Tag Archives: location

Let Walk Score Choose Your Neighborhood

This is a guest post written by Matt Gamboa.

There’s a small piece of information that you don’t really think about when looking up places on a map. If you’re looking for a house to buy, you’ll pay attention to the cost and size details of the house – and usually the location. The location is important, and what you may not often think about directly is how “walkable” that house is, especially if its in the city.

Fortunately we have a web service called Walk Score. This very useful service gives you a score out of 100 based on how walkable your address is. It makes this determination based on everything that is around the address, including parks, restaurants, bus stops, grocery stores, coffee shops, etc. Based on what’s around, the address gets a score in one of these ranges.

Walk Score’s goal is to one day become a standard in real estate overview. You always look at bedrooms and bathrooms. Their goal is for you to automatically turn to their service one day, as well.

The website is not only limited to a score, they also show all of the elements that gave your address its rating on a map. You can find, visually, what is around the address and click on those items for more information. Obviously, higher walk scores will translate to a lot more amenities around the location.

The company has been busy trying to expand its product, and recently launched another type of score, a Transit Score™. Like the walk score, the transit score measures how accessible public transportation for an address provided. Currently, they are gathering ideas for a Bike Score by posing the question, “What’s in a Bike Score?” on their blog.

If you’re a developer, you should check out Deploy 2010 on Monday, November 08, 2010 from 9:00 AM – 5:30 PM (PT). Deploy 2010 is an all-inclusive conference for technology builders to give you new tools to create the applications of tomorrow. The conference will be held at the Bell Harbor Conference Center in Seattle.

Pelago Makes the Whrrl Go 'Round

This is a guest post written by Matt Gamboa.

With all of the location-based mobile applications available, it’s hard to find one (and only one) to stick with because they all offer different features. Pelago – a company name derived from word “archipelago,” wants to make its features stick out more with its location-based service called Whrrl.

Like most location-based services and mobile applications, Whrrl tracks a users’ location by check-in. Via mobile app, you must physically check-in to the venue you’re currently at. The closest venues are found automatically by using device GPS to pinpoint your location. What Pelago looks to do with Whrrl that most other location-based services don’t do is to make the check-in experience a lot more social and engaging.

Whrrl’s has 2 key unique features. Its “Societies” implementation looks to bring like-minded people together. Users and businesses can create societies. As you check in to places associated with the society, you gain levels. Gaining levels allows you to unlock specials and discounts at participating venues. Societies also provide a central place for talking about whatever it is your society was created for. You can leave recommendations and tips and look at what venues are cool. For example, I’ve joined a Cheeseburger Society, on the quest to find the best cheeseburger available for sale. I’m sure I will one day soon find the ultimate cheeseburger by reading the recommendations made by my fellow cheeseburger brothers and sisters and visiting all the places listed in my society.

Another key feature is that in Whrrl, single check-ins can turn into stories. When more Whrrl users join in at the venue, they can start a story with you and show all of your friends just exactly what you’re doing. Upload pictures, add taglines, explain what’s going on – the world can see what’s going on throughout the night at your location. You and your friends tell the story.

Pelago is a small startup still, but is backed by very good investors, including Jim Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon. Whrrl is currently its only product, but by also calling the app its “flagship” product, we can expect to see more great ideas coming from the company.

If you’re a developer, you should check out Deploy 2010 on Monday, November 08, 2010 from 9:00 AM – 5:30 PM (PT). Deploy 2010 is an all-inclusive conference for technology builders to give you new tools to create the applications of tomorrow. The conference will be held at the Bell Harbor Conference Center in Seattle.

Have We Thrown Privacy Out The Window?

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PEHUB wrote an alarming article last Friday about a lady named Louise who they identified & tracked using Foursquare. When she was confronted with this information, how did she respond? Lamarr was shocked at her answer – are you?

Reporter Leo Hickman outlined how easily he was able to stalk a woman chosen at random, using only her Foursquare account, a glance at her most recent tweets, and the information that Google has gathered about her over time, including her photo. Indeed, when Hickman tells her who he is and how much he’s “managed to deduce about her life simply by using my phone,” Louise doesn’t jump out of her seat and vow to quit using the service immediately. Rather, she calls the revelation a “a little unnerving,” before diving into Foursquare’s “excellent uses for business,” particularly when — ha, ha — it comes to ”stalking” potential recruits.

This is disturbing, to say the least. Have we thrown so much of our privacy out of the window that we don’t care when a total stranger tracks us down? Do we really believe we are invulnerable to becoming a victim of a serious crime due to this? It happens, you know. I’m not being an alarmist. People’s homes are being broken into because they tweet and “check-in” to tell the world they aren’t at home. Others are being stalked and harassed. It’s only a matter of time until we see headlines about someone being murdered or raped because they made themselves an easy target after giving away too much information online.

