Mozilla Geode Spatially Enables Your Browser

Recently there have been a string of live geolocation services that have popped up, including Fire Eagle and the Google Gears Geolocation API. Now Mozilla is jumping into the ring with Geode.

The W3C has created a draft API for Geolocation. This API provides “scripted access to geographical information associated with the hosting device.” In other words, when your browser hits a site supporting the API, it will ask your browser where you are. If you allow it, your browser will send the site this information, abstracted to whatever level makes you feel less like you’re living in an Orwellian nightmare.

Firefox 3.1 will support the specification natively, with your xy provided via GPS, WiFi location, or manual entry. If you grab a beta release of 3.1, you’ll be able to play with this feature in between seg faults.*

But if you’re not a browser beta kind of cat, the good folks at Mozilla Labs have an experimental browser extension called Geode. It’s an early implementation release so developers can begin kicking the tires, but it seems to work fairly well. It uses a single (somewhat controversial) service provider that grabs your position from the WiFi network you have nefariously (or legally) hopped on. They have a demo Food Finder if you’re hungry, and it is already working with Pownce and Fire Eagle.

With the standard API and a lot of time for tweaking before FF 3.1 comes out, there could be a lot of really cool applications for this technology. I don’t know if I’ll jump on this train, but I plan on watching it from underneath my tin-foil hat to see where it goes.

*Just kidding. Actually, 3.1 beta is pretty sta