Have you ever wondered how Snapchat puts forth location-appropriate frames and filters? Or how does Netflix knows what content goes in the catalog based on your country?
Well, Geolocation API is the word you’re looking for. It is requisite for all location-based services and applications. So, what is Geolocation API? Get this – any app or service that requires you to give location access and works concerning your Location is Geolocation API.
By doing this, they utilize your device’s data over time and leverage it to deliver geo-specified content and services. If you’re still second-guessing its’ benefits, read this article, and you will know why you need Geolocation API. Without further ado, let’s get started!
Why Do You Need Geolocation API?
Look at Snapchat filters; wherever you are, the app reflects location-based lenses in your options. Isn’t it super convenient? Like this one, several other perks tag along with Geolocation API.
To know more about these benefits and what they are, read on!
Covid Tracing Applications
This cannot be stressed enough. In the past couple of years, as the world went into lockdowns with Covid-19 cases multiplying tremendously, it became hard to track patients. How would you stay safe without knowing the statistics or the stage of the virus in your area?
Covid tracing applications became an absolute godsend here. Using Geolocation API, these applications detect the number of patients in your locality and reflect it on the app. This helps you stay away from highly affected areas, eventually containing the virus.
The Updated Version of Lost and Found
Losing a phone was a big deal before geolocation existed, but now? It can be traced in absolutely no time. Geolocation APIs help find devices and work on all Android and iOS devices regardless of the country or the network. So, yes, you can rest assured because finding a missing phone is no more an impossible task.
Remember Pokemon Go? Yes, that is the perfect example of geolocation APIs being leveraged for gaming purposes. The game alerts you of any Pokestops by using your phone’s camera and GPS when you are out running errands.
Maps, route planning
The most common benefit that most of us are dependent on. Geolocation APIs help you find the perfect routes to your destination. Not just that, you can even dodge traffic as such applications help you find the route with the least traffic and amazing shortcuts when you are in a hurry.
Flame Down the Hunger Bug
What if you crave a pizza while on a road trip in a stranger country? Well, relax yourselves. All you need to do is, leverage the search in search option and find pizza stops en-route. The map applications use the Geolocation APIs to trace restaurants, gas stations, pharmacies, hospitals, lavatories, etc.
What’s the hardest thing to do on a Monday morning? Yes, you are heading in the right direction; getting cabs is. However, dodge the worries because Geolocation APIs can solve it all. Just let the app detect your location, and you’ll find numerous cab drivers available right in time!
If you run a business, this one’s for you. Did you know that personalizing advertisements based on consumers’ location can gain more traction? Additionally, it appeals to the users more efficiently because of the personal touch. Also, as a business owner, you can always utilize the collected data to pipeline more informed decisions based on user preferences.
Receiving confirmation calls when your card is keyed in for international transactions or a strange land is another Geolocation API perk. The back applications use your location and other details to keep track of all the activities. Anytime they notice suspicious activity, you’ll be alerted about it!
Of course, the list is incomplete without this one. The one app that makes your trips more planned is what if the desert acts cold out of the blue? Geolocation APIs help people collect the most accurate weather reports based on data collected by nearest satellites.
If you are always on Instagram, scrolling your days away, you are a fellow gram fanatic, and this might be helpful. Geolocation APIs help you tag the accurate locations when you are out and enjoying a casual or brunch date or a weekend away with the girls. Besides, it is always humane to let your followers know that exotic restaurant you bragged about!
Input Parameters for Geolocation
A device, such as a computer or a mobile phone, sends a request for location information to a Geolocation IP by providing one or more of the following input parameters: an IP address, MAC address, RFID, GPS coordinates, cell tower (e.g., GSM, WCDMA, or CDMA) ID, or WiFi position. A user can also use the name of a place or organization to get location information.
Output Parameters for Geolocation
The Geolocation API sends a request to a Location Information Server, which response with various location attributes, including the accuracy of the data. This data is then returned to the client using the API. The API does not know where the data comes from, and it does not keep any data.
Geolocation API Use Cases
Geolocation is largely used to spatially personalize a user’s digital experience. It connects people looking for romance with like-minded souls in their neighborhood to enable corporations to follow their clients.
Browser Context – When you search the internet, your browser may want to query your location to deliver locale-specific information relevant to your inquiry, such as local companies or news.
Weather Reports – To check the weather on your phone, make sure the location is turned on in the device’s settings.
Social Media Updates – Location APIs are used by applications such as Facebook to allow users to tag their locations in their status updates, for example, to show their friends where they are vacationing.
Employment and Business Networking – Geolocation is used by job search websites to match job seekers with possibilities in their area.
Digital Maps – Can’t find your way around a strange city? Using Google Maps, use your phone to locate your location and find the quickest route to your accommodation.
Web apps employ a Geolocation API to track users’ location while they’re out and about in town for marketing and customer engagement. For example, when a person goes shopping, an app may notify them of current offers in a particular store or recommend restaurants in the vicinity based on the user’s culinary tastes.
Tracking IoT Gadgets – With geolocation, smart home devices, wearables, and cars may be readily tracked and located.
Geolocation can be used to trace network intruders or suspicious system logins, determine when and where fraudulent online transactions occur, and uncover the evil organization hiding behind an IP address.
The information a typical Geolocation API provides varies but may include the following:
- Country, city, region, continent, postal code, latitude and longitude, and whether the country is a member of the EU are all examples of physical addresses.
- IP address and ISP information, including whether or not the IP is a proxy address.
- Carrier – The name of the mobile carrier, as well as the area code and network code.
- Timezone (including daylight saving time), language (including multiple official languages), and currency (including currency symbol and description) data are all examples of local data.
- Threat information – Whether or not the IP address has previously been used for harmful purposes.
Properties of Geolocation API
The Geolocation property of the Navigator object can be used to access the Geolocation API. The Geolocation property has three methods, which are as follows:
- getCurrentPosition() – Gets the device’s current position information and saves the coordinates (latitude + longitude), altitude (if available), and accuracy in a Position object that can be utilised in a callback function. Optionally, the second and third arguments can be set to specify: 1) an error callback; and 2) the level of precision wanted, the timeout number, and the maximum age to cache position data.
- watchPosition() – Starts a watch operation that saves the current position to a Position object and polls the device for changes in location. The Position object is updated to reflect the new position when fresh location data becomes available. Optionally set an error callback and extra options, just like getCurrentPosition() (accuracy, timeout, and max age).
- clearWatch() — Terminates an ongoing watch activity with the provided WatchID. When calling the watchPosition() method, WatchIDs are initially assigned to a watch operation.
The Geolocation API is supported by all major web browsers (Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Opera), and it is widely used on mobile platforms such as Android, iOS, Windows Phone, and Maemo.
There you go! Now you know why Geolocation APIs are so important and how they can benefit you in countless ways. Technology and times have experienced drastic changes, and, normally, we accept and utilize them to our benefit.
Geolocation API is one such step forward towards a good change!