Twitter just announced that, it has acquired geolocation service, Mixer Labs. Mixer Labs is the company behind GeoAPI.com.
GeoAPI is a service that allows developers to add geolocation data to their apps. With geolocation features enabled, an app can tell the current geographical location of the user. Twitter just launched its geotagging API a few weeks ago. Even though a number of mobile and desktop Twitter clients like Seesmic Web, already support Twitter’s geotagging API, only a small number of users are currently making use of it.
According to the Twitter founder Ev Williams:
The company will be looking at how to integrate the work Mixer Labs has done with the Twitter API in useful ways that give developers behind geo-enabled apps like Birdfeed, Seesmic Web, Foursquare, Gowalla, Twidroid, Twittelator Pro and other powerful new possibilities.
The important thing to note, is that the Mixer Labs GeoAPI, is not tied to Twitter. GeoAPI offers tools, that can take GPS (global positioning system) coordinates and turn them into human readable form. It also offers a service that can find status updates, related to specific places on Flickr, Twitter or YouTube.
After the acquisition, the GeoAPI will continue to work while Twitter figures out how to integrate its geotagging API with Mixer Labs’ GeoAPI in the best way.
Recently, several features have been introduced by Twitter, like Lists, Retweet and so on, which made their way into desktop and mobile apps too. But the biggest and most anticipated one is the geolocation service, using which anyone using twitter, can come to know, the exact location of his friends and other people on his network. With the geolocation service fully integrated over the social networking sites, it won’t be necessary for me to update my location with each new activity. I can upload pics to Flickr in New York, post video of my birthday party in the Bahamas, or post my status updates from Mexico, with no extra effort.
In the future, we will see a full integration of all these services (Twitter, Flickr and others) with Google Maps and other related services, and we will be able to know the current location of any of our friends, while we are using a GPS enabled cellphone. Yes, Geolocation is the future.