Combain Deal Helps Expand Mozilla Location Service

Last week, we signed an agreement with Combain AB, a Swedish company dedicated to accurate global positioning through wireless and cell tower signals.

The agreement lets Mozilla use Combain’s service as a fallback for Mozilla Location Service. Additionally, we’re exchanging data from our stumbling efforts to improve the overall quality of our databases.

We’re excited about both parts of this deal.

  • Having the ability to fall back to another provider in situations where we feel that our data set is too sparse to provide an acceptable location gives Mozilla Location Service users some extra confidence in the values provided by the service. We have also extended the terms of our deal with Google to use the Google Location Service on Firefox products, giving us excellent location tools across our product line.
  • Exchanging data helps us build out our database. Ultimately, we want this database to be available to the community, allowing companies such as Combain to focus on their algorithmic analysis, service guarantees and improvements to geolocation without having to deal with the initial barrier of gathering the data. We believe this data should be a public resource and are building it up with that goal in mind. Exchange programs such as the one we’ve engaged in with Combain help us get closer to the goal of comprehensive coverage while allowing us to do preliminary testing of our data exchange process with privacy-respecting partners.

We’ve got a long way to go to build out our map and all of Mozilla Location Service, and we hope to announce more data exchange agreements like this in the future. You can watch our progress (fair warning – you can lose a lot of time poking at that map!) and contribute to our efforts by enabling geolocation stumbling in the Firefox for Android browser. Let’s map the world!