Wifi positioning backends

Stephen Wing stephen at wintoncourt.co.uk
Tue Jul 24 08:07:14 PDT 2007

> So am I correct in understanding that it costs money to *use* Navizon?
> From my perspective, this removes the interest for me to use it. Loki
> is free to use and has incredible coverage (they are a for-profit
> company with lots of funding that makes their money other ways than
> selling access).
http://www.navizon.com/FullFeatures.htm seems to indicate that if you 
have a GPS, you can report information to them, and this will also give 
you access to Cell and Wifi location data without a GPS..

"- Wi-Fi and Cell tower positioning when a GPS fix is not available" 
(whether they mean you must have a GPS connected I don't know)

I think without a GPS, when you first install, it will want to install 
and use the chargeable Virtual GPS service (although this is only a one 
off license fee payment), so no ongoing subscription charges.  I agree 
it's not 100% clear, and I don't currently have Navizon set up on any of 
my kit to be able to confirm.

> HostIP isn't for Wifi - it is strictly IP-Geolocation.
Ah, I imagined an N800 user connected via one of the large wifi networks 
- eg T-Mobile Hotspots, and being able to use hostip to get a rough 
location of where they were based on the hotspot IP address...

> So you're suggesting the Navizon client put out location on Bluetooth?
> Would be interesting to ping them about that.
It would be good if they directly did, but I'm not sure they do.  Their 
main market is to provide a GPS type location to the mobile phone for 
other apps (eg a SatNav program) to access via a virtual serial port - 
ie they emulate being a GPS.  However, there is definitely a function 
for the Navizon client to provide the information to a web page.  Having 
said that, the information isn't obvious on the website, but I'll 
reprint the blog entry here:

"You can now get your location in XML format using the Buddy tracker. 
That way, you can have your location sent from your phone and use it in 
any web application you want.

In order to do this, you need to:
- enable the Tracker on you mobile device
- go in the tracker page in the User section of the site
- Hit "Publish my location to a URL"
and that's it!!
Among the links that will appear, one will be for your location in XML 
format that you can use anywhere else. Click on it and you will have a 
URL that  you can use anywhere else.

Integrating Navizon with other applications has never been easier!"

So, the Geoclue Navizon backend would simply need to access the XML 
webpage and would get the location without needing any additional 
coding, as long as the user is running the Navizon client on their 
phone; not as smooth as would be nice, but maybe enough of a proof of 
concept to interest them in working on a better solution (or to interest 
another player)...?

The end result may well be that Navizon is too closed to be a sensible 
choice - but a Geoclue backend that can use cell phone and wifi 
information is still something that adds nice extra unique functionality 
in my opinion.


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