Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Yahoo! Releases Fire Eagle for Location-based Services

Yahoo! released its Fire Eagle open platform for location-based mobile services.

Fire Eagle is a network service that gives users a place to store and manage information about their location, and offers developers protocols for updating or accessing that information.

Yahoo! said its goal with Fire Eagle is to help developers create Internet experiences that are geo-aware.

For users, Fire Eagle acts as a simple interface for managing location information and deciding how -- and with whom -- to share it. Users can authorize Web, mobile or desktop applications to update their location automatically, or they can do it themselves manually on the Fire Eagle Web or mobile sites. Then they can decide how much of that information to share with their favorite services. At any time they can hide themselves, change their sharing preferences or delete any of their stored information.

For developers, Fire Eagle takes away much of the costly and complicated heavy-lifting of developing geo-aware applications. Developers can focus on how they can use location in their services without having to build the infrastructure to work out where their users are. Fire Eagle -- combined with Yahoo!'s full suite of geo technologies -- now makes it practical for any service to become location-aware easily and inexpensively.

Fire Eagle entered a private beta period in March of this year. So far, Fire Eagle has been integrated into over fifty live applications, including:

  • Brightkite -- a location based social network that allows users to track their friends' locations and meet new people in their area.

  • Dash -- a two-way, Internet-connected GPS navigation system for traffic monitoring.

  • Dipit -- at way to make and share interactive stories for the people and topics users care about.

  • Dopplr -- a service that allows travelers to share their plans with the people they trust.

  • ekit -- a communications provider to international travelers, offering a range of services including mobile phones, satellite phones, SIM cards, global calling cards, and recently the ekit travel journal.

  • Lightpole -- a mobile application service provider that distributes location-specific information to mobile devices in real-time and engages mobile users in interactive communities.

  • Movable Type -- a fully integrated, scalable, proven social publishing platform for building highly interactive websites, blogs and social networks.

  • Navizon -- a software-only wireless positioning system that triangulates signals broadcasted from Wi-Fi access points and cellular towers to help users find their location.

  • Outside.in Radar -- personalized local news with you at the center of the map. Radar shows you everything going on nearby, wherever you are, from the stories on your street, to the events in your neighborhood, to headlines in your city.

  • Pownce -- a way to keep in touch with and share messages, files, links and events with your friends.

  • Loki -- adds your location into social networks so you can share it with your friends. Loki, powered by Skyhook Wireless, automatically informs your friend of your whereabouts, using platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Fire Eagle, RSS Feeds and more.

  • SPOT -- a satellite messenger that sends users' GPS location and custom messages to family and friends or emergency responders over a satellite communications network from virtually anywhere around the globe - even the most remote places - independent of cell phone coverage.

  • ZKOU -- enables mobile device users to create content -- messages, photos, videos -- on the ZKOUT network from any location, and share it instantly with the people near you.

See also