Verizon Wireless took more steps Tuesday toward opening its network for location-based applications by releasing a software developer kit (SDK). Verizon said it began making NavBuilderInside (NBI) SDK available today to the Verizon Developer Community. Developers can register to join the group on Verizon's website.

With the SDK, developers have a simple way to add interactive location, mapping and other location-based services to their third party applications across multiple device platforms. The platforms include Android, BlackBerry, Brew and Windows Mobile.

The advantage of embedding the location information into an application is that Verizon Wireless device users don't need to leave an application to take advantage of the location capability, Verizon said. For example, MapKit inside the SDK provides an interface for embedding maps, local search and directions directly into apps. LocationKit in the SDK enables location positioning for apps that use standalone GPS or location positioning data.

In a separate announcement, LOC-AID, a location-based service provider, said it was picked as a location-as-a-service network enabler for Verizon and provides an API for developers to use when connecting to the Verizon network.