Mapping and Geolocation: Turnkey Approaches You Need to Know

The new gold rush is geolocation.

Similar to how Google owns search engines, the panelists said there is sort of a race to find who will own user location.

With the advancing technologies within mobile devices, it is quite easy to plot and map the device holder’s location on the internet.

Foursquare and Gowalla are two services that plot user locations, and are both contenders to own geolocation.

Foursquare allows users to “check in” to anywhere the person goes, be it a restaurant or a library.  You can acquire badges.

The panelists said there are greater potentials for geolocation than just acquiring badges.  They gave the example of using a real-life farmville where users literally go around their towns to get crops, and sell them to other people in other locations in the world.

An issue and concern about geolocation is privacy, according to the panelists.  Letting people know where you are at all times could lead to consequences like theft of empty homes.

Panelists said video games are going to be the entrance that let people feel comfortable showing their locations on the internet because they use avatars as opposed to the actual person.

“This is the next big thing,” a panelist said.  “Location is happening next.”

2 thoughts on “Mapping and Geolocation: Turnkey Approaches You Need to Know

  • March 17, 2010 at 4:11 pm

    The thought of broadcasting my exact location online really creeps me out. When I see someone use an application that displays their location after a Tweet or a status update, my first thought is, “This guy is just begging to wake up kidneyless in a bathtub of ice!”

    I also don’t understand the appeal of playing a game like Farmville if it requires you to leave the house and go places. If you’ve already put on pants to go out, then why play Farmville? To me, online games are meant for times when you want to waste time but don’t want to go anywhere. It seems far too productive to be playing a game that requires you to go around town just to acquire digital crops.

  • March 22, 2010 at 11:25 am

    I agree Kaycee it is sort of scary. But I think if it is used the right way it is a really cool thing that can be extremely helpful. There will always be a good and bad side to geolocation, but I think as long as it keeps developing and being used the right way it will just be helpful.
    The idea that everyone sort of has GPS hints to an idea that anyone can be found. Kids with a device like this could be found by parents who lost their child. Friends can find each-other in a large crowd. People have the opportunity to become more aware of the geography of their surroundings and really any geography.
    I like to think of the whole concept like it is a huge map on your wall. Every time you “check in” somewhere you put a pin in the map showing that you went there. Geolocation is just in real time with a digital map that the whole world can see.

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