Opera and Skyhook Wireless Bring Geolocation to the Web

Opera Software and Skyhook Wireless today announced their partnership to bring geolocation to the Web. Users can now simply choose to share their location with any Web site and get a range of information about related products and services around them. Whether it is local searching, social networking, geotagging photos, local advertising or discovering nearby content, geolocation is a key factor in creating a relevant and meaningful experience on the Web.

Traditionally, geolocation was considered as being only a part of a downloadable mobile application, but, with Skyhook’s Wi-Fi Positioning System (WPS), any computer or mobile phone with a wireless adapter can take advantage of its advanced positioning technology and locate a user, making this service available to any Web site.

“Location is always relevant when someone is browsing the Web,” said Tatsuki Tomita, SVP of consumer products at Opera Software. “By embedding Skyhook’s technology into Opera and making it available through the W3C Geolocation API, we ensure that every Opera user gets the same, high-quality, location-based experience out of the gate.”

With the new W3C Geolocation Application Programming Interface (API), Opera will make Skyhook Wireless’ groundbreaking location platform available to any Web developer with just a few lines of JavaScript. For example, a popular coffee chain will write the necessary JavaScript code on their Web site, Opera will ask the user for approval, then the location will be submitted to the Web site servers and their service will display the coffee shop locations nearest to the user on a map.

“Making accurate and reliable geolocation available over JavaScript to any Web developer means Skyhook’s market leading platform will be in the hands of a whole new world of developers and we expect to see the explosion of location-based services on the Web,” said Ryan Sarver, director of consumer products at Skyhook Wireless.

A technology preview for their desktop browser is available for download at http://labs.opera.com/.

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