geo-Location To Reach Your Target Audience

It's about making the Web smarter — and is done in a way that totally respects your privacy. Websites that use location-aware browsing also known as "geolocation" will ask where you are in order to bring you more relevant information, or to save you time while searching. Let's say you're looking for a pizza restaurant in your area.

A website will be able to ask you to share your location so that simply searching for "pizza" will bring you the answers you need… no further information or extra typing required. Or, if you're mapping out directions to get somewhere, SeaMonkey will know where you're starting from so all you have to do is tell it where you want to go.

This service is totally optional SeaMonkey doesn't share your location without your express consent , and is done with the utmost respect for your privacy. And, like all elements of SeaMonkey it's being created using standards to ease adoption by Web developers. When you visit a location-aware website, SeaMonkey will ask you if you want to share your location. If you consent, SeaMonkey gathers information about nearby wireless access points and your computer's IP address.

Then SeaMonkey sends this information to the default geolocation service provider, Google Location Services, to get an estimate of your location. That location estimate is then shared with the requesting website. Accuracy varies greatly from location to location.

In some places, our service providers may be able to provide a location to within a few meters. However, in other areas it might be much more than that. All locations returned by our service providers are estimates only and we do not guarantee the accuracy of the locations provided. Real-time locating adds timely delivery of results, especially for moving targets. Measuring wireless power levels can supply this degree of precision. Less sophisticated systems can use wireless distance measurements to estimate a point of reference in polar coordinates distance and direction from another site.

Location-aware systems address the acquisition of coordinates in a grid for example using distance metrics and lateration algorithms or at least distances to reference points for example discriminating presence at a certain choke point on a corridor or in a room of a building.

Navigation and reckoning are key concerns for seafarers , aviators and professional drivers. The task is to dynamically determine the current location and the time, distance and direction to destination. GPS and similar systems have become ubituitous in long-haul transport operation and are becoming a standard automobile feature. Surveying is the static complement to navigating. It is essential for delineating land ownership and for architects and civil engineers designing construction projects.

Currently location awareness is applied to design innovative process controls , and is integral to ubiquitous and wearable computing. On mobile devices, location aware search can prioritize results that are close to the device. Conversely, the device location can be disclosed to others, at some cost to the bearer's privacy. Location awareness enables new applications for ubiquitous computing systems and mobile phones.

Such applications include the automatic reconfiguration of a computing device to suit the location in which it is currently being used examples include ControlPlane and Locamatic , or publishing a user's location to appropriate members of a social network, and allowing retailers to publish special offers to potential customers who are near to the retailers. Allegedly, individuals gain self confidence with confirmation of current whereabouts. While governments have created global systems for computing locations, independent localized systems exist at scales ranging from one building to sub-national regions.

Local systems degrade as distance from the locality increases. Applications include the automatic reconfiguration of a computing device to suit the location in which it is currently being used.

Applications include avalanche rescue or emergency and mountain rescue as well as with search and rescue , SAR and combat search and rescue , CSAR. Traditionally on websites, it would be determined by a visitor's IP address. It would then hook up to a WHOIS service and retrieve the visitor's physical address from their whois information. Recently though, a more popular and accurate way to access this information has become common; using a device's built in GPS chip.

These are found in most smart phones and tablets and are responsible for the rise in popularity of location aware services that we might use. Think of Foursquare or any other app that you might 'check in' to.

User Agents must not send location information to Web sites without the express permission of the user.

Before a device or browser can access the geolocation data of a visitor, the visitor must first authorize it. This is how it appears in Google Chrome:. Now, more than ever, users are taking notice about what information websites store about them and your users will need to feel confident as to what you are using their data for.

Advise them as to exactly why you need this information and point out how it will be useful to them in creating a better online experience. When using a geolocation website or app it's good practice to control the amount of information that you share with other people.

Most location sharing apps and services do offer some kind of privacy control, so make sure to utilize this and never share your personal address. Once you have a location aware site or app, you are able to provide more accurate and appropriate content for your visitors. Let's take a look at how geolocation can come in handy. The integration of geographical intelligence into various aspects of marketing, including sales and distribution.

Although a new term, the actual principle of geo marketing has been around for a while. Facebook have been utilizing this approach for some time now. Facebook would gather location-based data based on users' IP addresses from this, then show adverts appropriate for that geographic region.

Google and other search engines have also made use of this and include location based search results for their users. It's not just marketers who can benefit from geolocation services, but creative types have also leveraged it probably without even realizing. People have used it to gain access to large numbers of people, all of whom are situated in the same area and have the same goal of "making something happen".

This can range from flash mobs, to large scale dance routines, to creating community groups for people who share similar interests. It has also been utilized in situations such as the Haiti earthquake in , when large groups of ordinary people gathered together to raise aid all through the power of social networks and geo location.

Recently a large amount of "offer sites" have started to spring up everywhere. Most notably is Groupon which launched in November Groupon offers deal-of-the-day services to its users and each day the site has a predetermined amount of offers for each offer.

Each item must interest enough users to sign up for that offer; on doing so they receive it, but only if it reaches the number of predetermined people. This concept reduces the risk for retailers and allows them to sell in bulk, making the concept a winner all round.

The power of Groupon lies within the tight integration that it has with its users location. By offering its users local offers and deals it has become one of the most popular coupon sites and has had its format replicated many times. Now you understand a little more about geolocation, let's take a look at some real world examples. The rocky horror website lets you get showtimes for the show at venues that are close by to you. Simply go onto the site and click "Find my location".

Using the same technology, Flickr shows what others have been uploading to the website near to where you are. Mapumanetal came around in when the Department for Transport in the UK contacted the startup to work with the information they held on public transport data.

They describe what they do at Mapumental as "We create maps that help people make better decisions, quicker.

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