I’ve been in Europe this week talking to French and German press about Firefox 3.5, and it’s been great to see all the excitement there is over here for the upcoming release.
One feature I’ve been talking a lot about is our support for Geolocation. I think that once Firefox 3.5 gets out there and sites realize they have a (privacy- and user-control-respecting) way to ask their users for their location in the world, all kinds of great services will show up. Flickr already has a photos-near-you feature, for instance, and I imagine mapping sites, restaurant reviews, and others are hot on their tails.
So I’m sure, in short order, that this won’t be necessary. In the meantime, if you’re running one of the Firefox 3.5 Release Candidates, you can use this bookmarklet to inject your current location into the google maps search box, so that you can base searches off your current location:
If you haven’t used a bookmarklet before, it’s easy. Open up your bookmark manager, decide where you want to put this (I like to have them on my bookmarks toolbar, since I use them a lot), and create a new bookmark. When it asks for a location, put in the code pasted above. Now, when you’re on the google maps site, click the bookmark to jump to your current location (after, of course, giving your consent).
This bookmarklet is specific to google maps (but I bet you can hack it!), and it certainly requires you to be using a modern browser with support for these features. If you don’t have the latest Firefox yet, you can become part of our early testing community by downloading a copy now.
[Update: Changed the bookmarklet code a little to give some feedback immediately by letting you know it's checking. I bet someone out there has already made a version of this that's half as long, and twice as powerful. Comment!]