Geolocation 101: How It Works, the Apps, and Your Privacy

Geolocation is the tech buzzword of the year, and could revolutionize the way we socialize and discover new places

By Daniel Ionescu, PC World |  Internet, Geolocation

Google hasn't been idle, either. In February, the search giant introduced a new geolocation and social networking tool called Google Buzz. Buzz resides within your Gmail app (under a new tab) and allows you to share status updates, images, and videos with other Buzz users.

Google Buzz is also available for use on Android phones, as well as on the iPhone, via a Web-based application. The mobile version lets you post (or dictate) real-time geotagged updates to your Google Buzz feed that show up on a new version of Google's mobile maps. The maps also show the location-sensitive updates of other Buzz users in the area.

For its part, Nokia offers a geolocation service through the Ovi Lifecast widget on its N97 and N97 smartphone models. (rumor has it that Apple will integrate the app in a future version of the iPhone).

Even the Mozilla Firefox browser can tell Websites where you are located, so you can find more-relevant information.

Google has also integrated location sharing in the latest version of its Chrome Web browser. Chrome's feature uses the World Geodetic System (WGS 84) navigation system, which is the reference coordinate system that the Global Positioning System (GPS) uses.

Geolocation and Your Privacy

When you leave your home, you inevitably sacrifice some of your privacy; and by sharing your location on social networks, you could put yourself at some increased level of risk. But geolocation services are working hard (without always succeeding) at keeping you safe from the potential dangers of sharing your location publicly.

Most geolocation apps let you set a certain level of privacy, but you can never be too wary of people with bad intentions who may be following your updates. As a first step toward protecting yourself, it's a good idea not to expose your home address on these services.


Originally published on PC World |  Click here to read the original story.
Join us:
Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

Tumblr

LinkedIn

Google+

Answers - Powered by ITworld

Join us:
Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

Tumblr

LinkedIn

Google+

Ask a Question