Hey! blogloc got a small cameo appearance at the Google UK headquarters on November 27! Check out the slide deck that Gary Gale (of Yahoo! Geo Technologies) presented at the first meetup of the London Geo/Mobile Developers Meetup group (and look closely 😉 ). Thanks to Gary for letting me know – and for spreading the word about blogloc, of course 🙂

Recently came across this post by Ric Ferraro on LBS trends for 2009. Ric summarizes a number of – primarily commercial – issues and challenges that location based services will be facing next year.

Ric’s post also got me thinking further: As a concept and technology, LBS are now more than a decade old already. Many seem to agree nowadays that with the advent of commodity GPS phones, cell ID databases on the Web, open mobile OSes and progressing standardization on client-side location APIs, LBS are finally ready for a real, decent 1.0 release. But what might be in the next round of evolution for LBS? From a technological perspective? From a topical/feature point of view? A little bit of speculation from my side (split up in several posts – to keep posts shorter & to give me more time to think about the next post 😀 )…

Part 1: A Tad of Geospatial Knowledge Discovery

Most of us spend their time at the same handful of places day in and day out. It’s pretty obvious, really. Even if you don’t see it plotted on a map. But if you’re actually weird enough to track yourself (like me), it’s almost striking to see those focal points of your daily routine start to emerge on the map – your home, your daily commuting route, places you visit regularly after work, on the weekends and so on.

A personalized view of the world – the meanings behind locations – is something that LBS are lacking today: home and workplace, places linked to friends, family, or personal memories; places we plan to go in the future; or places we’d rather avoid. Some of these concepts are likely to change over time or due to external factors (such as our mode of transport, or things happening in our social network). In Geographic Information Science, the term geographic knowledge discovery (as one form of Spatial Analysis) refers to techniques for mining spatial information for interesting patterns.

My first speculation about what’s next in LBS is: we will increasingly see LBS that include geographic knowledge discovery approaches (at least in a simple form) to achive higher degree of personalization by inferring meaning from locations.

To be continued…

Some of you participating in the blogloc history beta test may have noticed already: GeoRSS support is active! That means: if you have location history recording enabled on your blogloc account, you can now share your location conveniently via an RSS feed, located at


If you look at somebody’s blogloc feed in the reader of your choice, it might look something like this:

But that’s not all. Since the feed is geo-enabled, it’s easy to plot the entire feed on a map: E.g. you can simply cut-and-paste the feed URL in the Google Maps search field. Or use online tools like Yahoo Pipes to build your own personal blogloc mashup!

We want to hear from you!

We’re currently playing around with different configurations, styles, and contents of the feed. Let us know what you think! How are you going to use your location feed? What information would you want to have in the messages? In the headlines? What kinds of personalization options do you need?

Drop me a line or leave a comment below! And – by the way – if you have not already joined the blogloc history beta: do the same to have your account history-enabled right away 🙂

And the news just keep coming today: History is Beta! Yes – we’re experimenting with blogloc’s new and long-announced location history feature. Want to record, store and share the route of your next journey around the world? Add a little bit of location to your lifestream? That’s what blogloc history is all about!

For now we keeping this in a closed beta test phase. During the test phase, location history will not be visible on the map badge yet. But you’ll be able to get your history track in KML format and as GeoRSS feed.

Drop me a note if you want to join. By the way: In particular I’m looking for testers who use blogloc with Fire Eagle (and who do not directly update their location via blogloc) – but everyone’s welcome of course 😉

Dear blogloc users! There’s a few new features available for you to try:

  • Personalize Your Google Map! Since this was the most frequent feature request I got: It’s now possible to change the default map type and zoom level for the interactive Google Map badge. All you need to do is tweak your embed code a little. Check the blogloc FAQ to learn how.
  • blogloc on MySpace. Ok. I must admit we’ve been a little reluctant with regard to delivering on our "embed your live location on your social network profile" promise. Because, quite frankly, blogloc didn’t really work properly on any of the large social networks. Unfortunately, they all have their peculiarities. We’re working on it… But at least: if you’re on MySpace you can now grab our new MySpace embed code from the FAQ!

Still no press release out yet, but by now it seems to be official!

Update: official results are here.


Congratulations to anyone on the team. And since I’m also on the team: a big thank you to all my team mates – Peter (who represented us at the ceremony), Erwin, Gerhard and Mat! It’s been great working with you!

By the way – in case you are wondering what happens to the prize money: Peter called to tell me he’ll spend most of it on girls and Finnish Vodka. Anything that’s left when he returns from Tampere he’ll hand in to our research center management. Fair enough. (I wonder if someone’s going to leave a comment on this post…)

Award ceremony is over for the 2nd International Nokia UbiMedia MindTrek Award at the MindTrek 2008 Conference up in Tampere, Finland. There is no official press release out yet. I’m waiting for that. But let me just say… it seems my former research project Point to Discover did rather well 🙂

Update: see here.