Yahoo! opens beta version of location sharing platform Fire Eagle

Yahoo! opens beta version of location sharing platform Fire Eagle
Yahoo today opened a “beta on invitation” version of its Fire Eagle platform for sharing location across devices and the web. Fire Eagle is a system that brokers location information. It is designed to help users safely share information about their location with sites, services and people on the Internet.

The service has two major functions for users—it allows a user to update their location and then gives them control of how and where they share that location. A user can perform these functions on the central site, but can also update or access their location data using any other authorized third party application - on the web, on a desktop application or on a mobile device. Applications that access a user's location information can then personalize their service accordingly.

MySpace, FaceBook and others
Today Yahoo! is offering to (invited) developers a full set of development tools to allow their applications to use location information provided by Fire Eagle, or to broadcast a location to Fire Eagle.

As a starter, Yahoo! has made one of its home-made application, ZoneTag, compatible with Fire Eagle. ZoneTag is mobile application developed by Yahoo! Research that tags pictures and sends them to Flickr. In this case ZoneTag will update the user's location every few minutes, if the cell tower is known or if the application is loaded on a GPS-enabled phone.

Yahoo! also announced it is working on three other products: a text message system (to send your location to Fire Eagle via SMS), a Fire Eagle badge to display users location on a blog or a MySpace page and a FaceBook application.

With this service Yahoo! expects to become a “location” hub between various devices and services that broadcast or use location information.

Wednesday, March 5th 2008

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