Social Location Based Services

10Mar07

Social location based applications are definitely becoming mainstream this year. And unlike the carrier-offered location based services that have been around since the late 90’s, these services are actually popular! Time for me to compile an overview and comparison of local social software/social location based services that are currently out there:

Plazes. Social LBS that lets you share your own location and that of your favourite places with your friends. Uses either IP-geolocation lookup to determine users’ locations or works text-based by translating street addresses to geo-location (also via SMS). Integrates with Skype, offers badges for several social networking sites and blog engines. There’s also a Symbian client that determines location from known positions of GSM cell towers.

Livecontacts. Another friend locator service. Share your location with friends, both on a Google Map on the Web and on mobile devices. Includes chat functionality. Supports GPS. Location can also be determined without GPS, from the GSM CellIDs (provided that some other Livecontacts user has already mapped the geo-location of the CellIDs before). The service supports Windows Mobile 2003/2003 SE/5 devices (with Bluetooth/integrated GPS – and CellID only in the commercial ‘pro’ version), as well as Nokia S60 phones (most likely with CellID). WiFi hotspot geolocations are not (yet) used for positioning.

loopt. Friend finder/social mapping app that offers proximity alerts and messaging, mapping and tagging of favourite places along with profile pages and journals/blogging (with photo upload). All in all a pretty neat and complete bundle of features, but with the drawback that it only works on boost mobile’s network in the US, with their GPS enabled phones.

Socialight. Social mapping application that lets you place virtual ‘sticky notes’ from your desktop or your phone using SMS or WAP (by texting street addresses) or a dedicated mobile application which has been announced for some time now, but is still not available.

I want to keep this list up-to-date (again)! Missing a social LBS? Drop me a comment!



2 Responses to “Social Location Based Services”

  1. Try our mobile location based photo blogging project at http://www.locoblog.com which has been running since last year and is free to use

  2. Thanks for the hint! I’ll check that out. The other projects on your mobileradicals site look quite interesting, as well!


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