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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Amazon received two patents related to providing location-based search information for mobile devices on August 10. They were filed last summer be seem to date back to 2005 and are assigned to Amazon’s search effort A9. A9 was best known to geofolks as the first “streetview” type of effort. (I was a fan!)

First up, patents No. 7,774,002, for “Providing location-based search information”:
Common search queries can be provided that are associated with a location. A location of a mobile device can be determined, and common search queries associated with the location can be transmitted to the mobile device. A user of the mobile device is able to execute the common search queries from the mobile device.

The other patent is for “Providing location-based auto-complete functionality.”

- TechFlash

by Adena Schutzberg on 08/26 at 08:47 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

The Meijer supermarket chain (in the US midwest and a few other states) has begun trials of a new mobile app that allows customers to see the exact location of items in a store. The ‘Find-it’ app, developed by Point Inside, shows where the selected item is on a map of the store. Also findable: customer service, restrooms. It’s only in four stores; the app is available for iPhone or Android.

- KamCity

ESPN’s iPhone release, ESPN Passport is about checking in when you are at the game. It’s like ESPN’s existing, web-based version of Passport. You can mark your seat, see how many times you’ve been to the venue, see other’s comments and via GameCast get info on the game itself. The reviewer from Inside Social Games makes it sound like a yawn.

- Inside Social Games

The Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal conducted an unscientific online survey between August 17 and August 24 regarding location-based mobile ads.

- About 39 percent of readers said they “hate it” in
- Another 24 percent said “it’s not a good idea”
- 26 percent more said they prefer to be “off the radar.”
- 6 percent said they are “mostly OK” with the idea
- 3 percent said they see no problem with it.

Issues: no report on how many responded and more importantly what percentage had actually seen such an ad. Just sayin…

- San Jose Biz Journal

OMG! Time picked Gowalla over Foursquare as the best location-based social networking service in its 50 best apps.


by Adena Schutzberg on 08/26 at 08:40 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

... a recent survey done by the Alliance for Safe Navigation of 7,570 U.S. boaters revealed that 64% didn’t update their paper or electronic charts. We know that this must come as a shock to most of our readers. Possibly even more surprising, 36% of those surveyed said that they updated their navigational electronic or paper charts regularly.

A likely result: “between 2004 through 2007 there were 2,500 accidents involving boaters hitting fixed objects, and 1,400 of those involved groundings”


by Adena Schutzberg on 08/26 at 08:28 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Amy Gahran is a friend of APB (I did a podcast with here some years ago). Today she pops up as a mobile tech writer for CNN discussing use Google MyMaps to help look for an appt. Very cool!

Oh, and the idea of saving a custom map for future reference is surprisingly new to many. My MGIS students at Penn State we not aware you could do that in MyMaps! This, I argue is simply because their jobs do not allow them to play with such tools. And, that’s too bad since you can learn a lot about how to craft great GIS apps from consumer based offerings like Google’s. Good thing there education guides them to explore such things!


by Adena Schutzberg on 08/26 at 07:54 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

MapMyIndia announced the availability of house address maps - at least for Delhi NCR and Chandigarh, with more cities to follow. The company claims its the first of its kind for India.

- Economic Times

Garmin has recalled some version of it Nuvi satnav because the batteries can overheat. The recall is for 1.25 million nüvis, the majority of which were sold in the U.S. So far there’s been few reported issues and no damage to property of people.

- PC Magazine
- Garmin recall page

Time’s Adam Cohen, a lawyer, looks at the latest ruling on the government using GPS to track suspects.

- Time

A Connecticut school system, New Cannan, is looking into RFID chips on its ID cards to track students on campus in an emergency. The school board has to approve the program, which would start in spring and be voluntary. Not GPS but the headline says it is!

- One News

by Adena Schutzberg on 08/26 at 06:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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