geolocation with open street maps

This demo was created by René-Luc D’Hont. He created this demo for the 35 days project with open source software and open data from various projects. His company, 3Liz, specializes in open source GIS application development.

Three days ago we had a post from Doug Turner describing how Geolocation works in Firefox 3.5. René-Luc has taken the geolocation functionality in Firefox 3.5 and blended it together with data from OpenStreetMap and a few other sources of free data. You can try the demo below. Don’t forget to click the Share Location button in the drop down when it appears on the site.

Launch the Demo in Firefox 3.5

Assuming that it was able to find your location, you should see where you are with a red marker. A blue circle surrounds the red marker indicating the accuracy of your location information. Note that since this information is based on a combination of your IP address and possibly local WiFi access points, its accuracy can vary.

This demo also tries to pull in information from other sources about your local area. Each set of information is shown as a layer. These layers are:

  • The base layer is the map itself, provided by OpenStreetMap. OpenStreetMap is a project to create and provide free geographic data, such as street maps, to anyone who wants them. Much like Wikipedia, it’s possible for anyone to edit the maps and add their own information.
  • The next layer is based on articles in Wikipedia. In some articles, like Mountain View or Montpellier, you can find coordinates. GeoNames provides a web service to query Wikipedia’s articles by location. With this demo you can discover Wikipedia articles about things and places around you.
  • The last layer is based on GeoNames. GeoNames is a geographical database covering all countries and contains over eight million placenames. In this demo you can see things from the GeoNames database like cities, villages, lakes, parks, or even hotels.

The map and layers are built using OpenLayers, a free JavaScript library that you can use to put a dynamic map on any web page.


We’ve also included a couple more screenshots of places that have data already loaded.



About Christopher Blizzard

Making the web better, one release at a time.

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  1. […] 原文地址:geolocation with open street maps 系列地址:颠覆网络35天 […]

    June 13th, 2009 at 01:09

  2. Uni

    It shows that I am from Copenhagen(Denmark), or somewhere around there.. -which really isn’t the situation.. I am located around 1,300 km(811 miles) from there, in the Faroe Islands.. :P
    I hope that you will get this fixed, somehow.. :P ;D

    June 13th, 2009 at 08:00

  3. Christopher Blizzard

    It’s accurate to within one street around here. But since it’s IP and WiFi-based it’s just a good guess – and sometimes that guess is wrong.

    June 13th, 2009 at 08:29

  4. Jim

    I get a position south of San Francisco and I’m in Massachusetts. Ok, at least it’s the right continent. Those “date horny girls in your town tonight!”, web ads get within four or five miles. I think they cross reference postal zip codes with ip information. Thanks for your efforts; I’ll keep testing. I love this stuff!

    June 13th, 2009 at 09:07

  5. Kurt

    Broken for me on the latest trunk. When I click “Share Location”, the following error shows up in the error console and nothing happens with the map:

    Error: response.location is undefined
    Source file: file:///C:/Junk/firefox/components/NetworkGeolocationProvider.js
    Line: 232

    June 13th, 2009 at 10:59

  6. Christopher Blizzard

    @Kurt – broken on latest nightly trunk (aka 3.6 nightly) or the 3.5 nightlies?

    June 13th, 2009 at 15:09

  7. […] tower position or even WiFi connection can provide quite “good enough” location. On Mozilla Hacks they write about an OpenStreetMap-based browser location […]

    June 13th, 2009 at 16:58

  8. Tame

    Using Beta4 on linux it shows that I’m … In Moutain View. I expected Wifi/IP based location guess to be inaccurate, but not that much – I live in Paris :-)

    (and I do have a working wireless card, and am using a fairly common ISP)

    June 13th, 2009 at 18:38

  9. […] tower position or even WiFi connection can provide quite “good enough” location. On Mozilla Hacks they write about an OpenStreetMap-based browser location demo. I’d say the results are quite […]

    June 13th, 2009 at 23:03

  10. Jim

    Amazing, I tried with latest firefox 3.5 beta on WinXP and it’s got me almost perfect. Before I had tried it with shiretoko build of ff 3.5 on Ubuntu Jaunty (verified via tomtom).

    Lat: 42.44720
    Long: -71.76430

    And my result here:
    Latitude : 42.52644
    Longitude : -71.75961


    June 13th, 2009 at 23:59

  11. Hybrid Son Of Oxayotl

    Do not work for me. Locates me in California. I’m in Seoul. Kind of wrong continent, here.

