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Wednesday, June 14, 2006

This time its Skyhook who wants developers to build on its Wi-Fi Positioning System platform. The winner in the June 15 - Sept 15 contest gets a Segway. (Gee, I guess an iPod or a trip to Where is not a big enough draw. Do people still want Segways?) Anyway, I for one am BORED BORED BORED of these contests. Can marketing folks think of another way to advertise for developers? Maybe I should run a contest?

by Adena Schutzberg on 06/14 at 06:25 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

I spoke breifly to Di-Ann Eisnor, founder of about her business model for Platial. Platial allows you to annotate a Google Map with annecdotes and information about a particular location. Eisnor’s goal now is to push adoption of her company’s concept and platform to encourage social networking using a map metaphor for very localized information. She hopes to encourage local organizations like retail associations to help promote her service to small, local businesses. It is basically an advertising model but there is still a huge question about how much a small local business would spend for limited exposure. But it’s not stopping Kleiner Perkins Caufield, Omidyar Network, and Jack Dangermond from becoming angel investors.

by Joe Francica on 06/14 at 01:23 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

I spoke at length with Alan Keister, a development executive at America Online, who elaborated on AOL’s news to release a location-based component of AIM. AOL announced the enhancements to the Open AIM SDK which includes APIs for an LBS to support the location of people in your buddy list. AOL is encouraging developers to download and use the SDK to develop viable business applications. So much so that although the API is free to download and there is a limit on the number of transactions you can make on the AOL mapping service, there is no charge at this point. If your application maxes out your transaction limit, you are encouraged to contact AOL but Keister was non-commital on the charge for additional transactions.

by Joe Francica on 06/14 at 01:05 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

On my recent road trip I listened to a bunch of podcasts. One was TWIT (This Week in Tech) where a bunch of folks discuss the tech news of the week. This episode was recorded at VloggerCon. So, a big question was “what is vlogging.” The “panel” didn’t give much of a hoot, but offered up other terms: video blogging, Internet video, etc.

We are having our own little war of words in our corner: mashups? mix-ins? dashups? The former, they say, comes from music, where a DJ or musician mixes bits of different recordings together. That’s worked for me. Mix-ins, a term Microsoft uses, so far as I know, comes from ice cream enhancement. (I would offer it was invented here by Steve’s, the great ice cream place here in Boston when I was young.) SRC and Dean Stoecker are offering up demographic data to be added, hence creating dashups. (I listened to Dean introduce the idea on a special Very Spatial Podcast.)

On a related note, I’ve been working on my own vocabulary. In a few presentations I’ve done lately, I referred to “the traditional GIS players” and “the new players.” I’m ok with the former (and ESRI/MapInfo/Intergraph have not suggested another term) but not the latter. Recently Michael Jones of Google took journalists to task regarding our inability to understand what companies like his are doing. He patiently explained about “organizing the world’s information.” So, then, how do I refer to Google, Yahoo and Microsoft? “The companies organizing the world’s information?” Some writers use “GYM,” which I suspect has bad associations for readers of a certain age. Further, I want to be able to refer just to the “geo” part of these companies, though of course its a well intergrated bit, because frankly, I can’t keep tabs on the entire organization. (To be fair, I can’t do that for Intergraph or ESRI either!) Finally, I want to include MapQuest, and others here, too.

What about Platial and ZIllow? How do we describe those companies? Commercial mashups/mixins/dashups? Neogeography?

by Adena Schutzberg on 06/13 at 08:02 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Where 2.0 billed itself as "The future of mapping and local search." My take: These first sessions are not really about the future of mapping. There are others that can speak to the technology’s future but this was not evident today. Where is about local search and more correctly about social networking using location technology. Presentations from,, were all about social networking: People adding context to points of interest, personal information to add rich content so that others can appreciate and understand what others have experienced. Photos, anecdotes, opinions, etc. are organized by this second generation of websites (not sure they are viable companies just yet so I hesitate to put them in the category of "viable concern") that go beyond mashups. The conference aims to put some context to the growing consumer mapping opportunities that have risen from the APIs offered by Google, Micosoft, etc. There were interesting presentations on privacy and "map spam", issues sure to impact the applications in the consumer space. But it would be a disservice to attendees to call this the future of mapping. There are some great applicaions that were presented but this is just one facet of the location technology industry. Consumer mapping is fun, cool, and creates a buzz but it does not necessarily end up in a viable business model. Much of what I see is "let’s throw an application out there and see if people come." And yes, some will end up as viable businesses and that’s the part of what this conference offers attendees: to see a "part" of the future of mapping…but not the whole future.

by Joe Francica on 06/13 at 07:54 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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