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IM message recipient location through GPS mapping integrated into an IM client software Disclosure Number: IPCOM000032793D
Original Publication Date: 2004-Nov-12
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Nov-12
Document File: 1 page(s) / 23K

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Frequently while using an instant messaging (IM) environment such as the Lotus Sametime/Lotus Notesbuddy software package it is desirable to know the location of someone in your "buddy list" or someone that you are actively exchanging IM with. For persons that a user is actively exchanging messages with it is possible to ask them their current location. If they respond, it will be in context sensitive terms, such as "conference room xyz" or "working at home". However, for persons that are not responding to IM, or persons that choose not to disclose their whereabouts, it is not possible to determine their current location. This article describes adding support for these industry standards to the IM client software to determine the current location of the system running the software. It can then pass this information back to the IM server. Software in the IM server uses a web services API to resolve the GPS provided coordinates into a human recognizable location. IM client software often includes support for a user to create a list of people that they are interested in communicating with and monitoring the status of. Added to information already displayed about users will be the location information gathered by the IM server.

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IM message recipient location through GPS mapping integrated into an IM client software

   When the IM client software starts up on the PC it will query for the presence of a GPS receiver. If the GPS receiver is found the client software will tell the IM server that it will have coordinate information available. Depending on the API or standard supported by the GPS receiver, the client software will either poll for coordinates at a set interval or register for notification if a change is detected. The IM client will then push the coordinates to the IM server. Alternately, its possible that a local mapping program is installed on the client PC. This mapping program may provide more refined location information than that which is available to the IM Server. In either case, if location resolution APIs are available on the client PC, the IM client will push the raw GPS coordinates and location information to the IM Server.

   When the IM Server starts up, it will use standard web services queries to search for a service capable of translating GPS coordinates into a human recognizable location. When it receives the GPS coordinates (and possibly location information) for a client, it will attempt to resolve these coordinates to a location. This human recognizable location will then be added to the local database of information about the client.

   Each IM client polls the IM server for status information about persons included in the local buddy list. One piece of information r...