Yahoo launch Fire Eagle location-based internet… thing

Mobile phones, Web 2.0, Websites

fireeagle.jpgLast night Yahoo finally took its long awaited (by nerds) Fire Eagle out of private beta so now anyone can sign up and use it.

But… What is it? Like everything web 2.0, the name doesn’t describe it very accurately. Basically it’s a system designed to act as the middle-man between you and a whole load of location-aware applications, so that you only have to log your location once and it’ll syndicate it with every other Fire Eagle equipped location service you use.

Admittedly, this isn’t the most vital thing to have in August 2008, unless you’re on the bleeding edge of software development and don’t tend to use software that isn’t in beta, but in a couple of years this could be incredibly useful indeed. In 2010 when we’re all using GPS-equipped mobile phones and want to tell our mates on Space-Twitter and Space-Facebook, and whatever other futuristic social networking sites we use where we are, rather than have to tell each website where we are seperately Fire Eagle will do the hard work for us.

Having been exploring it for about an hour myself, it seems pretty decent. There are customisable levels of privacy for every outlet you allow to access your location – for example, you can give Facebook your current exact GPS coordinates, yet only let the blog profile badge for your public blog display the city that you’re in, and you have to opt-in to almost everything rather than it decide to just shout your location as loud as possible.

The mobile application for updating your location – the Nokia s60 version anyway – is certainly basic, but it does the job. The only downside is that it requires you to get a battery-draining GPS signal, rather than let you just type in an address if you wish (this also means that it probably won’t work if you’re indoors).

Give Fire Eagle a go here.

Related Posts: FindMe alternative to Fire Eagle | Nokia buy Plazes location-aware search

James O’Malley
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