My Google Latitude location in Twitter and FireEagle via Ipoki

Google Latitude has for some time been out there on its own in the big wide social world.  It’s a simple but effective real time location service to share your location and status with your friends.  But now it has been brought in from the cold by Ipoki another GPS based real time service.

At first Latitude was only available on mobile phones but was excellent at quickly determining your location either via your inbuilt GPS or via WiFi IP address or Phone cell ID. I use it a lot as the basic Google maps mainly as an A-Z in London with the occasional announcement of where I am to my Google Latitude Friends.  It is now also available as a gadget within iGoogle so as soon as I open up my laptop and connect to the internet, Latitude kicks in with my updated location without me having to do anything.

However this has all been a bit flat because Latitude didn’t link to any of my other networks whImage representing Ipoki as depicted in CrunchBaseere most of my friends were. Now ipoki has come to the rescue by enabling  ipoki to read my location from Google Latitude.  Ipoki is also GPS driven real time location service that can run on my laptop or mobile phone and is used by athletes, cyclists and walkers to plot their route and time their performance.

Ipoki also enables you to send your location and status to your Twitter. So now all your Twitter followers and your friends in your networks which absorb your twitter feed  can be told of your location.

What is even more significant is that Ipoki can send my location to FireEagle and thus opens Google Latitude up to all the location aware networks that can interoperate with FireEagle including Facebook.

My Location Social Networks

my earlier related items

my location aware mobile phone 2

my location aware mobile phone

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My Location Aware Mobile Phone 2

The second edition of “My Location Aware Mobile Phone.

Create once and make it available everywhere

I have been experimenting with a few applications that can capture my location on my mobile phone and share this with my social networks.  I was hoping to achieve a couple of ideals.

My first ideal is for the application to automatically pick up my location using the embedded GPS.  Then for it to create a Twitter post that includes my status and a link to a map which shows my location. The twitter post would then be fed into my social networks, Facebook, LinkedIn, ecademy, Plaxo and FriendFeed. This way I don’t have to persuade my friends to use the same location based software to know where I am.

The other lofty ideal was to be able to use any application that could update and read my location in FireEagle so that it didn’t matter which location based application I was using or my friends were using so long as it could work with FireEagle. In which case they would all update each other.

The overriding principle has been to create once and make it available everywhere or put more simply to manage content in one place and yet have it fed to all applications. I have been attempting this with all my content creation applications such as Flickr and Delicious (see my blog post Joining up my web spaces).

Neither ideal has been totally successful although I think I have achieved a workable compromise.

The applications I have been trialling are Loki, Ipoki, Rummble and BrightKite. Each has its advantages and disadvantages,  which I go through at the end of this post.

Each of the applications works with FireEagle but I have been struggling with getting each application to read a location in FireEagle that has been created by another. 

Only BrightKite will create a Twitter post with my status and a link to a map with my location. In fact I could probably survive on BrightKite alone. The only downside is that it has no means of automatically determining my location on my mobile.

So I have configured a compromise using EagleFeed and TwitterFeed. My location from FireEagle is read by EagleFeed which then creates an RSS feed that Twitterfeed picks up and posts into my Twitter.

This is how it looks

My Location Aware Mobile Phone 2

Comparing the four mobile location applications.

Each of these applications will work with FireEagle except that Loki cannot read your location from FireEagle.

With each of these applications you can determine the location of your friends and who is near you.

Loki

Location: Loki uses Wi-Fi to determine your location both on the PC and on the mobile. If you are not in the vicinity of a Wi-Fi hotspot then you have to manually enter the location. You have to download a mini app for the mobile to use the Wi-Fi.

Twitter Post: It won’t create a Twitter post. 

 Other: Loki also has a facebook add-in. You can use Loki to find nearby facilities.

BrightKite

Location: BrightKite uses Loki (on IE) or Geode (FireFox) to determine your location but only on the PC not on the mobile.

Twitter Post: It does create a Twitter post with your status and a link to a map of your location.

Other:  BrightKite has a facebook add-in. It will also find nearby businesses.

Rummble

Location: Rummble use Google Gears to determine my location I think it uses Gears to access my GPS or Wi-Fi from within the browser. There is no need to download a mobile app.

Twitter Post: It will create a Twitter post but not with a link to a map of my location.

Other: You can also use Rummble to rate various eateries and see what rates others have given and you can post an itinerary of a future journey. You can also create a blog of your journey.

Ipoki

Location: Ipoki uses the embedded GPS to produce a real time stream of your location, which is great if you want your friends to follow your cycle or walking route or car journey. You need to download a mini app to use the real time location facility.

Twitter Post: It doesn’t create a Twitter post.

Other: Ipoki has a facebook add-in

Verdict

I will probably stick with Rummble as I love the way it picks up my location and I am normally Tweeting from a local hostelry.  However most of my friends use BrightKite so if I want see which of them is near me I will have to use BrightKite.  Now if BrightKite were able to determine my location using Google Gears on my mobile then……

My mobile

My mobile  is a Vodafone v1615 aka HTC TyTn II aka HTC Kaiser which is a GPS enabled 3G phone with Wi-Fi The other networks have their own label version of the HTC TyTN II.  And no I don’t use an iPhone.

