Location Service for DHCP

about | archive

[ 2004-July-09 15:25 ]

Courtesy of some IETF Internet Draft RSS Feeds, I noticed the publication of RFC3825, geographic location information for DHCP. The idea is to include geographic coordinates along with network configuration when you plug your computer into a network. In wired situations, it might be possible to determine that a DHCP request is coming from a particular wall jack, and to return the coordinates for that jack. For wireless, the base station could return its own coordinates, and indicate that the information is only accurate to within 200m (or whatever the range is). If necissary, the client could use wireless triangulation with multiple base stations to improve that accuracy. The RFC notes that this is critical to enable emergency services, such as 911 for VoIP, but, it would be a big step towards enabling a variety of location based services. However, there is a huge chicken and the egg problem here: no one is going to input all this location data if there are no applications, and there won't be any applications without this infrastructure. I wonder if emergency services are the killer app, or if there might be a better approach.