Firefox 3.5 Bakes in Location

Picture 25I’ve written a number of times over the past year about what’s likely to happen once location is an integral part of the browser experience: customizable sites, better ad targeting, use of demographic data based on neighborhood for online ad targeting and so on.

This week Firefox 3.5 comes out with location as an integral part of the experience. Users must opt-in and affirmatively share location, but its a huge step forward. Chrome and Opera offer something similar. And Safari includes location in its iPhone version.

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Firefox is using Skyhook’s technology to ascertain user location. It had previously enabled this feature in a plug-in called “Geode.” Across the board the user experience (around location opt-in) is still a little clunky on these browsers but it’s here and will become more streamlined over time. This is a big big deal.

3 Responses to “Firefox 3.5 Bakes in Location”

  1. Paula Abrahamson Says:

    Hi Greg,

    Wanted to give you the head’s up on our new website showcasing Firefox 3.5’s Geolocation capabilities. We just Alpha launched today and it’s called Alien Goggles. [See It’s a local product finder with global reach. The beauty of it is that you can now be sitting in some internet cafe, in a far off land, not know your address, and still find out where you can buy a “portable flat screen tv” locally. Word of warning: only a handful of product listings so far! Please geolocate your own product and let us know what you think!

  2. Greg Sterling Says:

    Thanks. Are you UK only?

  3. Paula Abrahamson Says:

    The tagline for Alien Goggles is actually: “Your local product finder…for planet Earth!” So we’re really grateful that with Firefox 3.5’s global geolocation capabilities, we can also go global — and not just the UK.

    With the credit crunch we think people are more keen than before when it comes to buying second hand, so Alien Goggles includes used products as well as new ones from retailers and private individuals alike. With the geolocation ability of searching street-wide and not just city-wide, Alien Goggles is for buyers and sellers of local products who are dissatisfied with the local product finding abilities of classifieds and auction sites. And unlike online shopping sites like Amazon, Alien Goggles uses advanced product finding technology for purchasing and picking up products in person.

    So, Greg, if you have some old furniture or books lying around the house that have just been cluttering up your space — try Alien Goggles to “geo-advertise” your products. This service is free for you (and everyone else)!

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