Next on my list of adventurous blogloc users: Meet Simon Evans and Fearghal O’Nuallain from Wicklow, Ireland, who set out last November to a 30.000 km trip that will lead them all the way around the globe – on their bicycles!

Not only is their (unsupported!) expedition the first Irish circumnavigation of the globe by bicycle. It’s also a journey with a purpose: to promote the positive contribution that cycling can make to the world. It’s environmentally friendly, and it’s an effective way of incorporating regular exercise into a daily routine. And that’s also key to people’s well-being – both physically and mentally. Which is why Simon and Fearghal will be supporting Aware with their tour, an Irish organization that provides support for those suffering from depression.

Along the way, they’ll keep the rest of the globe up to date on their progress with blog posts, photos, tweets and – last but not least – live location updates sent via a Spot and Fire Eagle – and displayed with blogloc. You can get up-to-the-minute news on their progress on their site revolutioncycle.ie


People keep asking me lately: “Rainer! This new Google Latitude Badge. Don’t you think that’s a tiny little bit of a blogloc killer?” And I can’t help but notice this light mischievous undertone in their voices sometimes. So, just for the fun of it, I put on this depressed face, mumble something about “always knew this day would come” and pretend I’d break out in tears any moment. When all of a sudden – BAM – with ice cold precision, I confront them with the facts.

“Au contraire!” Because fact is: why would any sane person out there opt for Latitude when there’s so many reasons to use blogloc? Like, for example, because you have your blog hosted on wordpress.com instead of Blogger? Or because you prefer MySpace over Orkut? Or because you want a whole host of options to update your location and not just a handful of Google tools? Or because you’re going on a trip and want to share the full track instead of just the last location? Or because you don’t want to give all your location info away to a big, impersonal corporation? Oh – and did I mention that over here on blogloc, the users are just so much cooler than anywhere else, too?

Update: OR… Because Latitude is simply not available in your country! (Thanks to hotigris for pointing that out! :-) )

See? So many reasons.


In my last post I announced that I would present some of the cool stories I learned about through blogloc. So without much further ado: let me introduce you to my first featured user: the KRBO racing team!

krbo

Starting May 2nd, the team will participate in the Allgäu Orient Rallye – a car race from Southern Germany to Amman, Jordan with a few… special rules:

  • Only cars aged at least 20 years, and with a value of definitely no more than 2000 Euro allowed
  • Everyone’s free to choose their own route – but strictly no motorways (that’s “freeways” – for you Americans out there)
  • Multiple vehicles per team are allowed (up to three cars or various combinations of cars and motorcycles). Not all of those need to arrive in Amman, but all team members must arrive in/on at least one vehicle
  • For overnight stays, each team member is allowed to spend a maximum of 10 Euro per night (tents allowed)
  • There will be special challenges in each country along the route (I wonder what that will be…)

I guess most of that probably bars people like Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. from taking part in a Ferrari 308 GTS. But then, the Allgäu-Orient Ralley is not about money, anyway: It’s about fun, a little bit of “calculable adventure”, and about supporting a good cause – in this case the United Nations World Food Programme. (Even the cars will get donated after the race is over.)

Oh and by the way – in case you were wondering what “KRBO” stands for: It’s short (and German) for “Kette Rechts und Bremse Offen”. Please don’t ask me to translate that. (I’m not sure it can be translated – Christian, correct me if I’m wrong ;-) ) But let me just say… it expresses a certain affection for high velocities.

Anyways: The Allgäu-Orient Ralley starts this Saturday, May 2nd and will take 10 days. You can follow team KRBO’s progress on a blogloc track map, which they will update from a SPOT Satellite Messenger through Fire Eagle. Be sure to head there soon, check it out regularly and… keep your fingers crossed for team KRBO!!


1 yr agoIt’s almost a year since I started blogloc. And since that’s about a decade in Internet-time, I think it’s ok to look back a little and draw balance. What did I learn from blogloc this past year?

