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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Location-based ad company JiWire Wednesday unveiled a new ad service designed to help marketers target specific audiences based on the billions of pieces of location data it has collected. The company's Location Graph harnesses that data to create anonymous user profiles based on the types of places people visit, from beauty parlors to drug stores to airports.

Now, if you dig down, the targeting is not about the location of the beauty parlor, drug store or airport, but that in fact you visited a beauty parlor, drug store or airport. The nature of what types of place you visit, not where they are, is the basis for targeting. If you frequent one or more parks, grocery stores, the zoo and maternity stores, you just might be a Mom, the logic goes. And, the logic seems to work.

JiWire reports that in beta testing with ad partners using Location Graph to target campaigns among its audience of 55 million on mobile phones, tablets and laptops it has seen a 30% increase in click-through rates. 

So, all that "walk by the coffee shop, get a coupon" stuff may be happily in our past. Other tidebits from JiWire:

-60% of women eat at the same three restaurants each month.

-23% of people who go to Peet's also go to Starbucks.

-43% of those who shopped at Best Buy also shopped at a competitor's location.

- MediaPost

by Adena Schutzberg on 08/15 at 04:44 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

A federal appeals court on Wednesday said the authorities do not need a probable-cause warrant to track a suspect’s every move via GPS signals from a suspect’s mobile phone.

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, ruling 2-1, upheld a 20-year term for a drug courier nabbed with 1,100 pounds of marijuana in a motorhome camper the authorities tracked via his mobile phone pinging cell towers from Arizona to a Texas truck stop.

Forgive Wired that it speaks of GPS signals from a mobile phone and that the case in point seems to use cell tower based locating technology. The point here is that phone tracking is ok without a warrant; the Supreme Court ruled in January that attaching a GPS tracker to a car does require a warrant.

The best I understand it, this ruling has nothing to do with HOW cell phone locations are determined (GPS, cell, wi-fi), just that if the location is shared, there is no expectation of privacy.

Judge John M. Rogers wrote for the majority: (.pdf)

"If a tool used to transport contraband gives off a signal that can be tracked for location, certainly the police can track the signal. The law cannot be that a criminal is entitled to rely on the expected untrackability of his tools." 

The opinion from one judge indicates she does not understand how GPS works:

Judge Bernice Donald upheld the conviction, based on the police’s “good faith’ exemption” to the warrant requirement. But Donald wrote that the majority was wrong in its theory of the case.

"I would not characterize the question before us as whether society is prepared to recognize a legitimate expectation of privacy in the GPS data emitted from a cell phone used to effectuate drug trafficking."

- Wired See also: Ars Technica

by Adena Schutzberg on 08/15 at 04:03 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

USDA announced a $185,000 grant to WSOS Community Action in rural northwest Ohio to promote GIS mapping of water systems in small communities.

- Athens News

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources' newly launched mobile website makes it easier for users of smartphones and tablet devices to connect with Pennsylvania's natural world while on-the-go.

The new mobile site is found at

Tech? ArcGIS Online is in there, but I didn't see any logo on the app - maybe because I was not actually on a mobile device.

- press release

A Salary Study by University of NC School of Government, covered salaries of staff in each county. The list of PDF docs includes the one for GIS salaries and covers three positions: GIS administrator, GIS analyst and GIS technician. 

via NSGIC LinkedIn Group

by Adena Schutzberg on 08/15 at 03:18 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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