New Platform Enables Users to Easily Update and Manage Their Location Information Across the Web
SUNNYVALE, Calif., Aug 12, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq:YHOO), a leading global Internet company, today announced the general availability of Fire Eagle (http://fireeagle.yahoo.net), an open platform that helps users take their location to the Web while giving them the ability to easily control how and where their location data is shared.
Fire Eagle gives users a place to store and manage information about their location, and offers developers clear protocols for updating or accessing that information. Because it’s open, any networked service can use Fire Eagle to respond to a user’s location – to help them find their friends, annotate the world or find nearby services or local information.
“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. “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.”
Fire Eagle makes it much easier for both users and developers to 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 was built at Yahoo! Brickhouse, a home for start-up like projects inside Yahoo where small teams seize on new ideas and create products around them. Since its private beta launch in March of this year, Fire Eagle has been integrated into over fifty live applications, including Dopplr, Pownce, Movable Type, and Outside.in, through the platform’s well-received API.
“The combination of Outside.in’s new Radar feature and Fire Eagle’s amazingly simple and powerful API means that our users can now see all the news and buzz within 1,000 feet of their current location, updated from any number of applications and devices,” said Steven Johnson, co-founder of Outside.in.
“Fire Eagle allowed us to easily add location data to Pownce using their simple API,” Leah Culver, co-founder, Pownce. “Pownce users can now say where they are and geotag their notes which adds a new dimension to the service.”
Services built on Fire Eagle during the private beta period include:
— Brightkite: Brightkite is a location based social network that allows users to track their friends’ locations and meet new people in their area.
— Dash: Dash is a two-way, Internet-connected GPS navigation system offering an innovative solution to traffic monitoring.
— Dipity: Dipity is the easiest way to make and share interactive stories for the people and topics users care about.
— Dopplr: Dopplr is a service for intelligent travelers that helps them make the most of their trips by sharing their travel plans with the people they trust.
— ekit: ekit is the leading 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: Lightpole is 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: Movable Type is a fully integrated, scalable, proven social publishing platform for building highly interactive websites, blogs and social networks.
— Navizon: Navizon provides 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: Outside.in’s Radar is 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: Pownce is a way to keep in touch with and share messages, files, links and events with your friends.
— Loki: Loki adds your location into your favorite 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: SPOT, the world’s first satellite messenger, 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.
— ZKOUT: ZKOUT 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.
Developers wishing to learn more about Fire Eagle can visit: http://fireeagle.yahoo.net/developer.