Yahoo has just launched their entry into the growing world of “track your location” sites with the release of Fire Eagle.
The basic idea behind Fire Eagle is to become the link between your location and the services that you want to give your location to. You can feed your location to Fire Eagle from your GPS unit, cell phone, laptop, etc, then their applications can use it for whatever task you give them permission for.
Even though it has just launched, there are a large number of sites already using it, many of which tie into Google Maps. Google Maps Mania summarizes six of them, and others include major players such as Dash and Brightkite. There’s even a plug-in available for Movable Type, which powers this blog. Wouldn’t it be neat to see where Frank is right now?
I think the key to an application like this will be the mobile offerings they unveil. For example, the iPhone already has a slew of location-aware apps, none of which (as far as I know) feed data directly back into Fire Eagle. A free Fire Eagle app on the iPhone would provide a quick way for a few million more users to update their location.
All in all, it seems like a solid entry for Yahoo. The reviews around the web (TechCrunch, ReadWriteWeb, Mashable, etc) have been quite positive. If you are a heavy user of location-aware services, I can see this being a great tool. If you’re not, though, will it be enough to get you going?
About Mickey Mellen
Mickey has been using Google Earth since it was released in 2005, and has created a variety of geo-related sites including Google Earth Hacks. He runs a web design firm in Marietta, GA, where he lives with his wife and two kids.