I like location based services. I’m not sure what to do with it, but I’m sure it will invade/expose our privacy more than social websites already do and I think it will add something new and more to mobile devices that computers can’t.
The problem with LBS is that the technology is distributed. Every device and phone has its own interface, protocols, software and more. In the end the application that is used to transfer the location isn’t relevant. Relevant is what you can do with the coordinates.
Yahoo Fire Eagle
Yahoo Fire Eagle jumps into this hole. The service acts as a bridge between applications. Fire Eagle makes sure all applications can talk to Fire Eagle and they distribute the information trough an API. This makes it possible for me to develop a location based service without having to wonder about how to get the location information from the actual devices.
For example if I want to make a mobile website that displays news articles based on your location all I have to do is to connect a database with news (and coordinates) to the Fire Eagle API and render this on a page.
You – as a user – should take an extra step and install a client that is able to give your whereabouts to Fire Eagle. For instance I use Brightkite, Plazes, Dopplr and Navizon on my iPhone and desktop to tell Fire Eagle where I am. I don’t use it frequent, but they all work.
Go and build great things
This information about my location is open when I wish it to be open. Now we need developers that can create great applications that return some of the Location Based value back to me as a user.