Yes, it’s fun to check in. Yes, it can be argued that it’s good for business. However, where do you draw the line between keeping yourself and your family safe and having a good time winning badges on sites such as the ones Lamarr discussed in this video?

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Should You Share Your Location on Twitter and Facebook?

It was announced today that Facebook users will begin seeing a new kind of status update in their news feed: the current locations of people on their friends list. Additionally, Twitter users can now tag their location in their tweets, a feature that will even bring up a map to pin-point exact locations.

Meredith Chin, a Facebook spokeswoman, said Tuesday that the company wasn’t ready to discuss any possible location-based features. However, according to sources who claim to know about the project, the new location feature will have two parts to it. One will be a service offered directly by Facebook that will allow users to share their location information with friends. The other will be a set of software tools that outside developers can use to offer their own location-based services to Facebook users in the form of Apps.

On Twitter, there will be a location placemarker next to any tweet tagged with a location. If you hover your mouse over that placemarker, it turns blue. Clicking on it will bring up a tiny Google map that shows the exact location the tweet was sent from. You can see these maps as overlays both on individual tweet pages, and on tweets in your main stream. The service was active on the site earlier today, but looks as though it has been disabled as of the writing of this post. I imagine we’ll see it back very quickly.

Location services and tags seem to be the hot new thing. Every company – and their dog! – is pushing hard to get some type of location-based service added to their application prior to the SXSW conference. However… is this REALLY a good idea?

In the case of a celebrity, is it a good idea to let an over-zealous fan know where you’re having a coffee or manicure? If you’re on vacation, do you really want thieves to know that? What about people who may have a restraining order against a violent person? Letting them know where you are over Twitter may not seem like such a hot idea when they show up there to see you.

I can think of a ton of reasons why it’s a crazy idea to constantly share your location with others. However, I can’t honestly think of any solid reasons why it would be a great idea to do so. Am I missing something? Sure, it may be fun… and it may be the newest trend. But is it actually a smart idea?

Who is Tweeting in Your City?

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Yes, I’m on Twitter. I’ve been there for a few years now, and have a bajillion or so followers. I think I’ve now tweeted out around 10,000 different things. Not too shabby, eh? I’m assuming you’re on Twitter, since it seems most everyone is. But do you know who else in your city or area is also running around on Twitter? Do you know how to find them and see what they’re talking about?

If you answered no, then you need to check out Geo Chirp. GeoChirp helps you search for people Twittering for specific things in a specific area. Let’s say you want to find people in your location who are tweeting about the iPhone. Select the area in your map on Geo Chirp, and set the radius to 1-50 miles. Enter keyword iPhone and boom! You have a list of all of the people in your area who are talking about the iPhone on Twitter. This definitely makes GeoChirp the most powerful tool to connect with people of similar interests in a particular geography.

You don’t only have to search your own area, of course. What if you were attending a conference in Texas in the near future, but you live in Oregon? You might want to use Geo Chirp to find out what people in the conference area are talking about, and who the movers and shakers are in that location. Did I forget to mention that Geo Chirp gives you a list of the most popular Twitter users in any given area?

If you want to find out who is tweeting in your area, and what they’re talking about, Geo Chirp makes it exceedingly easy and fast. There honestly is no simpler way to accomplish these tasks. Everyone uses Twitter for different reasons, and there’s no one right way. Try using Geo Chirp to help you find out what’s happening in your area.

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Where’s My GPS?

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Where are you at right this minute? When you travel, do you know where you are? Do you need help getting from one place to another? If so, you may want to pick up a GPS. I have HPs new iPAQ 310 GPS device.

The HP iPAQ 310 Travel Companion is a sleek personal navigation system that provides a unique 3D travel experience. The high-definition 4.3-inch touch screen display and high-performance GPS technology make it as beautiful as it is helpful.

View your maps in 3D for more true-to-life navigation. Locate restaurants, museums, shops and other attractions from millions of points of interest pre-loaded on the device. Put your travel experience in overdrive. Enjoy a fast, immersive navigation experience thanks to the SiRFtitan 600 MHz Dual-Core processor, on a high resolution 4.3-inch touch screen display that provides spectacular visibility.

I have a GPS system built into my car, so I wouldn’t put this unit in my car. However, I will be taking it with me when I’m out and about. This little unit is very easy to use, and works perfectly. I definitely would recommend this family-friendly unit.


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