    June 14th, 2009 at 18:52

  12. Wayne

    Got me where my ISP is located, ~250km away. Just my 2 cents :]

    June 14th, 2009 at 21:11

  13. Wladimir Palant

    Wow, it found my position with a precision of a few meters. And I thought that WiFi triangulation only worked properly in the US – seems to work in Germany as well occasionally. Guess I should be very careful when clicking the “share my position” button.

    June 15th, 2009 at 06:01

  14. Jason Orendorff

    It says Seattle, but I’m in a little cafe on Tau Boötis, 51 light years away. Nice try.

    June 15th, 2009 at 07:29

  15. Kurt

    Chris, latest 3.6a1pre trunk builds.

    I’ll file a bug tonight.

    June 15th, 2009 at 09:19

  16. […] 原文地址:geolocation with open street maps 系列地址:颠覆网络35天 […]

    July 16th, 2009 at 21:51

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  22. […] 我们把在Mozilla的工作都设定在这个前提下。我们第一个使提速JavaScript成为可能,CORS(跨域XHR请求),混合使用HTML和SVG,最先提出的基于Canvas3D的WebGL,支持硬件设备的地理定位和重力感应。我们正在帮助实现和标准化一些全新的CSS规则,这些规则可能被其他浏览器实现;我们带领互联网朝着现代的字体系统前进;我们提供互联网网站作者和用户更多的安全工具。我们的工作就是帮助保证互联网变得更加丰富多彩并勇往直前──这也是我们公司公共利益使命中非常重要的一条。这是五年中Firefox提供给我们的机遇。 […]

    November 9th, 2009 at 05:01

  23. […] tower position or even WiFi connection can provide quite “good enough” location. On Mozilla Hacks they write about an OpenStreetMap-based browser location […]

    December 3rd, 2009 at 02:14

  24. esteban

    WOW, Mountain View is very popular, right? I didn’t know that I also live there… I always think that I was in Costa Rica…

    December 7th, 2009 at 11:56

  25. […] HTML and SVG, WebGL is based on Canvas3D work we pioneered, we’re scripting hardware with geolocation and orientation. We’re helping to standardize and implement some new CSS capabilities that […]

    December 28th, 2009 at 19:15

  26. Gerard Braad

    I have the same issues as @kurt with:

    Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv: Gecko/20100107 Fedora/3.5.6-1.fc12 Firefox/3.5.6 GTB7.0

    The full error message is:

    Error: response.location is undefined
    Source File: file:///usr/lib/xulrunner-1.9.1/component//NetworkGeolocationProvider.js
    Line: 232

    January 10th, 2010 at 14:33

  27. Jakob K…

    Wow! It has gotten my position…
    In the right continent, in the right country, in the right city and in the right street and on the right place. :O

    I am using Firefox 3.6 Release Candidat….
    I was using 3.5 and it hasn’t work… o.O

    January 17th, 2010 at 07:28

  28. Jakob K…

    OK, now I tested this function with:

    Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; de; rv:1.9.2) Gecko/20100115 Firefox/3.6

    And the resulution was not the best… A wide circle…
    But on Windows NT 6.1 or 5.1 (I don’t know really good) it worked pretty good :)

    Now I am testing it with Minefield..

    January 18th, 2010 at 09:08

  29. Jakob K…

    Well, Minefield does not work better.
    I think because:
    I use Minefield on Linux
    I use a laptop
    I use not wireless internet

    January 18th, 2010 at 09:13

  30. nico


    I had the same error message as Kurt and Gerard Braad… line 232.

    I updated firefox to 3.6 release and I have a new error message:

    Location is undefined
    Line 91 in NetworkGeolocationProvider.js

    January 24th, 2010 at 04:44

  31. […] 이 글은 하동욱님께서 번역해 주셨습니다. 원본: […]

    April 18th, 2010 at 08:25

  32. Komrade Killjoy

    uh oh


    be everywhere you can be!

    July 28th, 2010 at 05:36

  33. johannes

    Great, even if I already had some experience in geolocation services, the precission of the current location is at leaST FOR ME at round about 10 meters. All the over resources tracked me round about 2km away, at the next DSLAM. In this example i can see my car in front of my house so – really nice

    January 24th, 2011 at 23:43

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