Google has enhanced its Gears geolocation technology so that Web sites can determine the location of mobile and notebook users with even greater accuracy than before.

“Developers can now securely locate users to within 200 m accuracy, in major desktop browsers in hundreds of cities around the world. Whether [the] users are Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox or (soon) Opera users, [developers] can now automatically deliver an experience that is tailored to their current location.” Google Mobile Team Product Manager Charles Wiles explained, in an official Google blog, today.

Applications could include more accurate responses to questions that users submit to Web sites. For instance, mapping or travel sites could suggest the nearest hotel or seafood restaurant to a user’s current location.

What about privacy?

“To protect user privacy, the Gears Geolocation API server does not record user location,” Wiles notes. “However, third party sites may do so, and we recommend that users only allow Web sites they trust to access their location. Gears will always tell a user when [a] site wants to access their location for the first time and the user can either allow or deny [the] site permission. We recommend users check the privacy policy of [a given] Web site if they are in doubt as to how [the] site may use location information.”

Leave a Reply