November 5, 2007

Yahoo FireEagle

Filed under: Geography, Surveillance — ubikcan @ 9:18 am

Now this sounds more interesting:

FireEagle, which is built entirely on Ruby on Rails, was originally inspired by Yahoo’s ZoneTag research product. It is a platform for controlling people’s location information. Tell it (directly or via a third party application built on FireEagle’s APIs) where you are (give it specific lat/long, or a city name, or a zip code, etc.) and it will note your location. Alternatively, users with GPS phones (or other GPS device) could set it to periodically update FireEagle with geo information.

Users can turn off tracking at any point, of course, and can also go in and delete any or all stored geo data about themselves. Yahoo says it will be immediately removed from their servers.

Then other applications can take that data with your permission and build it directly into their service.

This is perfect for services like Flickr, which still struggle to get users to add lat/long information to photos (With FireEagle, Flickr could just look at the time stamp on photos and note where you were on FireEagle at that time). FireEagle can also benefit by working with established place-blogging services like Plazes, both by giving and receiving geo information on users.

TechCrunch says the name may change and it is only just coming out of alpha. Useful as this sounds, I will still also tag it with “surveillance.”


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