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December 04, 2007

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Seems to me that for any kind of standards thing to come about there are three ways it can happen: 1. The government makes it happen (think of highway build standards) 2. A body gets together and comes up with some standards (w3.org or OpenID for instance) - that typically takes a really long time, or 3. A company creates a product that blows everything else out of the water; everyone else then follows suit. Or course in 3, as soon as significant market share is achieved, then a competitor comes along and starts to chip away at it.... but that's the outcome of market forces for you.

All that said, it seems that the opportunity is really never in attempting to create a standard prior to a product, but in creating a product/force that large numbers of people/companies will use. Then you drive some sort of API (if it's software) that other services can then jump on.

Note: Facebook API is not about creating Social Networking standards, it's about increasing stuff in Facebook. The Google opensocial is more about standards, OpenID more so.

So from a GPS where-am-I-physically-against-what-is-my-life-about standpoint, what I see is a GPS API service that other applications can consume (to provide and receive data), however in a phase 1, it would need a middle/application layer that ingests address data from a variety of sources (contacts, calendar, search, email) and provides GPS link backs to the providing sources to allow for presentation of mapping information in the application (or just shows them in the GPS device). In theory it should not be too hard; the real difficulty would arise in getting such an application onto GPS devices such that it could present mapping data in a transient fashion.

And that’s where the standards part is important.

You could also do some really cool stuff with Social Networks in that too…

Or something like that. :)


I have been looking at phones with GPS for a few months now, but i keep coming to the conclusion that they are really not good enough yet. I have a satnav for my mountain bike which is slightly smaller than a phone and that out perfroms the GPS on phones.

I think it's best to wait until the next wave of GPS phones comes out before buying. I certainly am.

Why should I have to enter anything? Why can't I just get turn by turn directions to where my friend Sally is?

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