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.

#8 Re: What?

by davide71

Thursday December 25th, 2003 3:40 PM

You are replying to this message

My counter question is: do you think user position (I mean accurate position not "I'm in NY") a totally useless variable in the computation of Web services? Possible answers are: 1) indeed useless! 2) 0,001% of Web applications could exploit user position somehow 3) useful. If your answer is 1 then our discussion is over, but in all other cases consider that a GPS costs few USD and the cost of developing a system that adds a User-Location header to HTTP requests is nothing. Most of the work is already done by Mozilla, we must listen for outgoing requests, add a header and that's all. The GPSd daemon is a NMEA string parser which has been developed outside the scope of GPSWeb. So why shouldn't we try to integrate all the pieces. I think applications will come, more clever than seeking the restaurant around the corner. Read you soon.