Further update on geolocation

Avid and regular readers of this blog – I know you’re out there somewhere – will have picked-up that I’m rather interested in geolocation, tracking and using tools and widgets to broadcast location. I can’t imagine why anyone would be interested in “Where I am?” apart from my colleagues in Cardiff who’re always asking whether I still need an office, so it’s really just a throwback to my former life as a geographer. One that brings ever more warm recollections.

So that’s the rather feeble justification over. What have I done now! Two things. Firstly I’ve implemented Navizon on my laptop and enabled it to update Fire Eagle using WiFi or cell information [now defunct]. I misinformed a colleague the other day on this one. It is possible and does work! You can also configure it for your Blackberry (alternatively you can use BBTrackr [now defunct] to do the same thing). I’ve not chosen to do either of these – you’ll see why later. I like Fire Eagle, it’s a repository which stores my location and then allows applications to draw that information and display it on maps – normally Google Maps. Currently I’m using blogloc [now defunct] to do that and the outcome is displayed in the sidebar alongside.

Note [19 May]: there’s a new Google Latitude Sync app [now defunct] that seems even better at updating Fire Eagle than any of the others so far tested.

The other development I’ve just implemented is a new extension to Google Latitude [now integrated into Google maps] which enables the information captured from cell-phone location to be displayed in live-form on a Google Map. The first use of this was to share geolocation information with your Gmail Chat “buddies” and for the select few who I have in my contact list this was a nice feature and caused us some mirth as we compared our movements across the city. The extension is to allow code to be implanted in a web-page, or for a widget to be aded to your blogger pages. So now (if you had access to my blogger account), you could see where I am. [Unfortunately, this feature is currently not working in WordPress, this blog – still investigating why that is 🙁 ]

As a postscript, I’m working on another blog which will be dedicated to this subject and my travels, and when public I will put a link in the sidebar to that site.


Got caught on the BB this afternoon; thought I’d lost my password and locked myself out. Didn’t realise that I’d somehow got Caps On. Just shows – any computer literate user (I claim to be such) needs some hand-holding! [Also needs a manual – so I’m printing one off now!]

Got my Contacts on the device now – whew! Needed an install of BlackBerry Desktop manager on top of the Notes install, and even though I had to provide a BES server location, it actually downloads from my aging iPAQ sitting on its cradle – USB->USB. Really makes a difference and with all the different modes of contacting them at a click; it makes contacting them so much easier. I do like that! Really neat feature is clicking on an address and getting a map from Google Earth – no excuse for getting lost. As it has onboard GPS as well, I don’t even have to talk to strangers.