FOWA: FireEagle (Tom Coates)

*Here are my live notes of this [Future of Web Apps (FOWA)](http://www.futureofwebapps.com/) session. They are probably incomplete and may contain mistakes, though I do my best to be accurate. Chances are I’ll be adding links to extra material and photos later on, so don’t hesitate to come back and check.*

FOWA 2007 134

Share your location online. Capture and make sense of your location, share it with your friends, share it programmatically.

How Fire Eagle works.

Apps either get your location or use it in some way. Too heavily enmeshed with one another. Flickr is good at using your information, but bad at getting it (you have to enter it by hand). Plazes is good at getting location. So, problem, each time you build such an app you have to work on both sides.

Better model: one brilliant way of capturing location, then a whole bunch of services based on it.

Open APIs mean anyone can build a client and anyone can access the data (with permission). Central repository.

Input: postcode, address, GPS trace, co-ordinates, neighbourhood name, village/town/city…

The service: a way of handling the data in the middle and APIs on the outside. A bit like PayPal, a service in the middle.

You give other services permission to access your information.

Example: Dopplr gives my location (London) to FireEagle. Then, I manually update my location on mobile site (“Victoria Dock Thingy”). Or I could broadcast location from my phone. (The app exists for certain phones already.) Then I can decide to share more or less precisely where I am with various applications. I open my laptop at a café, Plazes sends Fire Eagle my location. Then, I take a picture and send a geotagged picture to the web. Site updates my location.

Twitter maps application: I only want updates from my friends if they’re in London. *steph-note: that would be great!!* Proximizer: know how close your boss is. Friends and family widgets.

Being honorable with your data (privacy, ethics, etc). Because, in fact, why would I want to put that information anywhere? Because it’s profoundly useful and fun to do so. Possible to share location without being invasive. Also, exposing your logs to you. Possibility to purge your data. If you’re doing something naughty (buying your partner a present secretly), “hide me” button. Private places.

Possible problem: people forget they’re sharing. The app can check back and remind them.

FOWA 2007 135

4 thoughts on “FOWA: FireEagle (Tom Coates)”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *