We all use location aware applications in our day-to-day life. Applications like Foursquare, Facebook places, etc help us share our location (or places we visit) with our friends and family. Applications such as Google Local help us find out which businesses are near our current location. So, if we need a good coffee shop recommendation, we can ask Google Local to find us all the coffee shops near our location. This not only helps the customer, but also helps businesses reach the right audience and sell their products more effectively. It is a win-win situation for both consumers and businesses.
To build such an application , you need the geolocation of the user. According to Wikipedia, “Geolocation is the identification of the real-world geographic location of an object”. Until now, there was no standard way to find the location of a user in a web application. We could use an open source library like Google Gears to get the geo location of a user but this library is not under development anymore and should only be used with older browsers, which do not support W3C GeoLocation API. The W3C GeoLocation API is a specification that provides standard scripted access to geographical information associated with the hosting device. Geo Location support is not officially part of HTML 5 specification but people use it interchangeably and most commonly you will hear about GeoLocation APIs with respect to HTML5. This API provides an abstraction layer on top of how geolocation information of a user is gathered. All modern browsers support the GeoLocation API. The below table is taken from http://caniuse.com/#feat=geolocation.