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location APIs

 
Keristufer Blaze
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Does anyone know when the J2ME location API will finish development?
Are there any other location APIs for other languages that provide similar functionality as javax.microedition.location?
I have an idea for a great app and I'm getting VERY EAGER to start developing.
 
Lasse Koskela
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Originally posted by Keristufer Blaze:
Does anyone know when the J2ME location API will finish development?
It has:
JSR-000179 Location API for J2ME (Final Release)
Don't know when we'll see actual products coming out from the phone manufacturers, though.
 
Keristufer Blaze
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Originally posted by Lasse Koskela:
It has:
JSR-000179 Location API for J2ME (Final Release)
Don't know when we'll see actual products coming out from the phone manufacturers, though.

What I meant was when will we be able to actually download an implementation of the API and use it in our programs?
Or will this only be available to businesses?
 
Keristufer Blaze
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Or will each company have to provide an implementation for their phone sets?
If this is the case, then an application using the location api won't really be portable for a while since none of the companies have an implementation available yet. (except maybe nokia)
 
Michael Yuan
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Originally posted by Keristufer Blaze:
Or will each company have to provide an implementation for their phone sets?
If this is the case, then an application using the location api won't really be portable for a while since none of the companies have an implementation available yet. (except maybe nokia)

That is correct. Handset vendors must provide the Location API implementation on the device (in the hardware, if you will). Right now, I think Motorola has several GPS devices that provide a Location API *similar* to the official spec. None of Nokia's device has this API yet. But I think they are coming in the latter half of this year.
Of course, if you have a business agreement with your carrier, you can get your real-time location from their web service via normal HTTP. (The carrier knows how to locate *any phone* in their network for emergency services) That would make location service available to any of today's Java phone. But right now, such business agreement could cost you millions -- so it is only available to big businesses.
 
Keristufer Blaze
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I have an idea for a mobile application that I think has the potential to become a "killer app", but the device will need an internet connection in order to connect to a server and I'll need location information for any device that uses it.
Do you know how long it will take before I should expect to have location information and an internet connection to be available on the majority of wireless devices?
Is it possible for me to create such an application through other languages besides J2ME right now? If so, what languages?
 
Keristufer Blaze
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Originally posted by Michael Yuan:

Of course, if you have a business agreement with your carrier, you can get your real-time location from their web service via normal HTTP. (The carrier knows how to locate *any phone* in their network for emergency services) That would make location service available to any of today's Java phone. But right now, such business agreement could cost you millions -- so it is only available to big businesses.


Any chance of me getting access to this information as a startup company with a potentially new "killer app"?
Say maybe I explain my app to them and they say "wow, what a great idea. we'll give you access to the location information and you can pay us back later."
 
Keristufer Blaze
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Looks like there's another way to access GPS information in Java:
http://sys-con.com/story/?storyid=36895&DE=1
Does anyone know of other ways to do this or have any other resources?
 
Michael Yuan
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Originally posted by Keristufer Blaze:


Any chance of me getting access to this information as a startup company with a potentially new "killer app"?
Say maybe I explain my app to them and they say "wow, what a great idea. we'll give you access to the location information and you can pay us back later."

You can try. You might get lucky. But I would not count on it unless you are *very serious* and can secure funding.
 
Michael Yuan
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Originally posted by Keristufer Blaze:
Looks like there's another way to access GPS information in Java:
http://sys-con.com/story/?storyid=36895&DE=1
Does anyone know of other ways to do this or have any other resources?

Well, I do not see anything new from that article. Sure, you can access GPS data from a Java handset. The approach discussed in the article has been available for the last 3-4 years. But you need:
1. A GPS receiver
2. A serial port on the handset
You might find a small number of motorola handsets that meet this requirement. But if your application needs to utilize any of the "consumer" devices, you are out of luck.
 
Lasse Koskela
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Originally posted by Keristufer Blaze:
explain my app to them and they say "wow, what a great idea. we'll give you access to the location information and you can pay us back later."
No chance in hell, I'm afraid. Businesses don't do that, especially big ones like mobile operators. Maybe if you give them a significant share of your company in exchange...
 
