Monday, September 27, 2010

Embedding Location Into Everything, Everywhere

I was asked today whether I thought geo-location social media activities will catch on - would everyone really be checking into everywhere they go during the day. I thought about for less then a second and said, without doubt, yes. To be clear though, I don't think this will mean that you'll walk around 'checking in' on your phone as you might do now.

Think back to when Flickr introduced the functionality to view photos on a map. This was done using EXIF data but it quickly grew in popularity and use and soon digital cameras and image devices began including positioning chips to embed geo-tags directly into photos. As people began moving from photo-hosting sites such as Flickr to Social Networks, for their photo storage, even the most basic of images started having location metadata included manually.

The next step in all of this was the explosion of Social Networks like Foursquare and Gowalla. These platforms have created a market for location check-ins and the uptake of many businesses use of location-based promotions. With the emergence of Facebook Places geo-location has now very much opened up to a mainstream audience. This doesn't even take into account that Twitter has been allowing location metadata for some time.

Beyond all of this, however, the holy grail of location=based functionality will very much be pre-emptive alerts for users about things or people nearby that may be of interest. This will be based on not having to check-in to a place to see if your friends are nearby or if there are any interesting offers. This will all happen via automatic location monitoring and users allowing their friends to see where they are whenever they choose.

Exciting times!


Ally Manock (Brass Agency) said...

Hi - it's been a long time since we last spoke :) Hope you're well. We've been busy...Swamp & Brahm have rebranded to Brass!

...but back to your blog post:

I agree about Location Based Services. They have been around for quite a while in the form of mobile weather apps, maps etc. and can be improved on a lot more.

The likes of FourSquare et al are really at the start of their journey - they are annoying for quite a few people, but the opportunity for the future is very exciting.

We did a blog post here on LBS. Would love to know what you thought?

Location Based Services: Are we there yet?

Christian Hughes said...

Hey Ally, it has been ages. Great post, I reckon we're completely on the same page - the next 12 months will be really exciting when it comes to Location-based services, apps and activities.