Firefox 3.5 Now Available: Here's How Geolocation Works

Version 3.5 of the Firefox browser was made available for download this morning. As I write this 1.9 million people had downloaded the new version of the popular Mozilla-based browser. As most people interested in local search and local media know, it now includes a geolocation feature which will play a big role in transforming the web into a more locally-relevant environment. Here’s how it works:

As soon you navigate to a site that’s optimized for the geolocation functionality of FF 3.5 (or you trigger the functionality in a Web page), a bar appears at the top of the page. It tells you that “website name wants to know your location”. You also have two buttons giving you the option to “Share location”, “Don’t share” and a red “x” to close the bar altogether. You can also check a box to “Remember” the site. Finally, the bar suggests you can “learn more” by visiting this page.

firefox 3.5 geolocation test page

Above: the Firefox test page with the geo-location request bar

Below: a close-up on the share/don’t share buttons

firefox 3.5 share geolocation buttons

For example, clicking on the “Where am I?” button in the demo site triggers the apparition of the “share location” bar. If you accept to share your location with the site (through the browser), results are very accurate. In my case (see below), I was geo-located in the correct section of downtown Montreal in the Praized Media offices. Nice!

Geolocation in Firefox

If you want to revoke the permission that you have given to a Web site, you need to navigate back to that Web site and then access the following section in your browser’s functions: Tools – Page Info – Permissions and then change the original permission.

Firefox geolocation permissions

What it means: this is a great implementation of a browser-based geolocation functionality. Easy enough to use, it should catch on. Make sure your web site is using this new functionality and serving info that’s geographically relevant to your users.


3 thoughts on “Firefox 3.5 Now Available: Here's How Geolocation Works

  1. Good post Seb. Unfortunately its not working so well for me. Either the demo site is just too busy, or something else is wrong. I’ve waited for 3-4 minutes now and it still cant locate me. But, its a big step forward for browsers. Funny how what we started with in Netscape Navigator so long ago is still, effectively, what we have today.

  2. @Ben does it do anything i.e. spinning wheel or something? Any visual cue that’s it’s not working?

    @Parth haven’t seen any yet.

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