Opera Software’s browsers get geolocation

Opera Software’s browsers get geolocation
Leading cross-platform web browser developer Opera Software is moving forward into location-enabling its products. The company has announced last Thursday a partnership with Skyhook Wireless, a leading provider of Wi-Fi positioning. Opera Software has released the first build of its Opera browser with Geolocation API support. This development follows the publication in December 2008 of a “Geolocation API working draft” by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the international consortium in charge of web standards.

With the new W3C Geolocation API (Application Programming Interface), Opera will make Skyhook Wireless' location platform available to any Web developer with just a few lines of JavaScript. For example, a popular coffee chain will write the necessary JavaScript code on their Web site, the Opera browser will ask the user for approval, then the location will be submitted to the Web site servers and their service will display the coffee shop locations nearest to the user on a map.

"Making accurate and reliable geolocation available over JavaScript to any Web developer means Skyhook's market leading platform will be in the hands of a whole new world of developers and we expect to see the explosion of location-based services on the Web,” said Ryan Sarver, director of consumer products at Skyhook Wireless.

The PC-based browser from Opera is currently used by 35 million customers.

Opera Software also announced last week the support for Google Gears in its 9.7 version of Opera Mobile. The Google Gears plugin also includes a geolocation API which uses Google’s own Wi-Fi positioning engine. Opera Mobile already shipped on more than 125 million phones.

Monday, March 30th 2009

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