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Thursday, June 30, 2005

From the Where 2.0 conference came these insights from two cellular carriers, Sprint and Nextel, which by the way, just announced the branding strategy of the newly merged company:

Peter Distler from Spint LBS said that they were 12-24 months away from full scale consumer adoption of LBS mainly because of support for rolling out a such a large scale program to existing customers, promotion, and business model. He said that the constraints on the LBS market inlcude:

  1. Network and handset-based LBS requires 3G technologies
  2. Operation must deliver high quality performance environment
  3. Location application partners must deliver better and more accurate content
  4. The user interface experience must be better than it is now
  5. There must be low latency fixes

Sprint has, for now, focused its marketing on business applications such as asset tracking, field force management, and roadside assistance.

Mary Foltz from Nextel was more exuberant about LBS possiblities and well she should be since NEXTEL is the only company delivering GPS-equipped handsets at this time and where you can actually subscribe to an LBS service. NEXTEL wants a substantial engagement with developers and touted the open platform, open API that they support. See She praised the work her company is doing with TeleNav and mentioned the 40+ applications that NEXTEL is or hopes to leverage with the NEXTEL platform, such as the FindMe application with MapQuest.

So, now what happens when the companies merge? There are obviously competing groups at NEXTEL/Sprint that both look the market for LBS services.


by Joe Francica on 06/30 at 08:57 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Jack Dangermond, president of ESRI, had a few pointed, but polite comments for the audience of O’Reilly Media’s Where 2.0. "There have been ‘old guys’ who have been doing this for a long time; there are young guys who are just starting; they are coming together through the magic and standards of the web."

There are two "take-aways" here. One, we welcome the ‘young pups’ but maps have been cool to us for a long time. Two, there are web standards that are emerging from the OGC that you need to carefully understand, appreciate, and use.

Dangermond also said, "Google is one expression of the world. GIS networks contain libraries of information and layers that are managed and serve up data." In other words, wake up and smell the terabytes of geospatial data that exist (e.g. Geospatial One-Stop) already; there’s more to the world than streets and points.

Dangermond issued a caution as I spoke to him after his presentation. "This reminds me of LBS." He was referring to the hype that surrounded wireless location-based services, a bubble that burst and has yet to recover.


by Joe Francica on 06/30 at 07:26 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

O’Reilly Media’s first Where 2.0 conference in San Francisco illustrated one key fact: GIS people are welcome so long as you leave your desktop mapping software at the door. This was not your father’s GIS conference nor was is supposed to be. But the GIS vendors were here sniffing curiously at the consumer mapping phenonmenon that is rapidly impinging on their space.

Where 2.0 might be an introduction for the hackers and serious software developers new to the mapping technology sector, but make no mistake, there are some very different applications being demonstrated. Some examples:

Stamen Design - worked with to help them visualize online town meetings. When attendees logged into the meeting, they were asked to give their zip code. From there, polling of attendees resulted in a map showing responses from which MoveOn then talored specific messages.

Magic Window - application that is kind of a "looking glass" whereby a tablet is equipped with GPS and a smart, transparent display that is being tested with firefighters in mind. In a smoke filled room, the display will show the user the actual walls and other features of the building. As the user moves, the display updates the location to continuously show building features. If you point the display upwards while standing inside a building, it is likely to show you constellations of the night sky.

PlaceSite uses a Wi-Fi router so that your typical wireless cafe patron can talk to others doing the same and not just within the same cafe but potentially in other cafes, worldwide.

More thoughts in the following blogs…


by Joe Francica on 06/30 at 07:26 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Yep, it’s now official and published (and covered by the AP). But there are changes and limitations:

It’s beta (so what at Google that’s interesting isn’t?)
Google can put ads on the maps in the future.
It’s Javascript.
It’s just maps (no data, no other services - at this point).

Interestingly, the developer page looks a lot like Yahoo!‘s. Also of interest: Google let’s you look at the docs before getting an ID. Yahoo! makes you get an ID first. [7/1] Clarification: While the Yahoo! text implied (at least to me) you need an App ID to read the doc, you don’t. It’s all right here.

This “example” reached my desk first. It came via reader Larry.

by Adena Schutzberg on 06/30 at 07:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Sounds like all the vendors synced their announcements for the conference, no? Enter Yahoo!‘s new maps API, one of several FREE API for Yahoo web services. (No commercial use, etc. does apply.)

Update: Yahoo’s PR firm sent on these examples of the use of the API.

Bay Area Traffic Cams (nice when you also turn on Yahoo traffic) - works best in IE

A tribute to Sideways (the movie)

by Adena Schutzberg on 06/30 at 07:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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