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This Windows application uses the "Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction" list to detect if you are within 1000 feet of a Iraqi Bio, Chemical, Missile, or Nuclear site.  This AnnotatedEarth-enabled Client application will work with any NMEA-compatible GPS attached to a serial port.  It can ALSO run in simulated mode (you can pick a site to be near; it will simulate your location at around 150 feet to that location).

Full source code is available, as a sample of how to use the AE Service. 

Version 1.01:
Download Iraqi Alert, with installer (177K)
Download Iraqi Alert, no installer (no sound) (147K)

Download the source (539K)


Q: What's the application for?
A: IraqiAlert is primarly a demonstration of the location-aware infrastructure that AnnotatedEarth provides.  It uses the AE site to retrieve information about what's around your current location, and lets you know of anything of interest (in this case, a possible Iraqi weapons site).  It's not only a demo of the technology, but the source code is available as a sample of how to develop your own AnnotatedEarth-enabled applications.

Q: What's location-aware?
A: Location-aware technology allows a computer based device to figure out what's around it.  Usually "around" translates to "what's directly around me, right now".  As you move, the various things (buildings, places, et al) change - and location-aware technology allows computers to know about that change.  You can think of any given area (say, a town) to be a mass of location information, or annotations.  Buildings, streets, restaurants, houses, stores, interesting art work, a spot to meet your friends every Monday, just about anything.  AnnotatedEarth enables any computer device (laptops, cell phones, and PDA's among a few) to understand where you are and what's around you.  Location-aware is sometimes also called "Context-aware".

Q: Do I need a GPS to use IraqiAlert?
A: If you're going to be walking around Iraqi, and want to know when you get close to a Weapons Site, then yes.  Otherwise, you can click the "Simulate" button to make the program think you're near one of those locations (so it will demo how it works).

Q: I clicked on a simulated location once, but when I click on it again, nothing happens.
A: When you're near a location, you want to know about it - but probably don't want to know about it every few seconds.  So, IraqiAlert won't re-alert you about a location until a hour passes.   Other AnnotatedEarth-enabled applications allow you to configure this (IraqiAlert, being a demo of both users and developers, is as simple and straight forward as possible).

Q: How accurate is this location-aware stuff, anyway?
A: Well, that depends on a few things.  The GPS unit your using, how good a lock you have on the satellites, and how many you lock on to.  Generally the best it will do is 15 meters. If you have a WAAS-enabled receiver, that goes down to 3 meters.  If you're using a cell phone or LAN node-based location information, that can get better (or worse).

The accuracy on the Iraqi alert isn't as good as that, as the location information itself has some inaccuracies built in.  If a coordinate is only 4 decimal places instead of 5, the accuracy is reduced by ~30 feet.  Some of these locations are also just approximate.  If we have a chance to go over to Iraqi and take better readings, then the quality of the information will go up... which is unlikely to happen.  If anyone over in Iraqi wants to take a better reading, please feel free to enter that information into our database.  The US military isn't using AE to guide it's missiles as of yet, so you should be safe :)

Q: Are these real locations? How do you know?
A: As far as we know :)  We got most of the information from http://www.fas.org.  They got most of their information from various public sources.  A lot of this is out of date or unknow these days.  Many of the sites were taken from damage assemenets from the Gulf war; the sites may or may not contain weapons.  As news comes out on new sites, we add them.

Q: What are the requirments for using AnnotatedEarth?
A: It fully use it, you need some type of computer running windows, a GPS, and a connection to the internet. In the case of IraqiAlert, you just need the connection to the internet, as you can use the application in simulation mode.

Q: Who can develop AnnotatedEarth-aware applications?
A: Anyone! The information to interface to the AnnotatedEarth location service is free for anyone to use. It specifically uses HTTP as input (like your web browser does; a url), and text-based XML documents as output.  Look here for more information.  Want to see what AE sends back on a request? Look here