Going plazes

August 2, 2007

I’ve been working on a couple of Geoclue features that, when combined, will start making things interesting:

Feature 1: Plazes support

Plazes.com supports querying “plazes” with a MAC address of the router you’re connected to. This means that at home I get this output from a geoclue test program:

jku@loki:~$ geoclue-position-example plazes
You are at 60.196908 24.87822
Country: Finland
Locality: HELSINKI
Postalcode: 00330
Street: Solnantie 24
Text: Jussi's home

Plazes.com-support for Geoclue is actually not totally new — the original python version has existed for some time already. It’s awfully nice though: the location accuracy can be way better than anything ip-based positioning can offer (block-level vs. city-level).

Feature 2: Internet Connectivity Monitoring

All positioning providers that use web services can monitor internet connection events if libconic is available. I have this working with the hostip backend already and it’s quite nice:

  • no network latency when an application needs the location information
  • enables “new location”-events without polling all the time

So?

If a user goes through the trouble of creating plazes* at most common locations (home, work, regular cafe), geoclue can provide fairly accurate location information and event notifications (“New location: Max’s Cafe”) wherever she goes. This is the point where Geoclue is already useful to application developers…

*) creating a plaze is easy, you can do that at http://www.plazes.com. Unfortunately adding the MAC address to the plaze is not — at least not on linux. I’m hoping Maemoplazer can do it, but haven’t been able to check: it keeps refusing to start.

I’ll finish these features and package them by next week. will post screen shots then. Questions or comments are welcome: use the geoclue mailing list.

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4 Responses to “Going plazes”

  1. jku Says:

    Just in case anyone wants to test this: I managed to add a MAC address to a plaze like this (replace PLAZES_USERNAME, PLAZES_PASSWORD, PLAZES_ID and MAC_ADDRESS):

    curl -u ‘PLAZES_USERNAME:PLAZES_PASSWORD’ -H ‘Accept: application/xml’ ‘http://plazes.com/presences’ -F presence[plaze_id]=PLAZES_ID -F presence[status]=”lost” -F presence[mac_address]=MAC_ADDRESS

    (Thanks to Tim Lawrenz from plazes.com for the help)


  2. A default Plazes backend is very useful. On my typical winter (non-motorcycle) commute the are maybe ten hotspots my N800 can autologin to, and thus be positioned quite accurately.

  3. angela Says:

    Hallo…i just want to know if Solnantie is Villes street?i d like to send him a letter…please…

  4. jku Says:

    angela, I removed your earlier message for a reason, but if that wasn’t clear enough: here it is in writing:

    1. This blog post has nothing to do with Ville Valo
    2. If he wanted you to send things to his home, he’d publish the address.

    So, out of respect for me, stop asking that. Out of respect for mr Valo, stop harassing the man in his home (send your letter to his company)


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