A new sample code project idea has been proposed as part of this series. In summary, the idea is to create a client agent for laptops that periodically phones home with its geographical location. There’d also be management application for viewing the client data, ideally a map showing flags representing each machine.
The client data would be obtained using the Windows 7 Location Platform API. Of course, given that hardly any laptops come equipped with a GPS, we need to write a plug-in that produces that data some other way in order to make the sample more generally accessible. The current proposal is to do this by calling out to one of the various websites that will map the client’s IP address to a geographical region and return a default latitude and longitude for that region.
While I think that would make for a pretty cool sample, there are a couple of drawbacks. First, this being a Windows client demo, the management application needs to be some really sexy WPF. So we need to not spend too much of our budget on the agent and the location sensor plug-in.
Second, I haven’t been able track down a reliable source of IP geocoding that’s packaged as a convenient web interface. Instead, we’d have to screen scrape it, which makes the demo fragile and could shorten its shelf life.
Feedback would be welcome here. Would this make a cool sample despite the potential drawbacks? Is there a better approach?