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Thursday, March 19, 2009

LocatioNet, an Israeli-based company, has adopted a business model that offers "free" off-board navigation. It is an advertising-funded model that has complete voice-guided navigation. I spoke with CEO Ofer Tziperman for a brief overview of the company’s "amAze" solution and indeed came away "amazed." Of course, navigation is not in itself that exciting anymore but I was impressed at the integration of the satellite data that is available for major cities. The user experience is much richer than I expected…similar to what you might have experienced when you first saw Google StreetView. I think you will find you are better oriented, but then, I’ve used remotely-sensed data for so many years that I’m biased.

LocatioNet says they now have a critical mass of users in several countries and Tziperman believes the time has finally arrived for both consumers and carriers to accept the ad-funded model. More announcements will be forthcoming at CTIA in early April.

What’s most intriguing about this model is Tziperman’s concept that LocatioNet can "white-label" the solution such that any company can offer the service and control the ad dollars. For example, if a major retailer like Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Macy’s or IKEA wanted to offer they own navigation service, they then become the conduit through which suppliers promote their products. Electronics manufactuers and clotheirs can buy ad space, as illustrated by the graphic (above right) and for the service provider it becomes a revenue generator and not just a marketing expense. And for the service provider, LocatioNet does all the heavy navigation lifting on the backend and maintains only one set of street, POI, and image data for their clients on their servers. 

by Joe Francica on 03/19 at 10:58 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

WikiMapAid, built on Google Maps, was launched this month as a “collaborative wiki software to enable humanitarian workers and others to add health, welfare and education information to a version of Google Maps ...The hope is that by circumventing official information channels, a clearer picture of what is happening on the ground can develop.”

The app is in use in Zimbabwe as it fights a cholera outbreak. Global Map Aid leads the project, which is built on a Brazilian project called Wikicrimes that tracked crimes via user contributed data. Vasco Furtado at the University of Fortaleza in Brazil built both pieces of software.

The article in New Scientist describes other health related geo-efforts as well including HealthMap and GeoChat.

by Adena Schutzberg on 03/19 at 07:23 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Matt Weston, a New Zealand student won the GeoSmart and AA Maps’  Location Innovation Award whcih gets him, among other things, a ticket to Where 2.0 in California.

The winning program GetSomewhere find the closest form of public transportation, the fare, departure time, the distance to it, and my favorite: how fast you need to walk/run to catch it. As a runner, I’m pretty clear on how fast I can walk or run, but I suspect most regular folks are less tuned in to their pace.

- IT Brief
- PC World NZ

by Adena Schutzberg on 03/19 at 06:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

The school paper describes the four course sequence which can be completed in a year. . Applications should be submitted online anytime after May 1 here.

by Adena Schutzberg on 03/19 at 06:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

A follow up on the original study that suggested that cows align themselves to the magnetic field of the earth based on imagery from Google Earth suggest magnetic fields from power lines may play a role, too.

The new research published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,updates last year’s work that indicated the animals’ north-south orientation was in response to the earth’s magnetic fields. The effect was most noticeable near the power lines and diminished at a distance.

- The Scotsman

Continue reading...

by Adena Schutzberg on 03/19 at 06:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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