Today at Yahoo’s Brickhouse, a team of developers, press, and Yahoo execs including co-founder David Filo converged for the release of Fire Eagle , Yahoo’s geo-location platform. Fire Eagle allows allows developers to include positional data in their applications with a minimal amount of work. The platform was originally announced in November, and has since been deployed by a number of select partners including Six Apart and LightPole. Today’s release extends availability to anyone.
Common end-users are not the only ones to benefit from the features of this network supported tool. Developers are offered a free geo-location platform that can be used as base for any geo-aware application. Starting from scratch with this sort of programs would be really expensive, but Yahoo! developers decided to give a helping hand to all programmers who want to add an interesting feature to their applications.
“Fire Eagle is about making everything on the Internet more useful, fun or interesting by adding the element of location,” said Tom Coates, head of product at Yahoo! Brickhouse, a place inside the company where small teams work on start-up projects. “We’re here to help people take their location to the Web by giving them the ability to control how much detail about their location they want to share and which applications they want to share it with.” Some of the applications that used Fire Eagle in its Beta were Dopplr, developed to help users share travel plans, ZKOUT, which gives people the possibility to create content on their mobile phones and then share it with friends from different networks, and SPOT, a satellite messenger that allows friends to stay in touch, by sending messages and their GPS location, no matter if they are in an area with poor or no mobile phone signal.