[Geowanking] W3C geolocation API

Joshua Lieberman josh at oklieb.net
Tue Oct 7 11:26:08 PDT 2008


Ryan,

The awareness is very good to hear, and the intention to leverage  
existing location formats is also positive. Not sure it means that  
they are "totally different things" however.

Josh

On Oct 7, 2008, at 1:55 PM, Ryan Sarver wrote:

> Joshua,
>
> There might be a large body of existing work in the space but none of
> it was addressing the need for a DOM API to get device location
> information. I have reviewed all of the formats, geopriv and even
> Ubiquitous Web Applications Working Group and none of them addressed
> this specific need in a way that would get it implemented by the
> browser vendors and that is the ultimate goal. For evidence of that,
> Google and Mozilla have already launched services supporting the
> Geolocation API.
>
> No where in the charter does it say it is trying to redefine the
> descriptive formats you are talking about, in fact it will probably
> use them for describing the actual geographic point or series of
> points. This API is purely designed to be the mechanism by which a
> page request the device's geolocation information from the browser --
> nothing more, nothing less.
>
> Ryan
>
> On Oct 7, 2008, at 1:47 PM, Joshua Lieberman wrote:
>
>>
>> On Oct 7, 2008, at 12:54 PM, Ryan Sarver wrote:
>>
>>> Mike,
>>>
>>> I can give you some background, although I don't speak for the W3C.
>>> There is a published charter that covers the goals and scope of the
>>> Working Group. Here are the salient points:
>>>
>>> http://www.w3.org/2008/06/geolocation/charter/
>>>
>>> "The objective of the Geolocation WG is to enable Web access to the
>>> user's location information via a standardized interface or
>>> interfaces."
>>>
>>> "In addition to the variety of techniques for determining location,
>>> there are also a variety of ways applications may wish to use that
>>> information. For example, applications may:
>>>
>>>   * retrieve a user's location only once (e.g. finding the nearest
>>> bank)
>>>   * require several data points over time (e.g. recording a route)
>>>   * wish to be notified when the user enters or leaves an area
>>> (e.g. determining preferences based on environment)"
>>>
>>> So relative to the formats you described below, this is more about a
>>> DOM API for determination of a device's geolocation as opposed to
>>> formats for describing location of content.
>>>
>>> Hopefully that helps clear it up as I see them as totally different
>>> things.
>>
>> That is precisely the concern - because the API messages are formats
>> for describing location - point, route, area are all entities
>> specified extensively elsewhere (e.g. http://www.w3.org/2005/Incubator/geo/XGR-geo-20071023/
>> ) which are now being defined sui generis for this API. Oh, and
>> there is extensive spec work on interfaces / API's for location
>> services, as well as extensive work on privacy controls on user
>> location (geopriv). The under-the-radar nature of this API stems in
>> large part from its lack of connection to existing work.
>>
>>>
>>>
>>> Best, Ryan
>>>
>>> On Oct 7, 2008, at 12:31 PM, Mike Liebhold wrote:
>>>
>>>> Interesting that Mozilla has announced that Geode will conform with
>>>> the
>>>> "W3C geolocation API"
>>>>
>>>> this kinda slipped under the radar:
>>>> http://dev.w3.org/geo/api/spec-source.html
>>>>
>>>> Maybe someone from the W3C committee , above, can comment on how
>>>> this
>>>> fits In to the grand scheme, in a world already served by geoRSS,
>>>> geoJSON, KML. GML ...
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> Mike Liebhold wrote:
>>>>> " Mozilla Labs will be announcing a new project, titled Geode,
>>>>> tomorrow.
>>>>> Geode is a Firefox add-on that understands location, enabling
>>>>> enriched,
>>>>> personalized, and localized content.
>>>>>
>>>>> For example with Geode, a user who is looking for restaurants  
>>>>> while
>>>>> they
>>>>> are out of town will be able load up their favorite review site  
>>>>> and
>>>>> find
>>>>> suggestions a couple blocks away and plot directions there.
>>>>>
>>>>> Mozilla’s Aza Raskin will be posting a blog to the Labs site with
>>>>> more
>>>>> details tomorrow. "
>>>>>
>>>>> http://news.cnet.com/8301-17939_109-10059557-2.html
>>>>> http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/10/06/geode-the-new-geo-tagging-project-from-mozilla-labs/
>>>>>
>>>>> etc.
>>>>> _______________________________________________
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>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>
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