8 February 2009

Bringing geolocation into Gnome

This week-end, I presented a talk at FOSDEM about how “Bringing geolocation into GNOME”.  While giving some background definitions and ideas for geolocation, it mostly covered what are technologies currently available to achieve these goals.

I have the impression that the talk was well received, it certainly boosted my interest into spending long nights infront of the screen pushing libchamplain forward much more!

Bringing geolocation into GNOME

All of the demonstrated code is already available.  For EOG plugin, see the EOG-plugins svn repo, a release should be available in the Gnome 2.28 timeframe.  For the Empathy Geolocation, it is available in my empathy repo, and the telepathy parts already have been released.  This feature should be merged first thing in the 2.27 development cycle, allowing a smooth testing period before 2.28.  As for Emerillion, it was the first public mention of this promizing application.  It shall be announced in a close future.

To make this presentation, I used clutter-toys/opt, a clutter based presentation tools.  The slides are defined in a xml file.  I enhanced it to support embedded maps.  So if you add the following xml code, you’ll have an interactive map of Brussels, with very usefull places marked, right into your slide! Grab the branch into my clutter-toys repo.

<map width="600" height="500" zoom-level="13" latitude="50.84" longitude="4.37">
      <marker latitude="50.842966" longitude="4.35153">Porte Noire</marker>
      <marker latitude="50.845127" longitude="4.349878">Mannequin Pis</marker>
      <marker latitude="50.848548" longitude="4.353633">Délirium Café</marker>
      <marker latitude="50.821391" longitude="4.39393">Université Libre</marker>

Comments (13)

  1. 8 February 2009
    Craig said...

    Wow, this stuff is AWESOME. I don’t know what else to say!

  2. 8 February 2009
    Stephane "matrixise" Wirtel said...

    Hi Pierre-Luc,

    Thank you for your conference and Welcome in Belgium.

    And keep going !

  3. 8 February 2009
    Sense Hofstede said...

    Impressive presentation! I’m looking forward to its implementation in GNOME!

  4. 8 February 2009
    Michel Leunen said...

    Just a quick note: it’s Manneken Pis and not Mannequin Pis.

  5. 8 February 2009
    Tobias said...

    “For EOG plugin, see the EOG-plugins svn repo, a release should be available in the Gnome 2.28 timeframe.”

    Didn’t you mean 2.26?

  6. 9 February 2009
    Jens said...

    When I fist saw the stuff for IM I thought like WTF will that do about my privacy; but then I saw your demonstration at FOSDEM. This stuff rocks!

  7. 9 February 2009
    Pierre-Luc Beaudoin said...

    Tobias: nah it is really 2.28. There hasn’t been a release of EOG-plugins yet, but it will happen for the 2.28 timeframe, giving us time to improve bits of it :)

    Michel: right, I often tend to remember words by what it sounds like, and in that case, a statue is also a sort of mannequin hehe but yeah, thanks.

  8. 9 February 2009
    Adrian Custer said...


    by very, very long tradition, the order of geographic coordinates is:

    lat —- long

    whenever you have a choice (i.e. method calls, display). It’s a natural tendency of the modern (web) based clients to work the other way around (since we think x,y) but most people working the field eventually realize the importance of the tradition is worth preserving.

    We spend lots and lots of time explaining this to our users and axis order, once you start working with vector data, is one of the major headaches. This will, of course, never be resolved once and for all, but it’s worth not doing the naive thing and being consistent.

    The international standards are all trying to bring their specs back to lat/long order (with some painful exceptions). Apparently in aviation there are laws to this effect…


  9. 9 February 2009
    Pierre-Luc Beaudoin said...

    Adrian: thanks for highlighting that fact, I did realize that just before releasing 0.2.1, where all API was lon, lat. I changed it to reflect most common usage of lat, lon.

    I still have a tendancy to write lon, lat – and to be honnest, in XML it doesn’t matter as the attributes are named, therefore, can’t be mixed up :)

  10. 22 February 2009
    Javier said...


    thank you, this stuff is AWESOME ;-)

    Any version planned to maemo platform?

  11. 23 February 2009
    Pierre-Luc Beaudoin said...

    Well, we know that Maemo 5 will support clutter (announced at Maemo Summit in october). We’ll see then they release more information if it’ll run on it!

  12. 25 February 2009

    [...] this (IMHO) successful presentation at FOSDEM, people spontaneously offered their help.  Many more showed their interest into the ideas or to [...]

  13. 1 April 2009
    Javier said...

    Hello again Pierre,

    any plan to make a Ubuntu PPA ( https://launchpad.net/ubuntu/+ppas ) so we can test it? ;)