Long Live Open Source Software !!

Imagine a situation when you’ve just came to a new town. You know nothing about that town and you’re hungry. Then you think about where can you get some food. You only bring your lovely laptop and there is a hotspot near you. What you have to do is turn on your laptop, open your firefox, and use geode to get your location and nearest cafe.

Geode Screenshot

What is Geode?

Geode is an experimental add-on to explore geolocation in Firefox 3 ahead of the implementation of geolocation in a future product release. Geode provides an early implementation of the W3C Geolocation specification so that developers can begin experimenting with enabling location-aware experiences using Firefox 3 today, and users can tell us what they think of the experience it provides. It includes a single experimental geolocation service provider so that any computer with WiFi can get accurate positioning data.

How it works?

With Geode when a web site requests your location a notification bar will ask how much information you want to give that site: your exact location, your neighborhood, your city, or nothing at all.

They’re using Skyhook’s Loki technology to map the Wifi signals in your area to your location. Unlike normal GPS-based methods which can take upwards of 45 seconds for a lock, Geode works both inside and outside with an accuracy of between 10 to 20 meters, normally within a second.

Please note that in this early implementation, both location and IP information is sent to the current provider, Skyhook, everytime a website is granted access to your location. But don’t worry, like they said in their privacy policy, they promise to only keep data in anonymized agregate.

As an experiment, Geode is also the beginning of a conversation about location-based privacy and integrating services that share personal data into Web browsers.

My Opinion

I think Geode is great improvement for Firefox. Imagine you can search any shop near you just by using browser. You don’t have to own a GPS receiver. But i’m afraid that Geode can’t be used in Linux or another free operating system, because The Skyhook libraries aren’t available for Linux. I hope Mozilla still pay attention to open source world. I, personally, don’t want to see Firefox in proprietary version.:sad:


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