File Under: Mobile, Software & Tools

Outside.in Pin-Points News Around the Corner

outside.in radar news near Wired officesLocation-aware applications are now a reality, even without a mobile device. Hyperlocal news startup outside.in took advantage of new browser technology to improve its radar feature, which shows news based on your location.

In previous versions of the tool, you had to manually input your address or zip code. If you’re using Firefox 3.1 Beta, or the Geode add-on for Firefox you’ll be prompted to share your location.

Armed with the latitude and longitude, outside.in can display the news nearest you. In urban areas, there tends to be a lot of it, even at the most granular level of 1000 feet. The more rural your location, the less likely there is to be news in your county, let alone your town or neighborhood.

The geo-location accuracy also won’t be nearly as good in less populated areas. Currently it uses Skyhook’s Loki technology to map the WiFi signals in your area to your location. Fewer signals, less data.

Geode requesting my location

We shouldn’t gloss over the importance of the technology. A location-aware application takes away a manual step that the user shouldn’t have to figure out. Where am I? And how does it expect me to enter this information? Eliminating these questions is an important step, even if we just replace them with confusion over accuracy.

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