If you don't know, Where is a location-based application full of widgets that deliver essential information about what's close by you such as restaurants, gas stations, or even your friends. Basically, whatever you're after, the day-to-day stuff that is, Where is designed to deliver. The application gathers information from other social Web sites including Eventful, Yelp, GasBuddy, Zipcar, ShopLocal, Starbucks, and Buddy Beacon, and makes it available to your mobile device.
Sure, the YouTube video "Where the Hell is Matt 2008" is clever and maybe even inspirational, but what's been overlooked in all the hoopla over the clip is how technology contributed to its popularity.
Matt Harding first earned fame two years ago by filming himself dancing in exotic locales all over the world and posting the video montage to YouTube. Everyone from the The New York Times to National Public Radio has swooned over Harding's latest clip since it first appeared on YouTube three weeks ago.
In less than a month, the video has been viewed … Read more
It's entertaining to see all these new geo-focused sites trying to build out their social networks and their databases of local content. There's still a huge disconnect between the sites that make data entry easy and the ones that do a good job of helping you find what and who you are looking for.
Being lazy, I favor the geo-focused sites that don't require that I do any work. Everyblock (review) wins the lazy-geo award from me: It scans local news sources and public records and shows me what's happening in my 'hood. My participation with … Read more
BURLINGAME, Calif.--Think of it as crowdsourced cartography.
In about three weeks, Yahoo plans to launch a project called Corrections in which users of the Flickr photo-sharing site can help with a thorny computing problem: providing the name of the place where a photo was taken.
Flickr has 68 million photos that have been "geotagged" with latitude and longitude coordinates, said Dan Catt, who works on geographic work at Flickr, in a speech at the Where 2.0 conference here. Coordinates are fine for computers, but human beings looking at a Web site generally prefer place names to … Read more
Dash, which makes the very cool Dash Express GPS gizmo for cars (review), has opened up an API so developers can build new apps for the unit. On announcement, according to a company press release, several apps will be available: a homes-for-sale app from Coldwell Banker, a calendar app that can read appointments from Outlook, Google and automatically route you to them, a weather app from WeatherBug, a speed trap app from Trapster, and Mediaguide, which can display the songs that just played on local radio stations.
I want the Trapster app. Not only is this the most useful of … Read more
Tom Coates, creator of Yahoo's Fire Eagle data location broker, took the stage at Where 2.0 to talk up some of the cool new apps that use the platform. "Fire Eagle is nothing," Coates said, without the apps. Nearly all the apps he mentioned are listed on the Fire Eagle's Gallery page (log-in required), but what I thought was more interesting were the apps he mentioned that don't support Fire Eagle yet, but should. Or that simply don't exist:
BURLINGAME, Calif.--Geography buffs tantalized by the quantity of geographic information hidden away among countless municipal computer systems have something to cheer about.
The new version 9.3 of the dominant geographic information system (GIS) software, sold by a company called ESRI, now makes it a relatively simple matter to expose that data for easy consumption over the Internet.
"We are engineering it so it plugs in. It becomes effectively a support mechanism to the geoweb," said ESRI founder and Chief Executive Jack Dangermond, announcing the change at the Where 2.0 conference here.
Showing one example of … Read more
BURLINGAME, Calif.--At Where 2.0, Poly9 CEO Greg Sadetsky took the stage to pitch his Flash-based Google Earth competitor, Free Earth. Unlike other 3D mapping apps from Google and Microsoft, it does not require any client-side downloads (assuming the user's computer already has a Flash plug-in).
That means it's mashable into other sites, and embeddable in other pages. It is, for example, the mapping display engine underneath the Twittervision Globe, and can be used to create clever globe widgets like the 3D Flickr Globe, that are embeddable anywhere.
At Where 2.0, to further the message, the … Read more
BURLINGAME, Calif.--Google has begun testing face-blurring technology for its Street View service, responding to privacy concerns from the search giant's all-seeing digital camera eye.
The technology uses a computer algorithm to scour Google's image database for faces, then blurs them, said John Hanke, director of Google Earth and Google Maps, in an interview at the Where 2.0 conference here.
Google has begun testing the technology in Manhattan, the company announced on its LatLong blog. Ultimately, though, Hanke expects it to be used more broadly.
Dealing with privacy--both legal requirements and social norms--is hard but necessary, Hanke … Read more
Twelve companies pitched to the crowd at the Where 2.0 conference here Monday night. Each had only five minutes to make their case. A full rundown of the companies is on the official Launchpad page, but here's the Webware takeaway on the most interesting of the dozen apps (not counting Whrrl, which we covered last week):
Orbster makes location-based games for mobile phones. The company was showing off GPS Mission. The cool thing is a Web-based mission designer lets individuals or communities create games based on their own knowledge of their locales. Game players have to collect virtual &… Read more