If you look at my Facebook page you might think that I’m still in Miami, although I returned from that trip two weeks ago. I simply forgot to change my location status back to New York City. The problem with most location updates on Facebook or elsewhere is that they require you to manually change your status every time you get on a plane. Finally, though, there is an easier way to broadcast your location automatically. It is called MyLoki.
MyLoki is a service offered by Boston-based SkyHook Wireless, the same company behind the GPS-like, WiFi-locating technology in the iPhone. Skyhook can determine your location based on the nearest WiFi routers that it picks up through your laptop or other computing device.
After first downloading the Loki toolbar for your browser, whenever you are in the vicinity of a WiFi hotspot it should be able to triangulate your location. You can then broadcast this information in a number of ways. You get your own MyLoki page that shows people your exact location, or you can embed a constantly updated map with your position on your blog:
You can add the map as a Facebook app:
You also can create an embeddable badge and append it to your e-mail signature.
Or you can even create a location feed that anyone obsessed with your whereabouts can subscribe to. This feed integrates with any GeoRSS service, such as Google MyMaps. MyLoki also works with Jaiku and Yahoo’s Fire Eagle. No Twitter integration yet, but that is in the works.
MyLoki lets you enable or disable each broadcast option. For privacy, most only show what city you are in. The embeddable map lets you choose between country, state, city, zipcode or exact location in revealing where you are. If the application becomes popular, Skyhook CEO Ted Morgan thinks that Websites will want to localize their content (and ads) to Web surfers with Loki-enabled browsers. Good thing those privacy settings can be turned on and off.