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Thursday, December 18, 2008

The app, Where To, which turns the iPhone into more of a GPS, from developer Tap Tap Tap made about $200,000 in its first three months at the App Store. Then the developers put it up for sale. Another Apple developer recently acquired it and replace it on the store - it sells for $2.99.

The Tap Tap Tap folks detail the sale on their blog.

- LA Times Blog

by Adena Schutzberg on 12/18 at 08:57 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Per the article:

The explosion in location-based services is driven by the growing number of mobile phones, such as Apple’s iPhone and a number of RIM’s BlackBerry smartphones, which have built-in Global Positioning System (GPS) chips, able to report their position with an accuracy of a few metres. Given that and the user’s willingness to volunteer their location, people can let friends know where they are - or find new ones in the area.

The top 100 listing identifies four sites -,, and - which hold notable potential for location-based work. A key to their development has been the growth in map products online - another area that the Guardian’s technology writers identified as a key area of expansion, as Google and Microsoft vie to provide programming hooks called APIs, which mean the GPS data can be transformed into a “pushpin” on a map display - known as a “mashup” of the two pieces of data, from the GPS and the map. Google’s mapping service, which in December 2006 had only had such coding for six months, is now in widespread use.

Interestingly, the geo sites that make the list of 100 total sites are broken into two categories: location and maps. They might also appear in games, social networks, reminders, search, visualization…it’s so tough to put a horizontal technology into a vertical box!

by Adena Schutzberg on 12/18 at 08:14 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

First off, the Kindle is Amazon’s e-book reader. Some love it (Oprah does!), others hate it. I’ve yet to see one in the wild myself, but hear about it quite on tech podcasts. Among the texts that can be downloaded wirelessly are books, magazines, newspapers, etc. You can even put audio on it.

Yesterday Rand McNally announced its first set of maps for the device (press release). The prices are good - $1.99 each for Northern and Southern California and Washington State. More are planned for 2009. The challenge, as Gizmodo points out, why put non-updatable maps, even digital ones on such a device? If Rand McNally comes up with an update mechanism, perhaps this will be more interesting, but PNDs and cell phones are way out ahead of the Kindle. In particular, people know what they are!

by Adena Schutzberg on 12/18 at 07:53 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

These were president-elect Obama’s words on announcing Senator Ken Salazar as the next Interior Secretary. I was a bit taken back by the frankness of his remarks but approvingly so. But will another politician such as Salazar fight the good fight for effectiveness in the name of the American taxpayer? Mr. Obama’s stated first priority of his administration is for better energy policy and that sits squarely in the hands of the Interior Sectretary. I don’t know Senator Salazar’s background other than what has been written about his efforts to curtail oil shale development but support offshore drilling.

But given the mission of Interior and in particular the USGS, we will see better management at Survey? Will the new GIO for Interior drive geospatial technology to be more consolidated between the other agencies like BLM, MMS, BIA and the others in to a more unified geospatial data model ala the efforts of the FGDC and the mission Geospatial Line of Business (GLoB)? Will Salazar keep a GIO in place?

I’m sure Obama was referring to some of the mismanagement issues of the MMS but what do you think he meant? I’d like to hear your opinion on what’s next for Interior. We’ve reported on some of the recent developments at the USGS, like the recently updated website of the National Map. What say you on how the new Interior Sectretary can "clean up the act" of the department?

by Joe Francica on 12/18 at 06:48 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Wired’s Game Blog profiles Geo, a game expected for Jave/Brew-enabled mobile phones (iPhone eventually) early next year.

The basic premise: you go out in the word and capture territory (800 sq foot grid squares), then you can fight with others over territory. To maintain your territory, you need to “go visit it” once every two weeks. (I have to use my Starbucks card once a month to enable my “free” wireless…same idea I guess.)

The challenge for the game, as for many social networks: What if there are no people interested in your area? Reaching critical mass is key for any other these location-restricted activities. I hope the Useful Networks folks (motto: “We take the BS out of LBS”) have a plan to engage populations in specific areas to get involved. Otherwise, this may fail, a la Meetro (post mortem).

by Adena Schutzberg on 12/18 at 06:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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