Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Where Are My Friends Now?

Peter Batty gave a presentation at the GeoWeb conference last week that has generated quite a lot of positive press. In the presentation Peter explains his thoughts on the future of location based social networking, as well as introducing his future location service whereyougonnabe (more of which tomorrow).

You can watch the presentation here.

I really like Peter's distinction between current and future location applications and I thought it would be interesting to have a quick look at the examples he gives of each type of application. Tomorrow I'll have a look at future location services but today I'll concentrate on the examples of current location applications that he mentions in the presentation.

Zkout
Zkout screenshot
Zkout connects users to their friends and to recommended places that are near by. Zkout automatically tells your friends what you are doing and where you are in real time from your mobile phone or computer.

The service allows you to explore what's happening in your area right now on Google Maps, find out where your friends are and what they are doing right now and it also allows you to share videos and pictures from your mobile phone.

FireEagle
Yahoo's FireEagle is still in invite only beta. If you can get an account FireEagle lets you share your location with sites and services online. In essence FireEagle is an intermediary between your location devices (phone, lap-top, GPS etc) and location based web sites like Google Maps.

Loki lets you share your location with your friends via Google Maps. You can change your location at your own MyLoki page or (and this is the clever bit) you can download the Loki toolbar for your browser and update your location automatically.



The Loki toolbar can triangulate your location automatically. You can then share your location with your friends in a number of different ways. You can share the address of your own public page or you can embed a map in your blog to show your last recorded location or add a map to your Facebook account.

Dodgeball
Google owned Dodgeball is a mobile phone service that lets you find friends near by and inform any friends near by of your location. The service lets you ‘crush’ on friends on-line and also tells you when your 'crush' is near by.

Dodgeball also informs you of venues that are near your current location.

Where.com
where screen shot
Where.com have a number of location based widgets for your mobile phone. The widgets will help you find venues in your vicinity or connect you with friends nearby. Where.com delivers the best in local information from Eventful, Yelp, GasBuddy, Zipcar, ShopLocal, Starbucks, Buddy Beacon and more.

Also Check Out:

Google Maps on Mobile Round Up

Postscript
Anyone wondering about Peter Batty's surname might be interested to know that the name is common in Yorkshire, England and is often used as an example to show how genealogy can be used to illustrate social migration over time.

map showing migration of the Batty surname in the twentieth century

The two maps above show how the name Batty has migrated southwards in the UK between 1881 and 1998. I obtained the maps from National Trust Names.

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