Location-based services are hot. Now hotter than before. Because Google just launched their Geolocation API.
This is what you can call the pre-web3.0 era. Small startups trying to provide even the smallest semantic web like services online. Providing location-based services, opening up their programming code, Developing APIs for the developers to use and create even greater software by mashing up code of several services.
Now with Google opening up their geolocation API it opens new possibilities. Apparently they’ve gathered quite some data by now from CellIDs and GPS devices to have a database that is consistent enough to provide these kind of services. They also state that they will provide more services in the near future based on WiFi access.
What does this mean in general for software or services we are going to see?
Well imagine opening up your browser or software application on your mobile phone or laptop and do a search for restaurants. No need to fill in where you are, the software will determine this using the geolocation API.
Most phones nowadays are able to determine the Cell ID, the ‘zone’ you are in with your mobile phone. No GPS needed. Although it’s not as accurate of course. It should do the trick while looking for a restaurant or any nearby service.
Now let’s combine this, do a mashup and make it all context-aware; context-awareness is a topic I’ve been working on during my internship at the Netherlands institute for applied scientific research.
You are hungry, it’s around 7pm, all your appointments for this business trip are done it’s just that entry in your calendar left with some old friends of yours.
Your mobile or wearable device with a nifty piece of software is aware of all this, it has a built in calendar, it has a contact list, it is able to determine location. it knows your appointment says ‘diner’, yet location is undecided.
Context-aware applications are able to provide you with direct access to the best restaurants in your vicinity based on your preferences (profile) and that of your friends. Let them know right away, by either calling them (their contact info is presented to you right away, because it is aware!) or use intention broadcasting (a new kind of description introduced to me at mobile 2.0 europe by startup Zipipop )
This is the future!
Got interested? You can find the exact specifications of the geolocation API here.