Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Geosense for Windows: Location sensor for Windows 7

The Windows 7 operating system provides built-in support for sensor devices, such as GPS devices, and offers an API that allow third-party developers to build native application that are location-aware. However, Microsoft didn’t integrate a default geolocation provider. Thus developers could not take advantage of this until Windows 7 PCs started shipping with GPS sensors.


Blogger Long Zheng of iStartedSomething and Rafeal Rivera of Within Windows fixed the flaw made by Microsoft by creating a Windows 7 sensor driver that connects the location platform of Windows 7 with geolocation service providers, including but not limited to Google Location Services.

This new tool called Geosense for Windows is a Windows Sensor feeds the Windows Sensors and Location Platform relatively accurate positioning information, like a GPS device. Instead of communicating with expensive satellites, Geosense simply gather some metrics (i.e. your IP address, WiFi access points) to securely query huge databases with. In return, the databases provide location data for us to share.

Right now, Geosense plugs into Google Location Services for WiFi and IP triangulation. Support for others such as Skyhook Wireless and Navizon will be added soon.


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