Geode is a forerunner to Firefox’s future implementation of the W3C Geolocation Specification, a standard that (once universally implemented) will allow websites to serve up localized content and services within any browser. Mozilla plans to let the user determine how they want to reveal their location (via GPS, WiFi, manual entry, or other methods) and how specific they want that information to be (exact location, neighborhood, city, etc).
The plugin, however, will only leverage one method for determining your location – Skyhook’s Loki technology, which uses WiFi to determine your location within a second and with an accuracy of about 10-20 meters.
Since location-aware services are most useful on mobile devices, Mozilla plans to integrate Geode functionality into alpha releases of Fennec, its mobile browser under development.
Pownce and Yahoo’s Fire Eagle are launch partners of sorts for Geode, having both already hooked the plugin up to their services. Pownce is using the plugin to attach location information to messages and other contributions to the service. Fire Eagle will use Geode as another way to gather and broker location information for its users and the services they use.
Mozilla isn’t the only one who has decided to innovate in geolocation technology on its own instead of waiting for standards to evolve. Google Gears, another browser plugin of sorts, features similar location-aware functionality for websites.