Posts Tagged ‘Geolocation’

Hyperlocal – Key Technologies

February 14, 2010 3 comments

This is the fourth in a series of posts on key dimensions of Hyperlocal. Other posts in this series are:

In this post we consider key enabling technologies that many of the hyperlocal platforms mentioned in previous posts will leverage.

Key Enabling Technologies

The initial post in this series identified the following key enabling technologies for Hyperlocal solutions:

  1. Identity and Personalization
  2. Social Media/Social Web
  3. Real-time Web
  4. Geolocation
  5. Search
  6. Mobile
  7. Machine Learning
  8. Structured Data/Semantic Web

Let’s explore each in turn.

*** Update January 5 2010 ***

It looks like ReadWriteWeb concurs with my identifiation of key enabling technologies for emerging web-based applications. See ReadWriteWeb’s Top 5 Web Trends of 2009. I think leaving out Geolocation is a fairly important omission on RWW’s part. I didn’t make reference to the Internet of Things in my list, but have referred to Web Meets World (another name for the same thing), and its impact on HyperLocal, in previous posts.
*** End of Update ***

Identity and Personalization

Identity is a key part of any online platform these days. Not only does Identity represent one’s online presence, but it’s the basis for relating to other in the context of one’s social graph.

Chris Messina has some great insights into the emergence of Identity as a platform – here’s video of his Identity is the Platform presentation from October 2009, and the slideshow accompanying his talk.

The two key players positioned to dominate the Identity Platform space are:

Identity forms the foundation by which to deliver and manage personalized content for a user. I’m not going to discuss Personalization strategies in detail here, but ReadWriteWeb has an excellent piece on the topic.

Social Media and Social Web

I’m not sure too much needs to be said here. Obviously, Social Media and Social Networks, or what’s often referred to as the Social Graph, is a key feature of the Web today. If you’re going to host and service a Community on your website, you won’t get very far if you don’t design your website for the social web.

Interestingly, the Identity Platforms mentioned in the previous section – OpenID and Facebook Connect – allows you to import the Social Graph from external platforms into your Community site. Alternatively, you may also want to promote your content on other sites on the Social Web – including Twitter and Facebook.

Another important concept to be aware of in the context of the Web and HyperLocal is that of the Social Object. The Social Object is any piece of Content or information that a community might potentially socialize around. So for example, Twitter posts, news articles, photos, business listings, videos, URLs, movies … all are potential social objects that a community might share and discuss.

Social Media is any form of publishing that facilitaties social collaboration and sharing of information, content, and conversation. Social Networking sites, Blogs, Wikis, Microblogging platforms etc. all fall under this category.

The following are just a few of the more popular platforms on the social web:

It’s important on your website to enable key forms of social behavior, including sharing and bookmarking content, commenting, rating and reviewing, and so on. These are features that any social website should support, and the key community platform players, such as Jive, Pluck, and Lithium all support.

Real-time Web

With the viral adoption of Twitter, the real-time web has really taken off of late. To understand the state of the Real-time Web heading into 2010, see the following:

The Real-time Web can be viewed from a number of different angles. Three are:

Real-time Feeds/Sreams

This is the core of the Real-time Web – the underlying real-time feed protocol. Please see:

Real-time Search

Here, see:

Real-time Geo, or Geo-streams

Here, see:

For more on real-time geo and geolocation trends, see the Geolocation section that follows.

Managing the Real-time Firehose of Information

With the Real-time Web, information bursts furth as a massive stream – or firehose – of information, which is then filtered or consumed according to one’s particular social filters and interests. It can be overwhelming at first, as Nova Spivak discusses here.


… This post is a work-in-progress. Please return later to view the completed post.


Local SEO and Geo – Chris Silver Smith

January 17, 2010 Leave a comment

Another nice post from Chris Silver Smith on Local Business SEO for Geo titled Should You Geotag Pages For Local SEO? As Silver Smith points out, geocoding web pages is acheived through semantic markup formats such as Geo microformat, ICBM meta tag (GeoURL), RDF tags, and the Geo tag meta data format. These various approaches are nicely summed up at the following Geotagging wikipedia page.

Which format to use? Here’s what Silver Smith has to say on the matter:

If you were only going to add one set of geotags, I’d suggest adding either the Geo microformat or RDF, because they’re supported in some ways by Yahoo! and Google (”supported” in the sense that both deliver up local content with microformats, and both have used microformats and RDF for purposes of special results listing treatments). Also, providing the coordinates on the page visibly can enhance usefulness as people are able to copy them directly into their GPS devices.


Google launches Near me Now – positions for Hyperlocal

January 10, 2010 Leave a comment

This past week, Google formally launched its Near me Now Search functionality, which enables one to discover places and things of interest that are nearby ones current location. Here’s a video of the Near me Now capability in action:

And here’s what Mashable, ReadWriteWeb, and Search Engine Land had to say about the announcement.


Google Favorite Places – another Hyperlocal arrow in Google’s quiver

January 1, 2010 2 comments

Don’t now how this escaped me of late, but Google also announced last month a program to promote its local business listings in storefronts around the U.S. It’s called Google Favorite Places.

Here’s the video:

Yet another piece of Google’s over-arching Local strategy.

It’s pretty awesome (in a borg-like sort of way).


Place Profiles – The convergence of Listings & Reviews, HyperLocal, Local Search, Maps, and Mobile platforms

November 11, 2009 1 comment

Very interesting to see how the emerging “Places” technology space is unfolding. With Google’s recent launch of Places Pages, I believe we’re witnessing the intersection of Listings and Reviews, HyperLocal, Local Search, Maps, and Mobile platforms into an integrated product offering.

Google’s powerful Location-based Search platform

First there was the announcement from Google on September 29th 2009 of Place Pages for Google Maps. Mashup’s analysis re: the implications for Yelp is here: Place Pages: Google Launches Rival to Yelp.

The very next day, Google launches an improved mobile search service. Again, here’s what Mashup had to say on the matter: Google Launches Mobile Local Search: More Bad News for Yelp.

The combination of Google’s Maps, Places, and mobile Local Search services are a powerful trio. Throw in Google’s efforts in Semantic Web technology – of which Google Snippets is an example – and you’ve got quite a platform.

So what are “Place Pages” exactly?

Well, imagine that places – historical sites, monuments, your city, your community, your business, your residence, the mall, etc – were on Facebook. To my way of seeing it Place Pages is like Facebook for Places. Here’s an example of a place page for the Tartine Bakery in San Francisco. Note the map, reviews, products and pricing, pictures, etc. on this page. Here’s another place page for the city of Tokyo, Japan.

I tell you, there’s some serious semantic technology at work here. Welcome to the Web of Things (see also Tim O’Reilly and John Battelle’s Web meets World – aka Web Squared – presentation, which I blogged about here).

Here comes Microsoft

Not sitting still, Microsoft also has some powerful technology and products to bring to bear. First, in 2008 Microsoft acquires Semantic Search engine Powerset to integrate into their Bing Search platform.

Then, just days ago, Microsoft announced a significant upgrade to their Bing Maps platform.

Meanwhile Microsoft continues to invest in Local Search technology, and the Semantic technology experitise they acquired with PowerSet should position them well moving forward.

So where does this leave Yelp?

Well, we’ll have to see. Certainly Yelp’s new augmented reality iPhone app is mighty cool. And they’ve got a solid strategic position. But look out for the big boyz!

Location Technology – beyond Maps

For additional insight into the future of location-aware technology, see my previous blog post on O’Reilly’s Where 2.0 2009 conference.