Keristufer Blaze
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Well at least I can be assured that no one else is busy developing my idea since few devices have access to location information. Or are there ways to do this that I'm not aware of? Thanks for the replies.
 
Michael Yuan
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Well, as we had discussed, you do not need a location aware device to develop location apps. The wireless carrier has location info about any phone (dumb or smart, Java or .Net) in their network.
Also, if you are willing to looking outside of Java and live in North America, you might try out Microsoft's MapPoint Location Server. Check out an article I wrote during this year's MDC:
http://www.ftponline.com/reports/vslivesf/2004/yuan3/
 
Keristufer Blaze
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Are you familiar with Parlay/OSA? Here's a link:
http://www.ericsson.com/mobilityworld/sub/open/technologies/parlay/about.html
"The Parlay/OSA APIs let you create exciting applications using today's telecom network capabilities such as: SMS, MMS, location information, user status, call control and user interaction (announcements and interactive voice response)."
They also provide a Java API for this. I haven't looked into it too much yet so I'm not sure exactly how it works or if it can be used on the majority of wireless devices, but it looks like you can obtain lattitude and longitude coordinates for the device.
 
a sanjuan
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the motorola i730 in Nextel has something based on the location api. companies like xora are also using similar nextel gps-enabled phones to power their location services.
 
Keristufer Blaze
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Just in case some other noobs to location information are interested, here are some other links:
http://www.ericsson.com/mobilityworld/sub/open/technologies/mobile_positioning/index.html
http://www.cursor-system.com/cps/default.asp
The MPS system uses a Java API and from what I can tell so far, it uses different methods to obtain location information such as the cellID or A-GPS although I'm not sure if A-GPS is currently available. If you're an expert in the area and know the advantages and disadvantages of other APIs and the J2ME location API please comment.
 
Tonny Tssagovic
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Hello dude, Money in LBS hahaha.. good luck
Anyway, the system in use depends on the operator, and from where they purchased it. Nokia has one, ericsson has one MPS, alcatel has one.. all with different APIs. There is a forum that is trying to make a single standard API (MLP if I remember), using XML over http (actually most telecom systems use it, kinda SOAP, as it is funcy nowdays) it is the Location Interoperability Forum (LIF), under OMA I think.. There are APIs not specific but include Location like the Parlay that u mentioned (via corba/web services).. there is even Microsoft that wanna make location available via a web service to augment their MapPoint that let u fetch maps/ search for the nearest points of interest.. but it is not yet lunched...and it would be only in the US at the begining..
The location of the mobile is known and supported in all the networks, as the base station is required to communicate with the cell-phone and thus knows where it is via the HLR, this is cell-ID, the network or the mobile or both might have extra software/hardware to make other techniques (there are aroud 10, A-gps included) to help increase the precision or whatever..
There are laws that mandate LBS for safety in US and EU (119 and EU 112 I think , i really don't remmeber) ..
Anyway to make a long story short, u as a programmer don't care about the positioning technique in use, the good think is that there is a gateway that gives uthe location via an API.. and u gotta ask ur operator /or check on vendor sites if they r published, which system they use to know which API to use U can download many simulators to make a demo for them, and since most have some kind of a library, it is straighforward.. and quite easy...
PS: It could even be an operator specific solution that uses MAP to fetch the location from a GSM network.. or u could make it urself, in case u really wanna invest in it, but it requires signaling knowledge (SS7) and Intelligent Network IN/CAMEL protocols like INAP/MAP and tight collaboration with the operator..
Hope that helps..
PS2: What's so cool about ur idea u r making me curious
 
Tonny Tssagovic
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Hi again
Just forgot to mention that there are companies that make some kinda middleware/Application servers like the cps u pointed too.. this software helps u create LBS applications and offers GEOcodding, connection to map servers, connection to billing systems and so on to hide the comlexity of a LBS application and all the integration with other systems required for such an app..
Good luck!
 
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