[whatwg] Geolocation in the browser

Ryan Sarver rsarver at skyhookwireless.com
Thu Feb 22 07:23:10 PST 2007

Gerv, this is great feedback. I agree that it's important to think of
fixed devices also being able to produce location information,
especially without needing any type of location-sensing hardware or

In terms of user's being able to give different addresses, I feel that
is the job of the app itself. The browser should provide the location of
the UA based on the user's privacy settings, and then it would be up to
the app as to how they use it and give the user options on how to change
or use that location. I think this is simple enough as instantiating a
form with your current location, but letting users change that for
subsequent requests. Or in the case of Yahoo Local, the drop down could
have the following options: "Your Current Location, Home, Work, etc"

Re: granularity - I agree that's a simple and functional way of
"fuzzying" location.

Thanks guys for all the great feedback :) keep it coming

-----Original Message-----
From: Gervase Markham [mailto:gerv at mozilla.org] 
Sent: Thursday, February 22, 2007 10:08 AM
To: Ryan Sarver
Cc: whatwg at lists.whatwg.org; Henri Sivonen
Subject: Re: [whatwg] Geolocation in the browser

Ryan Sarver wrote:
> The biggest problem with this implementation is that it requires an
> additional service on top of standard GPS. 

I wasn't envisaging any geocoding services. In my example, the address 
would be one the user had entered, and (assuming the machine has GPS at 
all) the browser had remembered as being at particular GPS coordinates. 
For desktop machines which never move, the browser may well have 
geocoded a typed-in address once and stored the lat/long to give to 

If the machine has GPS, the default option in the dropdown might be 
"Here: <lat>, <long>". But there would be other options. I think it's 
important that the user be able to give a location other than his 
current one - for example, if he's at work, but looking for the closest 
pizza restaurant to his home.

The "granularity" setting is for privacy; I was imagining that the 
browser would round the actual value to the nearest whatever was 
appropriate, in order to introduce the necessary degree of uncertainty.


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