Get flash to fully experience Pearltrees
Recommendation site Hunch has been going through a reboot lately. Back in June, it stopped showing results to people who are not signed in, and earlier this month it redesigned its home page to offer personalized taste recommendations across a wide variety of categories such as dog breeds, U.S. national parks, camcorders, soft drinks, luggage, and film directors. Now it is testing out local recommendations on a map with a sidebar showing restaurants, nightlife, hotels, spas, clothing stores, and more. Hunch local tries to figure out which spots your friends on different services might like (you can sign in with your Twitter or Facebook account) and offers them up at the top of its local search results. Each spot has a corresponding pin on the map.
It was only a matter of time before this app came out. The folks over at Hot or Not have launched a location-based free iPhone app that will show you the hottest ladies and gents that are close to you. If you aren’t familiar with Hot or Not, the site allows you to rate pictures of girls or a guys (depending on your taste) on a scale of 1 to 10. It’s a mindless site and game which has managed to gather a fairly massive user base. The app is fairly simple in what it does: it uses the iPhone’s built-in GPS technology to map out the hottest guys or girls registered on HotOrNot.com that are close to your location. Currently the site draws from a database of 4.8 million members.
Imagine a world where you sit at your computer and you never go outside. Where you never see another human being. This is the world that sites like Google and Facebook want you to live in. Though they’d never admit to such a thing, the reasoning should be obvious: The longer you’re at your computer, the more time you’re spending on their sites. The more time your spending on their sites, the more ads you’re being served. The more ads being served, the more money they are earning.
Location, location, location. With the growing ubiquity of GPS-equipped phones, there is a virtual land rush going on right now to put geolocation capabilities in every mobile app. Today, Mixer Labs, the folks behind TownMe , introduced the GeoAPI , aimed at developers who want to add geolocation features to their apps in a plug-and-play fashion. The GeoAPI is built on top of what was previously called the TownMe GeoAPI , which offered a reverse geo-coder for lat/long coordinates and geo-database of 16 million businesses and points of interest. But now it is its own separate product, and with today’s release the GeoAPI now includes geo-coded Tweets and Flickr photos, improved search, a dedicated short URL (http//:geo.am) for location-specific links, an iPhone SDK, and better intersection data. You can find out more details here .
If you were gettin’ all antsy in the pantsies about yesterday’s launch of the LG Expo and it’s detachable projector accessory, you might be a bit bewildered right now. A full day later, AT&T’s still showing no sign of the handset. WMExperts did a bit of digging, and found out that the Expo has been delayed for at least “a few days” due to shipping issues. When this sort of stuff happens, it’s generally because a cargo ship coming from Asia had to turn around for one reason or another, or otherwise never left the port.
Gowalla is a mobile and web service that gives people around the world a new way to communicate and express themselves through the everyday places and extraordinary settings they enjoy. People can capture and share their spot in the world with friends and family, while discovering new places, events and trips as they go. Gowalla offers businesses, campaigns, and organizations the unique opportunity to reward loyalty, reach new consumers, and to create memorable experiences.
Location based Chat
There is a lot of buzz around SimpleGeo right now. The service, which participated in our RealTime CrunchUp earlier this month, also took home two prizes at the Under The Radar conference just prior to that . And that was a big deal for the company considering it won the audience award even though it’s not exactly the most consumer-oriented project. But people seem to understand that the location space is getting really hot right now, and SimpleGeo, which provides its geolocation infrastructure to other companies, offers one of the best models to capitalize on that. So it should be no surprise that they’ve attracted some big time investors. SimpleGeo has just closed a $1.5 million seed round of funding, we’ve confirmed.
Back in November, at our Realtime CrunchUp event, I sat on the geolocation panel with members of Twitter, Foursquare, SimpleGeo, GeoAPI, Hot Potato, and Google. At one point, I raised the question if location was going to be the next battleground between startups large and small, much like social identity plays (Facebook Connect vs. Google Friend Connect) and status updates (Twitter vs. Facebook). All of the panelists indicated that it wouldn’t be, because they could all get along.
With last week’s declaration by Twitter that it intends to start identifying places based on the coordinates of geo-coded Tweets, the location land rush is in full swing. A long list of companies including Twitter, Google , Foursquare , Gowalla , SimpleGeo , Loopt , and Citysearch are far along in creating separate databases of places mapped to their geo-coordinates. Mapping businesses, in particular, to the GPS locations near where people are checking in, Tweeting from or pegging a photo is the first step to be able to show them geo-targeted ads, which could help fuel local mobile online advertising in a major way. Here is the problem: These efforts at creating an underlying database of places are duplicative, and any competitive advantage any single company gets from being more comprehensive than the rest will be short-lived at best.
Officially launching today is Mappiness, a UK iPhone app that “maps Happiness” by pinging users with a survey in order to plot out their feelings during the day (happiness, in this case, is apparently user-defined). Using LBS, the app links responses and response locations to environmental data in an attempt to, according to lead researcher George MacKerron, MacKerron, based at the London School Economics, elaborated on the idea of tracking happiness,