Chapter 6. What You Can Do with Geolocation

There is no doubt that geolocation will continue to grow for years to come—just look at the ever-increasing trends among the popular location-based services for mobile phones to see why. While Foursquare, Gowalla, Twitter, Glympse, and all the rest continue impressive growth (and will continue to do so for quite some time), the W3C Geolocation API will also continue to open ever more doors for native browser applications in this market. Consider some of the following:

  • Geolocation applications have gone from niche and novelty pieces of software to cultural and trendy “must-haves” in today’s mobile world.

  • Phones are becoming increasingly “smart,” with more and more people switching from basic cell phones to smart devices, and the smartphone market is growing around the world and tapping into new markets.

  • More smartphones equals more GPS-enabled devices to utilize geolocation technology.

  • Companies now recognize the huge earnings potential with advertising on the popular location-based services, particularly as advertisements can be directed to individuals and specific locals.

  • HTML5 and the W3C Geolocation API will allow for websites to add geolocation to their functionality, removing the native application-only nature geolocation software shared in the past.

Also, expect that the accuracy of a location will continue to improve with time. This will make geolocation more enticing to some, and scarier to others (those concerned with privacy, in particular). ...

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