Reader Arnold noted this Boston Globe article about Skyhook Wireless, a Boston company mapping WiFi hotspots with the plan to use them for locating devices. The idea’s been around for a while, but at least this start up isn’t rolling in money or clients. The vision does not work well in rural areas, where there are fewer hotspots and it’s a lot of work to update those maps as new ones pop up and move in cities with as much turnover in homes and businesses as Boston. The company’s own ideas for use of the technology: enhancing GPS for fleets of drivers and deliverymen when they’re in the city and location-based advertising. Good luck!
by Adena Schutzberg on 05/25 at 07:26 AM |
The 2005 Electronic Monitoring & Surveillance Survey from American Management Association (AMA) and The ePolicy Institute summarizes responses from 526 U.S. companies. The bottom line in the GPS tracking arena:
- 5% using GPS to monitor cell phones
- 8% using GPS to track company vehicles
- 8% using GSP to monitor employee ID/Smartcards. (I’m not sure what that means.)
I expected vehicle tracking to be much higher, especially since ROI on fleet management tends to be very high.
by Adena Schutzberg on 05/25 at 07:06 AM |
A doctoral candidate used RFID collected data on shopping carts to get a sense of where shoppers go in the grocery store. The results? A sort of “everything you know is wrong” regarding how experts think shoppers travel. The data was analyzed without regard for what people bought or specific marketing tactics. The new map of the stores might be based on these revolutionary findings:
Shoppers don’t get to the end of an aisle; they get what they need and turn back. Shoppers tend to prefer traveling the store counter-clockwise and that outside edge of the store serves as a main street. Shoppers speed up in their work as they approach the check out area.
by Adena Schutzberg on 05/25 at 07:06 AM |
One of the competitive advantages of the Microsoft/Pictometry deal for including imagery with the new MSN Virtual Earth map portal is the availability of oblique aerial imagery. These "off nadir" images give the viewer a "jet passenger" view that shows building faces rather than their rooftops, and sometimes can capture ground level facades. Very cool especially if you get vertigo looking at "standard" aerial photographs or satellite imagery.
Take for example this shot of some local shops in downtown San Francisco (see below):
The building store fronts are clearly in view but the indentities of each proprietor are difficult to reconcile. Still, if you had this image and were unfamiliar with the neighborhood, you can discern the surroundings none the less. Is this an advantage. Well, its better than a stick map. I guess it also leaps tall buildings too, for that matter, to get a good, ground level perspective.
Take also the image below of the Concorde,which was captured while on the tarmac at JRF Airport by Pictometry aircraft. So, if you wanted to know if this was a plane operated by British Airways or Air France, one can clearly see the "Air France" logo on the side of the plane and get a 2.5D perspective of the supersonic transporter.
Here is where the true advantage lies: identity. I can see the logo; I know who owns the plane; or store or building for that matter. If you could see the storefront signs or logos in the first image, that would offer value that I may be even willing to pay for. Supposedly, Pictometry will offer higher resolution to MSN in the future.
So, there is the advantage of the oblique view. If I’m looking for the Au Bon Pain to pick up my favorite pastry on the way out of my hotel in an unfamiliar city, and want to know what it looks like when I get to the intersection provided by my MSN MapPoint directory assistance, this view will help to show me where and in what building that store is located. (Images courtesy of Pictometry)
by Joe Francica on 05/24 at 04:05 PM |
From the release: УTo further simplify geocaching, the Magellan business has introduced the new Magellan eXplorist(TM) 400, 500 and 600 handheld GPS receivers with built- in geocaching capabilities. These rugged, compact eXplorists offer Magellan Geocaching Manager software, which allows users to load geocaching information directly from the Internet to the receiver as opposed to manually entering GPS coordinates.Ф The announcement is tied into a new game promotion that started May 23. ItТs nice to see the uptake of the sport by Magellan, including support of the event by REI. While the companies may sell a few more GPS receivers, my hope is more people understand how these devices work as they appear in more places in their lives.
by Adena Schutzberg on 05/24 at 07:00 AM |