Location based applications - Why are they so hot?

Earlier I already wrote about my usage of location based services. In the meantime a lot has changed. Google launched 'latitude' and Fire Eagle is also on the move. Location is going to be the next hot thing and it's a lot more than the New Black!

Image credit: Jared Tarbell

Why do I believe it's going to be so important to be aware of some ones location?

I earlier wrote about the true value of SaaS solutions being improved collaboration capabilities. People start to work, communicate and collaborate more and more in a virtual world. We all blog, tweet our whereabouts and create a feeling of knowing complete strangers. This is all great and very helpful, but we should not forget 2 important aspects when working together in a virtual world
1. Time zones, although the world runs 24 hours a day, most people in most areas in the world do sleep sometimes. Real-Time communication needs to take location and time zones into consideration.
2. Face to Face meetings, yes this might sound old fashioned, but I do still value them. Location awareness can greatly enhance the chances for meeting people.

We have come a long way, all mobile devices now have GPS chips and we have location at our finger tips. However, it's still not very convenient. GPS doesn't work indoors, but who is 'checking-in' before entering a building. At least I notice that I'm not disciplined enough to update my location at a regular basis... a clear indication it's still too complex...

4 comments

Location bases services are hot indeed! Before Exact Software I worked at a company named QuikTrak. QuikTrak provided location based services.

Today a simple cellphone is enough for location based services and GPS is not a necessary. Positioning can also be done through what is called cell-location. This is commonly used by Google and lots of ohter applications.

Cell-location works by the principle that the cellphone knows to which transmitter in the mobile network it is connected. The ID of the transmitter is relayed using a simple standard internet connection to a server.

That server has a database of of all the geographical positions of the transmitters and by doing some calculation you can easily find out the approximate location of a cellphone.

Examples of implementation is the Google Latitude and many others. Since I wanted to use my own application I wrote a self-learning applications which "learns" the position of the transmitters and can then calculate my position without GPS connected to my cellphone.

http://tracker.eppenga.com (live example)
http://www.eppenga.com/gg-tracker/ (explanation)
http://sourceforge.net/projects/gg-tracker/ (application)

I saw your interesting presentation on "The World is Changing". How is this going to affect Globe? I am a Globe user, and I wonder what is on your mind. BTW, I am located in UreƱa, Venezuela and we are a manufacturing company called Carrocerias Andinas C.A. It seems to me that the management of floor inventory is quite weak in Globe -We have 3.84 running- since transferring from Central Warehouse to floor warehouses is cumbersome and we have to do it all by hand. It is a pedestrian mater but worth considering.. Thanks for your time

Sorry, my name is Reinaldo Viccini and my email is rvicini@carroceriasandinas.com. .It seems like it took a different Google user, mine is rvicinip@gmail.com.. Thanks for your time

Reinaldo,

If you also read my post: http://www.aadjemonkeyrock.com/2009/03/revolution-of-social-software.html you will see that there is a logical evolution from Transaction and Processes into Social Features. Exact Globe is very strong in the first parts... but total solutions over time will get Social features. It's not a replacement but and addition...

-Aad

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