Tag Archives: maps

Location, Location, Location

Great article in Ad Age about the significance of location-aware phones made the rounds yesterday. It’s not about the ‘text a Starbucks coupon when you walk by” type use case, it’s about engagement and brand utility.

“Everybody’s got a website, but nobody has a mobile experience right now,” he said. “Next year, probably the end of next year, if you pull your phone out and you’re in the Hilton hotel and it doesn’t tell you information about the Hilton, either your phone is broken or the Hilton’s broken. If you, as a business, own a location, you’ve got an interesting shot at reaching your customer.”

and

The promise lies in the realization that mobile isn’t just an ad play but an extension of the services and products businesses already offer. And location is one of the most important contextual clues a mobile phone can provide. “Mobile marketing will move beyond promotions and advertising,” said Kenneth Parks, senior VP-managing director at Digitas in Stanford, Conn. “It’ll be about mobile services that might be marketing but they’ll feel like services.”

and my favorite, from Dennis Crowley of Foursquare,

“There’s no such thing as information overload but filter failure,” said Mr. Crowley. “Location is one of those big filters we’ve been missing in a lot of stuff.”

Effective filters are topic near and dear to my heart and location is gearing up to be one of the best vectors we have to making this social/mobile web thing work.

Garmin to provide directions to your friends

no original descriptionImage via Wikipedia

Congratulations to my buddy Walt Doyle! His company, publishes the Facebook app, Buddy Beacon, which you use to broadcast your physical location to your friends. They’ve got and iPhone app and, just recently, they announced a partnership with Garmin to provide an overlay to Garmin’s GPS maps so you can see where your online friends are in the physical world.

No more calling your friends for directions to the party. Just have them check in on Buddy Beacon and you can get instant turn-by-turn directions!

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Realtime Map Tracking

Maybe it’s the air traffic controller in me but there’s something oddly compelling about watching little dots move across the screen when you know they represent objects in the physical world.

TechCrunch posts about Bill from BitGravity is streaming his driving trip from San Francisco to Los Angeles over a live video stream showing the traffic out his front dashboard and a Google Maps tile showing his position as he drives down Interstate 5. He’s just south of Tracy as I write this so tune in now if you want to see it live.

BitGravity SF to LA

And tomorrow morning, before I head over to pick up my wife and kids as they return from Japan, I will fire up Google Earth and use Aeroseek to follow Northwest Flight 28 as it soars over the Pacific and make sure they’re coming in on time.

Northwest Flight 28

Grim Visualizations : Crime Mashups 2.0

We all remember the Chicago Crime Map which took Chicago police reports and overlayed it on top of Google Maps. For many, this was their first exposure into the world of mashups and to a large extent opened everyone’s eyes to the benefits of opening up your data. That was 2005. Now the UED crowd has taken a shot at the concept and are starting to publish their own versions:

oaklandcrimespotting.png

Oakland Crimespotting by Stamen Design

latimescrimemap.png

LA Times’ Homicide Map (anyone know who built this?)

flickr images in space and time

I was going to hold off on the Yay! Yay! Yahoo! posts for awhile after such a long string of them but then flickr took it’s wraps off it’s maps integration and I couldn’t resist. If you haven’t had a chance to play around with this, check it out. From your flickr account you can now Organize photos on a new Map tab. True to form, it’s all drag and drop and you can also set permissions because everything you drag onto the map will be thrown into the general collection of photos that everyone else drags onto the table. Look at the image above and to the right – this feature was launched only this afternoon and there are already over 15,000 (as of 11pm tonight) images polka-dotting the San Francisco peninsula!

Upcoming.org also adding flickr integration today with a handy-dandy tag generator for each upcoming event (they also pushed out a number of other changes which spiff up the site quite nicely). How many times have you been to one of those “well-documented” events where it seems like the people are more interested in moblogging each other than actually speaking (maybe this is just a Bay Area thing). At some point, someone gets the bright idea that it would be great to have everyone tag their collective photos so they can be pulled together under one URL. The recent TechCrunch/August Capital bash generated a ton of photos that were all looped under the techcrunch7 tag which was whispered from photographer to photographer as the evening went on. Now Upcoming resolves the doubt and debate and generates a tag for you right on the calendar entry for the event later crawling flickr to look for that tag to integrate thumbnails of your photos right onto the event page (see image above).

In one brilliant stroke we have a community of images in space (maps) and time (upcoming). I think it’s safe to say that we are living in one of the best documented ages ever. Archeologists of the future are going to have more than enough material to work with but I wonder what they’ll think about this sudden explosion of images in the early 2000’s – what caused this sudden impulse to re-interpret the world around us and categorize and share everything?

UPDATE: after only 24 hours Stewart writes that over 1.2 million photos have been geo-tagged. Never under-estimate the human desire to put things in their place!

TechCrunch on Mapping Services – Yahoo “by far the best”

Ok, a little shameless high-fiving all around for the folks behind Yahoo Maps. Here’s Frank Gruber on TechCrunch after comparing Ask, Google, Mapquest, Windows Live, and Yahoo:

Its fast Flash interface, multipoint directions, live traffic information, and easy send-to-mobile feature make it the hands down winner. It also features the most robust API options.

Check us out at maps.yahoo.com/beta