Making the GNOME desktop location-aware

To make the GNOME desktop more user-friendly we should utilize context information in more places. And now that laptops are becoming more and more mobile, location is one important part of that context. For that, we developed GeoClue, the location framework that is in incubation for GNOME Mobile.

Today I was talking with a student who wants to work on GeoClue GNOME integration in the Google Summer of Code, and here are some ideas we discussed:

  • Changing the clock time zone based on location (Jussi already has a patch for this that needs to be cleaned up and submitted)
  • Changing weather applet to show weather for current location
  • Telling Tracker about the location where documents were edited so you can ask "give me the documents I edited in Stockholm"
  • Making Gwibber send the current location to microblogging services that support it
  • Showing where your Evolution contacts are (and what their local time is), based on Empathy's XMPP location support
  • Setting instant messaging availability status based on location ("set my work account as offline when I'm home")

These are just some examples of how GNOME could serve users better if the desktop applications knew where they are. Web applications are already getting this capability, and the desktop shouldn't be left behind.

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