Posts tagged geolocation

Twitter Local Trends keeps you ‘up to tweet’ on the latest in your area

On Tuesday Twitter launched a new feature that (I think) is the first to take advantage of their new GeoAPI from Mixer Labs.

Local Trends builds upon Twitter’s trending topics feature by adding a geo-location layer.  Now you can set your location and see trending topics in your area.

For example, as I write this I can see that both the national and local trending topics include Apple iPad announcements and the canceling of Ugly Betty (seriously people?).  At the same time the state of the #union is a trending topic nationally while in Los Angeles people would rather be tweeting #nowthatsghetto than discussing politics (I do love my hometown).

So, that’s not exactly a profound example (tho it does say something about my angelino brethren), but it’s the middle of the afternoon in the middle of the week.  It’ll be most interesting to see what pops up around the time of big public events or things like power outages and earthquakes.  I already believe that Twitter is the most powerful real-time news search engine available to the public right now.  For example, when there is an earthquake here in LA I’ve found the fastest way to find the epicenter and magnitude is to search ‘earthquake’ on Twitter.  With the addition of this layer of geographical information you’ll be able to get a better picture of what is going on in your area, right now.

Right now Local Trends is limited to a handful of major cities worldwide (mostly in the US), but Twitter will definitely continue to roll out new features associated with geo-location data and Twitter’s ability to deliver useful and relevant search results will continue to improve.

We’ll keep an eye on these features as they evolve and in the future we’ll talk about Twitter’s advanced search function and how you can use it to make your life easier.

via [Twitter Blog]

Yelp Ads Check-ins for iPhone Users

yelp-iphone-appNow Yelp users can check-in at their favorite locations and “broadcast your whereabouts and send Quick Tips to your friends on Yelp, Facebook and Twitter…”

I only recently started using Foursquare (my profile doesn’t reflect much more than a visit to an excellent Italian restaurant), but from what I can tell they should be worried that Yelp is going to eat their lunch.  Foursquare lets you check-in different places, broadcast your location, get tips, earn badges, and become ‘mayor’ of a location.  Yelp will let you check-in, broadcast your location and keep track of visits to a location (including a leaderboard ranking visits to a given location).

For Yelp, this is a way to jump into real-time data geo-location while adding some additional  social networking integration and if Yelp wants to add some hooks additional hooks to keep people coming back it wont take much to transform that leader board into badges and mayor-ship.

What is Yelp Check-ins? Yelp Check-ins is a way for you to broadcast that you are at a business to friends on Yelp, Facebook or Twitter. Your friends will be able to see:
- Your activity via your Yelp for iPhone profile page
- Opt-in alerts including “Push” notifications
- A Leaderboard on Yelp for iPhone
- A Map that will also show the “Check-ins” of your friends nearby and your check-in count next to your Yelp star rating if you’ve written a review on Yelp.com

- Where you’ve checked in on Monocle, Yelp’s AR feature launched in August
-Active users of Yelp Check-ins can also earn “Regular” status of highly-frequented businesses.

Geo-location data is really the missing link between social networking and people’s lives.  We’ve already highlighted geo-locations as one of the technologies to watch in 2010 and this is another example of the growth of geo-location data into the mass market.  You can expect Twitter to continue a move into geo-location data (discussed here and here) with Facebook and others not far behind.

Twitter, Geolocations and You!

Twitter Stream - TownMeMore Location based services are coming to Twitter soon (in November they introduced their first geotagging capabilities).  You can read about the Twitter’s acquisition of Mixer Labs and the GeoAPI (previously TownMe API) here.  Now, I know a lot of people worry about the stalker-ish feeling of geo-enabled services and apps, but if you carry a cellphone you are track able and it’s just a question of whether or not you publish that information publicly.

In the case of geo-Twittering I’d like to highlight a couple of ways you could benefit without just further contributing to the general flow of minutia that is often associated with Twitter.

Real Time Search

If you’re like me you’ve turned to Twitter more than once for real-time information about something.  For me it’s primarily been things like blackouts, earthquakes, plumes of smoke in the distance, and other similar things that just couldn’t be covered effectively by standard news media.  I’ve always had to search for keywords or tags to find what I was looking for, usually combining multiple searches to get a complete answer.  The addition of location information would enable searches by proximity to be combined with the keywords netting a significantly better result.  I’d really like to see someone use this feature to create a method for communicating DUI checkpoints and the locations of motorcycle cops and their damn radar guns (hey, it’s worked for decades with CB radios, why not Twitter?).



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Organize Your Night Out

You have to have a certain critical mass of tech savvy friends for this to work, but when you have flakey friends or you don’t know exactly which bar (or house) everyone will end up at sometimes it’s just easier to tweet your location (or post it to Facebook) and let people find you.  This is the same concept as Google Latitude or Loopt, but without the constant location updates.  I help host a bar crawl every summer and next year you’ll definitely be able to track us online.

Marketing

So, marketing is not exactly going to ‘benefit’ you, but the addition of geo-location information to Twitter does open the door to some intriguing marketing opportunities (advertising based on location and various contests come to mind).  This is of particular importance as it may develop into a way for Twitter generate some significant revenue.

Even if you wont use these new features directly thousands of users of sites like Seesmic Web, Foursquare, etc can look forward to more robust feature sets.

I’m looking forward to finding out exactly what Twitter has planned for this bit of tech.