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Wednesday, April 09, 2008 interviews the CEO of startup Instivate, which offers a platform for “online news communities” called Instant Journalist. The service allows publishers to set up sites where users upload news and event content of all types (text, video, images, etc.) complete with geotags. Says the CEO, “... any story can be placed on a map and assigned to a specific geographical neighbourhood, town, or city…Users can also subscribe to RSS feeds for specific geographic locations and track the news around them at a very local level.” One site already using the service is Central District News in Seattle. News and reviews can be accessed via blog type postings or a Google Map. Is this the future of hyperlocal media?



by Adena Schutzberg on 04/09 at 09:38 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Per Online Media Daily:

Trulia claims to be the first national real estate site to offer the feature that allows prospective home buyers to take a virtual walk down the street and tour the surrounding neighborhood.

I noted a potential first user last week.

by Adena Schutzberg on 04/09 at 08:09 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

My Mom (now retired) was a librarian. She taught me early on that if I thought there should be a book about some topic, there probably was. She was right, of course. These days I tell people if they think there should be a website or mashup about some topic there probably is, though it might harder to find than books in the library. Now we are getting to the point where we can almost say “if you think there should be a spatial data set on a topic, there probably is.”

This was driven home to me today when I read this press release about a free website and for-fee downloads for sat navs of points of interest for celiacs (folks intolerant to gluten). You can download for $5 or $10 per state locations of bakeries, groceries, restaurants and the like that cater to celiacs.

As I don’t have a satnav I’ve not researched this, but is there a clearinghouse for such offerings? That is, does someone offer an index to all the POI layers downloadable for satnavs, perhaps by brand? The one noted about is “CSV formatted as points-of-interest (POI) for your Garmin or Navman.”

by Adena Schutzberg on 04/09 at 07:52 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Mobile Discovery, based in Reston, Va., is running a pilot that uses bar codes posted around Case Western Reserve University to deliver (for a fee) information to those who scan them with their cell phones. The most used app? When’s the bus coming? Another hot topic? A graphic in a presentation made by chief executive of Mobile Discovery David H. Miller in a class that showed a woman with such a code on her jeans. The graphic prompted some discussion in class and an article in the school paper questioning such a message.

Unfortunately, there’s not been too much interest, thus far, though details are not available from the company. The article from ZDnet notes that many blame the cost. I think part of the issue is that many of the promotions are not really tied to the location. The bus example and alas the implication of the jean’s example, are strictly location-based. You want to know when the bus is coming if you are at that location. I’ll let you all figure out the other one. But, would you scan an ad just anywhere for a movie trailer? Or to enter a contest? The location is not compelling (unless you are bored there, I guess). The other challenge for me at least? Knowing when the bus is coming should be free - and posted at the bus stop and the ‘net!

One other issue - if our phones are moving toward knowing where we are - why do we need barcodes? I figure in time my phone will know when I head toward say Porter Square in Cambridge eventually it will know my routine (take the bus every Mon/Wed/Fri) and let me know that the 77 is ten minutes away from “my stop.”

by Adena Schutzberg on 04/09 at 06:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

We talked about a Pittsburg area couple’s lawsuit against Google on our podcast earlier this week. Slashdot notes that the folks at The Smoking Gun dug around to find a neighbor with even more intrusive and it states “captured on public property” photos. No plans for those homeowners to sue. And, the original couple’s StreetView imagery has been removed from Google’s servers, per TSG.

via Slashdot

by Adena Schutzberg on 04/09 at 06:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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