Mozilla Location Service – First Anniversary

Hanno Schlichting

The Mozilla Location Service is an open service to provide geolocation lookups based on publicly observable radio signals. It complements geolocation lookups based on global navigation satellite systems like GPS. The project is both built as open-source software and relies on an open community crowd-sourcing approach to gathering signal data across the globe.

We publicly announced the project six month ago, but started work on it a year ago to this day.

In order to celebrate our tireless contributors, we created a little video to show how far we have come and what a small group of dedicated volunteers can accomplish (wait for October, around 16 seconds into the video):

 

We started with a small group of Bay Area and Vancouver Mozillians, early on attracting volunteers from Moscow and Athens. Over time a small number of especially generous contributors shared their pre-collected data with us in addition to using our own MozStumbler Android app.

The MozStumbler application attracted not only users, but over time an active number of contributors, improving the application and localizing it to 19 different languages. As a fun way to visualize the vibrant community, we created a small video using the gource code visualization tool:

 

And of course no community is complete without all the members engaging in discussions, sharing the news and some going above and beyond in creating alternative stumbler applications or integrating the service into operating system libraries.

If you have questions or want to engage with us, please contact us on our dedicated mailing list or come talk to us in our IRC room #geo on Mozilla’s IRC server.

Thanks to all past, present and future contributors. This project wouldn’t be possible without all of you!

Hanno Schlichting

P.S. We also generated bigger versions of the map progress in a 1024×768 resolution. You can download the webm or mp4 files.