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This Windows application is a generic location detection program.  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 3 feet to that location).

This program is generic for AnnotatedEarth - it can login as any user and access any group (so, for example, you could use it with the public group as a guest, the Iraqi list as a guest, or any other group as your AnnotatedEarth user ID)

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

NOTE! This is a VERY early beta of the program.  It's being distributed now for a couple of testers to play with.  While it seems to work pretty well, a lot of testing and  enhancements are still to come.  It also does not include a installer at this time.

3/17/03 - LocationAlert! will now both alert you to nearby locations AND will allow you to Annotate the Current Location.

Version 1.10:
Download LocationAlert (147K)  Last Updated - 3/26/03

Download the source (Not available yet)


Q: What's the application for?
A: LocationAlert will tell you when you get close to  something you may be interested in.  You pick pick the type of locationyou're interested in, and if LocationAlert detects that type of location around, as you move around, it will alert you to it. 

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 LocationAlert?
A: To really see how it works, yes.  If you just want to play with it, you can run in simulated mode, which only requires a connection to the internet.

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 LocationAlert 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. 

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 LocationAlert, 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