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Location-aware software comes to the Linux platform

Jan 29, 2009, 15:03 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Ryan Paul)

"A multitude of factors are contributing to a mobile computing renaissance. Some of these factors include the growing availability of ubiquitous mobile Internet connectivity and the rising popularity of netbooks and other Internet-enabled small form-factor devices. These changes are inspiring a renewed interest in location-aware software and web services.

"A framework called GeoClue aims to enable integration of location-aware technologies in Linux desktop applications. It is an abstraction layer that makes geolocation functionality accessible through a standardized desktop-neutral API that is easy for applications to consume. It will provide a C library and also expose its functionality through D-Bus, an interprocess communication system that is widely used on Linux.

"There are a lot of different technologies--WiFi triangulation, cell tower positioning, and GPS--that can be used to ascertain the location of a user. There is also a lot of variation between the individual implementations of those technologies. Although most GPS devices use the standardized National Marine Electronics Association (NMEA) format for describing satellite-based positioning, different GPS devices have subtly different programmatic interfaces and different capabilities. In many cases, the way that these devices are designed to operate makes it difficult to access them from more than one application at a time."

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