VIEWS: 36 PAGES: 5 CATEGORY: Computers POSTED ON: 6/25/2010
Far from being static, the web evolves continuously. It is getting smarter and faster with each passing year. It's no longer merely a question of pulling information from Web sites. It can be pushed to people automatically, based upon their location. A significant driver and product of this trend in the increasing ubiquity and utility of something called location-based services (LBS). Location-based services leverage information about your physical location to provide information tailored to your real-world location. Until recently, most LBS were based on data acquired via GPS, which means LBS were most commonly seen on handheld devices. As a key technology in the real-time, local web, LBS can provide a timely, relevant, and effortless way to stay informed. With LBS, privacy is a paramount concern. All location-enabled applications have a core set of privacy protections, which include adherence to federal and wireless carrier standards, particularly with respect to opt-in requirements and customer information confidentiality.
>control-shift Jeff Wisniewski University of Pittsburgh Location, Location, Location F ar from being static, the web evolves continuously. It is getting smarter and faster with each passing year. There is no longer one web; there is the web for me, right now, where I am—and there is a web for you, right now, where you are. It’s no longer merely a question of pulling information from websites. It can be pushed to us automatically, based upon our location. The web knows where you “ are. It’s aware of your likes, dislikes, and network. Scary? Perhaps a little. Exciting? Location-based Definitely. Important? Undeniably. The web is social, increasingly personal, and quickly becoming hyperlocal. A significant driver and product of this trend in the increasing ubiquity and services leverage utility of something called location-based services (LBS). LBS can provide libraries with new tools to market their products and enhance their services, and information about the time to optimize for the hyperlocal web is now. your physical LOCATION-BASED SERVICES Location-based services leverage information about your physical location to provide information tailored to your real-world location. Until recently, most location to provide LBS were based on data acquired via GPS, which means LBS were most com- monly seen on handheld devices. information While that continues to be true, LBS have come to the browser, pulling infor- mation garnered from your network address and other data to geo-locate you. tailored to your Knowing where you are, the web can present tailored information and services. Firefox 3.5 includes an opt-in location-aware browsing option. With location- based browsing enabled, for example, a Google search for library will return real-world not only the top page ranked results in general but also libraries near where you are. Thus, while LBS continue to flourish on mobile devices, they’re also making location. a play for the desktop as well. What about the spread of LBS—how big will they get? Read Write Web is call- ing 2009 the year of LBS, Twitter plans to add location-based information to each and every tweet (but only if you opt in), and Firefox 3.5 is already location-aware, as are many web search engines. Firefox’s upcoming mobile browser, Fennec, will also be location-aware, able to tailor the web-browsing experience to match your current location. And the new HTML 5 specification allows for access to the 54 www.onlinemag.net underlying location information from a webpage. So, yeah, for example, take a quick detour to the common area if they LBS are spreading rapidly and are likely to get bigger. see that their professor is there. Ryerson University in Toronto currently uses LBS as part of its Campus Assistant CATEGORIES OF LBS project. It was designed by a Ryerson Ph.D. student, Location-based services tend to fall into three nonexclu- Hossein Rahnama. sive categories: LBS have gone commercial. A key player in the LBS land- • Requests for things or information relevant to your cur- scape is … drum roll … Google. Google offers Latitude rent location—this could be a nearby ATM or the closest (www.google.com/latitude/intro.html), an opt-in service public library that allows you to see your Latitude friends’ locations on a • Receiving alerts, such as a notice of a sale on electronics in Google map. You can be Latitude friends with anyone you a store you just passed or a text message reminder when choose, assuming they accept your friend request, raising you enter the library that
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