Links

see this excellent primer on location determination on TechCrunch

the first edition of My Location Aware Mobile Phone

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My Location Aware Mobile Phone

You can do a lot on your mobile phones these days.  Quite a few mobiles now have GPS to determine your location but even if you haven’t got GPS then your location can be determined .  My device is a Vodafone v1615 which is a rebadged HTC TyTN II (aka Kaiser).  It runs Windows Mobile 6 PPC version and has GPS and Wifi built in.  So as you can imagne I have been experimenting with some of the free software that is location aware. 

These location aware phones can determine your location either through the GPS on your phone, via Mobile phone mast triangulation or from your wifi IP address.   Google Gears has made establishing our location easier whether we have GPS or not. A number of sites are now Google Gears enabled.  

Yahoo has also added a new dimension by recently launching FireEagle which allows your location to be shared with other applications.  This way you only need run one location aware application on your phone and as along as it can share it’s location with FireEagle your other location aware applications can read your location. 

We can use sites like Google maps, Microsoft LiveSearch and Yahoo Go! on our mobiles to find what services and retail outlets are available in our area. Of the three I prefer Google Maps for all the extras you get such as being able to enter the name of a point of interest and not only do you get its location (full address and contact details) but reviews,  photos & videos, user content, links to its web page and its entry in wikipedia.  The one thing missing from Google maps is traffic news in the UK (its available in the US).  The one I use for traffic is  Map 24 which is another download but it does give good traffic plus the usual what’s in the area.

I have been looking for a simple ‘show my location’ piece of software, nothing complicated just my location. Loki would be a great example of a simple clean effective tool to show your location but at the moment it only uses WiFi to determine your location no sign of it using Google Gears.  Loki links to FireEagle but doesn’t allow you to read your location from FireEagle it only allows your Loki location to be sent to FireEagle. 

SeeMyWhere looks to be more like it as it can use GPS or Xtify to determine your location.  However it is only available on Blackberry at the moment.  It doesn’t share its location through FireEagle and I am reluctant to load yet another add-in (Xtify) to determine my location when I’m already running GoogleGears.

So I am currently using Rummble which is much more than just a location revealer.  It of course uses Google Gears and can share and read locations through FireEagle. It has a status update , you can announce a future trip (see Dopplr below) and you can write a travel blog.   It’s main purpose seems to be to Rummble (share your rating of) a place you have visited. And you can see Rummbles about places in your vicinity. 

Like a lot of other Social Networking software Rummble can interlink with other Social Networking software.  I have mine set to update my status and location on Twitter which in turn updates my Facebook status – see my earlier blog joining up my web spaces.  It can be set to show your Rummbles on a map in Facebook which I haven’t set yet. 

It also allows you to share your photos or to pull in your Flickr photos.  That reminds me that if your phone has a camera as well as GPS you can geo tag your photos and display them on a map on Flickr and  Picassa or add them to Google Earth. See my earlier blog on discovering the joys of geotagging

Rummble like Dopplr allows us to announce future trips that will trigger people we know or are linked to in the vicinity of our trip.  Rummble adds the ability to write a travel blog about your exploits not that I have entered one yet!

Location aware applications allow you to share your location with your friends but you can also go public, though not necessarily revealing your exact location.  This would be a great way of discovering people you have lost touch with although I have not found anybody that way yet.  I have been approached by people I do not know on Rummble.

I have just been introduced to a similar service to Rummble called Loopt which I shall have to investigate further but I’m already feeling overwhelmed with location aware applications.  It would be good to find a source which analysed which location aware applications had the largest networks. 

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Discovering the Joys of Geotagging

 

On a recent holiday I decided to sort out geotagging on my mobile. I have a Vodafone v1615 which is a rebadged HTC TYTN II aka Kaiser. It has a 3 megapixel camera which can, with its embedded GPS, add your location to your photos. To do this I needed to tweak a registry setting. Here is the tweak:

Open any registry editor, then go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\HTC\Camera\ and in the folder P9 change “enabled” from 0 to 1. Now new option GPS Photo will appear in the menu.The registry editor I use is the registry add-in to Resco file explorer http://www.resco.com.
I have Yahoo Go loaded on my mobile this enables me to upload photos directly to my Flickr photostream
Flickr will enable you to map your photos so before I uploaded I had to ensure that the setting ‘import EXIF location data’ is set to yes in my Account settings.
To make sure that all the relevant EXIF data was correctly captured by my phone camera I used a freeware bit of software EXIFReader available from this website www.snapfiles.com/get/exifreader.html to view the data after I had transferred the photos to my laptop
I had another added complication in that I was blocked from viewing Flickr on my laptop as t-mobile (my laptop 3G card is t-mobile) rates it as an 18 site. So I had to pay up £2 on my credit card to prove I was over 18! 

I also tried Picassaweb  but couldn’t get it to recognise my EXIF data (hence the use of exifreader). In its manual location adding feature, it does have the advantage of being able to link an album to a location so any photos added to that album will all automatically be assigned the same location.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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