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Thursday, March 17, 2011

I spoke to Rip Gerber yesterday, CEO of LOC-AID, a company supplying location positioning technology at the cell site level to wireless carriers. LOC-AID's primary goal is to help carriers monetize location-based services since companies like AT&T and VerizonWireless have already had to make a huge investment in complying with the FCC's E-911 mandate issued several years ago. LOC-AID believes thier stong suite is allowing carriers to enter areas where they can add more value for customers of wireless carriers by adding location privacy. In addition, LOC-AID sees an opportuity to mitigate fraud for credit card companies and reducing "false positives" and for authentification. It costs banks up to $30 if they have to make a call every time they need to verify the identity of a card holder if a fraudulant transaction is suspected. LOC-AID believes their technology will help verify by location a client and thereby eliminate the need to contact individuals.

As next week is CTIA, LOCA-AID will be showing technology that will allow handset users control of their privacy settings from a simple user interface. The UI has the ability to control various location settings that you have running on your phone. We know that to do this today, a users either turns off the location device switch on the phone or go to each app and turn off the function that allows location awareness. LOC-AID want to position this application with developers that could use this kind of control feature (or it could be white labeled in the future); carriers want to have this pre-loaded on the device which may be a simple off/on switch on the device. Another option is to install a widget along with the app and control the privacy settings from a website.

Now, why would LOC-AID, a company that wants to promte location-enabled applications, be interested in developing and application that introduces a "kill switch" on the device? Gerber say, "self-regulating" - by making it easier for users to easily turn on or off their location, they will feel much better about their ability to control their own privacy.

by Joe Francica on 03/17 at 06:47 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Shelby County, IL approved hiring Bruce Harris and Associates to do a cost study on increasing recording fees in the county clerk and recorder's offices to fund the county's GIS. The study will show the public the extra fees are needed. The plan:"Funds from the $12 increase in recording fees will go to saving for a $126,000 photographic flyover the county will have done for the GIS in three years."

- Herald Review

The mayor and council of New Rochelle, NY believe raw crime statistics alone could give people the wrong impression of their city. So, they've decided to remove an online crime map in favor of an e-mail alert system for residents. Interesting comments. And before it could go any further, SpotCrime stepped in to fill the void.

- CBS New York

- SpotCrime blog

Salisbury, New Brunswick, Canada is a village prepping for its first GIS.

Tom Johnson of Mojo Mapping and GIS is seeking its first contract and is making a pitch to do the work for between $8,000 and $10,000, depending on the availability of existing data. If the company needs to collected data it would do so "using a hand-held GIS device that was a cross between a satellite phone and a sophisticated computer." Interesting description of... a GPS enabled data collector? The village is looking for a "deal" from the consultant since it's the firm's first project. Good plan.

Mojo and other Canadian firms can tout another benefit beyond the regular ones for local GIS: the "Public Sector Accounting Board (PSAB) principles, which are being mandated for all municipalities by 2012. The PSAB principles require municipalities to amortize all their assets and report against their value." Sounds like GASB34 here in the U.S.

- Times Transcript

by Adena Schutzberg on 03/17 at 04:45 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

The LightSquared GPS Working Group sent its first report to the FCC on March 15. The 34 member group detailed its testing plans to explore possible interference LightSquared's proposed communications system will have with GPS. The group will work closely with the FAA to be sure aircraft are aware where and when testing will occur to prevent any issues. The group will be testing seven different types of "devices" that use GPS: aviation, cellular, general location/navigation, high precision, timing, space-based receivers, and networks.

- Inside GNSS

by Adena Schutzberg on 03/17 at 04:13 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Here's a list of 20 apps that are part of this new wave of location innovation. All face the same three challenging questions: 1 How do they find an audience? 2 How do they make money? 3 If they're successful, how will they avoid being cannibalised by Facebook? Few have answers now, but this is nevertheless a snapshot of some of the more interesting ideas in the area.

- The Guardian


Foursquare is "breaking out" its Venues API and making it accessible to third party coders at high data limit rates. ...

In its Venues Harmonization plan, Foursquare has to act as the "Rosetta stone" for location--a system to make sure that venue data contained in other location-based systems is cross-linked to Foursquare's, so, for example, if "you know the URL of a restaurant on Thrillist, you can find that same restaurant in our data." 

- Fast Company

- Foursquare Blog

Crowley polled the audience at SXSW:

He polled the large audience on a few topics:

• Almost no one in the crowd said they want Facebook Places integration with Foursquare.
• Almost no one in the audience knew the business model for Foursquare, to Crowley’s surprise.

Media Post

A study commissioned by ParTech, Inc. and conducted by Research Now surveyed more than 1,200 consumers in the United States and Canada last fall. One finding related to LBS: "72 percent of the “Millennials” demographic (16-24 year olds) expressed serious interest in receiving location-based restaurant offers on their mobile phones."

- QSR Web

- Study download

by Adena Schutzberg on 03/17 at 03:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

"The demand for imagery from Japan has really run the gamut of our customer base," Steve Wood, vice president of DigitalGlobe's analysis center, said.

"I am sure we will (look at new tie-ups). We are going through such a busy period. We are getting all kind of requests," said Wood.

Governments and business are all looking for data from the company since the earthquake. The company may look for more partners (the company already work with Hitachi in Japan) but would not acknowledge if they are in talks with any big international players, Apple in particular.

- Reuters

by Adena Schutzberg on 03/17 at 03:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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