Tuesday, 28 June 2005

Killer niche apps for location-based services

I've blogged in the last few months about location-based and geographic information system (GIS) related social software tools. If you are still trying to work out what you might do with location-based services (LBS) and GIS, GPSWorld has some suggestions - the following ideas all won cash prizes at the Cellular Telephone Industry Association Wireless show held in March this year:

  • asset tracking/field services;
  • monitoring and measuring physical activity in fitness programs;
  • child/teen tracking service for parents;
  • peer-to-peer/find me;
  • navigation systems giving real-time traffic, weather and fuel-price information, and nearby points of interest;
  • sale prices for houses and recently sold in the vicinity; and
  • location-based imaging and tagging.
However, I think Rob Roveta, from Qualcomm CDMA Technologies (QCT), makes the right observation when he says about location-based services that "more targeted niche apps will get the market going."

I'd also suggest that we are seeing a similar thing evolving in the social software space as people connect different social software and GIS tools into niche applications. For example, Foundcity combines mobile camera phones/PDA, Google Maps and tagging:

"What's Foundcity? With Foundcity you send photos and text messages from the street to your personal map and tag it, share it, blog it and more..."

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