GPSWeb Extension for Mozilla Firebird Opens Possibilities for Location-Specific Web Services

Wednesday December 24th, 2003

Davide wrote in to tell us about GPSWeb 0.1.2, an add-on for Mozilla Firebird that adds a User-Location header to every HTTP request containing the user's current position as determined by the Global Positioning System. Sites can then use this data to provide location-specific services, such as supplying directions to the nearest restaurant. The extension requires the user to have some GPS hardware connected to their computer (Davide tested GPSWeb with the Garmin E-Trex) and the GPSd Java daemon, which parses the data supplied by the GPS unit, to be running.

#23 Re: My conclusion

by davide71

Sunday December 28th, 2003 2:58 AM

You are replying to this message

>a) privacy: most people, including me, like to keep their privacy >as is - and this might not be the biggest obstacle but it sure it >a big one.

privacy has not be addressed till now. But it could be done, for instance managing a list of trusted sites in the browser and sending user location only to them. Other solutions are possible and can be investigated. Remember that our project is really in its inception.

>b) type of browser: it only works with a mozilla based browser - >the percentage of mozilla browser users is still by far >outnumbered by MS IE.

It only works with mozilla NOW. I don't see the problem to implement the same in other browser. Any browser sends HTTP headers, am I wrong?

>c) hardware: you need a GPS device, or it won't work at all. - >the percentage of people that a) use mozilla and b) have such GPS >device and c) don't care about their privacy is what? 0.00001

Cost of GPS is dropping. You'll have GPS under your skin in few years (I'm kidding ...or I'm not?!). Let's see... a) use mozilla and other browser with HTTP headers. b) have such GPS c) willing to have location based services and able to handle their privacy with few clicks is what? 0.00001% mmm... if we consider 1 billion users it is at least 100 users. It is not a negligeable market:). But I don't think your estimate is very accurate.

>d) costs: it only works if web authors a) know about this and b) >like to support anything like this and most important, c) their >boss pays them to do so. - I don't think this is ever going to >work, because there are plenty of websites, with tons of JS >errors of no support for mozilla.

a) they'll know if it works. b) they'll like if it works c) already answered to that.

Best from Davide :)