Seamless Scheduling with Geolocation
Author: Jérémy Bourhis
6th March 2017
Calendars are where people store all their professional and personal commitments. It is where we keep track of our time. But time and place go hand in hand. Having a lot of events in your calendars only helps you know when you need to be somewhere.
Yes, knowing when you need to be somewhere is great, but it only really matters if you know where you need to be. The location of an event is important because it will affect your schedule. If you have to go out for a meeting, the distance or traffic will affect when you will have to leave the office or a previous meeting in order to make it on time.
This was the subject of a discussion the Cronofy development team was having a few months ago. It led us to start thinking about how we could add geolocation features to our Calendar API to streamline schedule management even further.
Accurate location will only become more important. Companies will be able to leverage the rapidly growing smartphone infrastructure to deliver seamless schedule management. Providing a photographer with the coordinates of his next shoots or a service engineer with the latitude and longitude of his next work is, we believe the future of calendar integration.
Apple and Google calendars already give us the ability to set a geolocation on an event. This is clever. And, for Cronofy, it helps us increase the usefulness of our calendar events by adding the potential for all kinds of location-based features.
One feature Apple has already implemented is the Time to Leave function. A user can set an Apple Calendar event to have a “Time to Leave” reminder. When that event has a location on it Apple then can notify a user that he wants to be on time for his next event he needs to leave now. That’s a great way to stay on schedule during a busy day. And if the location of an event changes then the Time to Leave will change accordingly.
This also helps pave the way to integration with travel services and car-based computer systems. From having your flights and transfers booked automatically, having an Uber driver arrive as you need it already knowing where to go, or a car’s in-built SatNav system knowing where your next destination is as you get into the car. Event location turns these possibilities for process streamlining into realities.
Once a location is set on a Google or Apple event, a calendar user can view the event’s location as a pin on a map on an iPhone Calendar or OSX Calendar application.
With the rise of connected devices and artificial intelligence this will unlock even more opportunities for developers to build clever calendar integrations.
You can see this feature today in action on our Sample Apps, give it a whirl in our Sandbox, or check out the alpha documentation here.
If you want to discuss geolocated events with us directly, don’t hesitate to contact us.