My Photo

« Blogs and Links = Woof | Main | Onfolio - The Buzz Process »

July 25, 2005


And boy oh boy do they (all of 'em - Google, Yahoo, Microsoft) suck at Homer, Alaska. I can't get closer than 15 miles on Virtual Earth. Google puts The Homestead Restaurant in the middle of Beluga Lake (wrong). And Yahoo - well - it's just a street map (but we knew that.) Ironically, Google Earth is by far the best (it gets me to 3700 ft) but alas, it also thinks the Homestead Restaurant is in the middle of Beluga Lake - must be the same database ). I guess I should get my GPS out and start wandering around mapping the place.

I think that the most valuable breakthrough for mapping would be the proliferation of GPS cellphones, allowing one to "capture" (bookmark?) the location where they are standing the same way they can bookmark their location on a website or a book. Not only will it make it easy to geotag photos (which is our main interest right now), but it will make it easy to geotag pretty much anything.

Just had a great meal in a restaraunt? Press "Save Location" on your phone and tag it with "restaraunt japanese sushi rating:8", if you want you can share it with the world so anyone wandering into the restaraunt would be able to glance at previous rankings. Lost in a new town and can't find your friend? Have the friend send you his current location, save your current location and let Google or whatever give you the exact directions from where you are. All the cellphone companies have to do is implement the promised GPS phones and open them up for developers (the later is probably less likely in the short term than the former). This is going to be an exciting time to be developing map-based applications.

Vodafone's future vision

I was really blown away by the Locate Me feature using WiFi triangulation. I'd like to see an API for that, so web applications can just detect my location (once given permission of course) and offer me the relevant information automatically. Think about what it would be like if MSN Search or Google always performed a local search by default, and not just down to the city but down to the block. How much would the retail store across the street from the coffee shop I'm sitting in pay to be the top advertiser in the search results for a product I just looked up, knowing that I'm only two minutes away?

The comments to this entry are closed.