Thursday, 23 October 2008

Google Gears enhances geolocation with WiFi positioning
Google has hopped on the WiFi positioning bandwagon by adding support for an undisclosed database of WiFi network locations to its Gears Geolocation API. Google said on its Code Blog that the service for laptops "securely locate[s] users to within 200m accuracy" and Google's Mobile Blog said the improvement is immediately available for BlackBerry users who download an updated Google Maps for Mobile application. It will soon be rolled out to other platforms, including the Google-backed Android.

Google Gears is a plugin or add-on for several browsers, and one built into Google's Chrome beta, that allows web applications to continue running when offline. The Geolocation API adds several calls related to position. Previously, Google focused on mobile devices, using the cellular base station information that phones must collect to maintain seamless voice service in order to triangulate on a location using a database Google had assembled. (The API is under consideration at the W3C as an informal proposal, but it's already been picked up by The Mozilla Foundation, too.)

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