Monday, January 12, 2009

Mapping in the Web 2.0 World

As part of my MBA internship I had the opportunity to research mapping and location based technologies like wifi, GPS, UWB, and cell tower triangulation. Through the combination of these technologies there is an opportunity to guide people from the outdoors through an indoor environment to their destination.

My internship project work focused on thinking about how people navigate large indoor spaces like casinos or malls. It seems like almost everyone who has been to Las Vegas has spent a significant amount of time trying to find their way out of a casino or just trying to find what you're looking for in the casino. Although GPS is continuing to make headway as a location based technology outdoors, an indoor solution is still lacking (despite that fact that the technology exists). Further, most mapping / navigation applications continue to think of search in a 2D world rather than in the full context of the user's space, time, and situation. By combining customer information from a loyalty program (or other data source), time, and location there is an opportunity to drive behavior. I belive that this will be the future of search and location technologies.

I hope to post some of my location based services (LBS) research soon. Until then check out the video archive from the Web 2.0 Mapping and Social Networks meetup group. The group meets regularly in Mountain View, CA. Also, if you want to check out some cool ultra-wideband technology Ubisense has an interesting solution. It is a bit cost prohibitive right now but when used in conjunction with other lower cost technologies it has great potential.

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