First of all: Activity Messages. Those little twitter-like text captions you can add to your map badge. Believe it or not: An astounding 17% of messages in the system are “working” or “at work”. To all of you out there who write such messages: Stop doing it. It’s depressing. There’s a world full of adventure waiting to be discovered and what are you doing? Get out there. GET A LIFE.

No seriously. Working on blogloc has been a great experience for me. There has been some real enthusiasm, positive feedback and active communication with users from all over the world. And if there’s one thing I really learned from it, then it’s what location sharing on the Web is really about: it’s about stories.

True, when people put stuff on the Web nowadays, it mostly a lifestream/twitter-kindof thing: A little status message here, an uploaded photo there. It seems to be no different with location sharing – and to be fair, that’s just how I use blogloc as well. But the really exciting stuff starts when people have a story to tell. And as with any good story, there’s usually a journey involved.

I learned about some exciting and funny stories during this past year. I got in touch with interesting people. Today I want to thank all of you who make blogloc such an enjoyable experience for me – by letting it play a tiny part when you tell your stories!

And to share a little bit of this great experience, I’m happy to announce that over the next weeks, I’ll have the honor to present some of those stories right here on my blog! Starting off with a first post later this week: meet the prospective future winning team of the Allgäu-Orient Ralley – a low budget car race from Southern Germany to Amman, Jordan. Sounds risky? Well not risky enough for those people, obviously. Because they’ll also be tracking their progress with a very little tested pre-pre-beta version of the blogloc trackmap-badge! Yep. Totally Mad.


Let’s face it. The times when it was enough to put a map with your live GPS location on your blog to prove that you are a gadget-mad geek are gone. Today there’s the iPhone. There’s the SPOT satellite messenger. There’s Google Latitude. There’s Friends on Fire on Facebook. Sad but true. Location sharing is for the cool kids now.

But fret not: with blogloc you can now share your live location – and still be a real geek! How? Just share your location the Semantic Web way! That’s right. If Google Map access is enabled in your Personal Settings, you can now get an RDF representation of your blogloc location. Yeah I know what you’re thinking: “Perfect for my FOAF file!” You bet.

Your personal RDF resides at:

http://geekvault.no5.at/blogloc/rdf/%5Byourusername%5D.rdf (see mine for example)

Note: The RDF contains exact coordinates! Therefore – as always – this URL will be blocked by default to protect your exact location, unless you enable Google Map access in your settings.


Just a short note: the first Austrian version of Mobile Monday will happen next week! See the announcement here. From the original intro text:

We will present the mobile landscape of Austria and have key players of the industry up on the stage talking about their business. We will announce the list of speakers shortly.

However, you get a informative view on the Austrian market and will have the chance to meet people who shape this industry. You will enjoy a healthy dose of networking and meet-up.

I love the way they sneaked the word ‘however’ in between ‘have key players […] talking about their business’ and ‘you get a(n) informative view’. Brilliant. Otherwise though it’s set to be an interesting and well-attended networking event (the list of participants is up on Xing).

Update: some post-event material (video and a nice overview of who’s making up the “mobile landscape” of Austria) can be found here (thanks to Erich Holzbauer of mobilepulse.de.)


Well. Some of you might have wondered why I didn’t post anything for such a long time. And why nothing happend with blogloc for months. I know. You’re probably expecting some lousy “the dog ate my homework”-type of excuse now. But not from me. Nope. I’m going to be fully honest with you. Truth is… I was abducted by aliens. Got needles stuck up my eyes, tissue samples taken from the wildest places. You know. The usual stuff.

Good news, however, is this: The aliens got bored running bizarre experiments on my body and now I’m BACK – for even more once-a-month blogging. With the plan to shift the tone of this blog slightly away from mobile and more towards ‘pure’ Geoweb topics. And hopefully with some positive announcements to make about blogloc as well. Stay tuned!




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