GeoClue 0.12 is out: Location awareness over D-Bus


After a long hiatus there was a new GeoClue release 0.12 last week. GeoClue is a D-Bus service that Linux applications can use to obtain user's current position and convert between human-readable addresses and coordinates. As location-aware services are becoming more important and computers more mobile the free desktops should also be aware of where they are.

Dadadi Blog writes:

Geoclue has a really nice feature, the master provider. It means geoclue can handle multiple sources of geoinformations. For example, you can get your position with your gps device, or with OpenCellId, or with webservices that will associate your IP address with a location (such as hostip). Geoclue master provider is able to choose the source with the best accuracy.

Geoclue is used at least in Empathy to publish your location to your contacts, and in WebkitGtk to support html5 geolocation.

It's been the first release in nearly two years, and it's great to see that nice project moving forward again. In this release, Nominatim has been added as a provider for geocoding and reverse/geocoding. It means it's possible to use nominatim service to get the position for a given address, or the opposite. There have been also many bugfixes and code cleaning, including a bug I've helped to resolve that prevented master provider from being usable in some configurations.

I'm also really happy to see GeoClue again moving on. It is important for the free desktop infrastructure to have such critical tools available as vendor-neutral D-Bus services instead of platform-specific libraries.

Update: ran into python-geoclue, a very handy Python convenience library for dealing with GeoClue that is a result from last summer's GSoC. Seems to work pretty well.