[[posterous-content:CgcvHnvyDhGmpozvakjA]] First we started to explore, then quickly we needed to figure out where we were and we've been building increasing numbers ever more sophisticated maps, guide books and other sources of location based information ever since. The extension of this location based information to mobile Internet enabled devices is the obvious next step and potentially huge market. Just think of all the location based data people pay for:
  • Mapping probably the biggest market segment, and the first which we'll see device convergence. Look to see the traditional GPS hardware/software become applications for the current and next generation devices.
  • Reviews A common feature of newspapers, local and region
  • Business Directories again, think of the big yellow book of business for every area. It's one of the most common things to look for in an area.
  • Travel Guides More than just reviews, travel guides also provide us with areas of interest and all of that is very useful in an up to date online service
All of this is pretty obvious and most of it exists now. The problem up to now has been the walled garden approach taken by the mobile phone companies. They had the ability to determine position, but wanted to charge for it. Unfortunately for us consumers, charging for that data has meant that for the most part services would need to turn a profit for every single request, from the start or they'd be very expensive to develop and very quickly. Mobile data has recently become very cheap and new devices with integrated ability to determine their location is having a profound impact on the mobile landscape. They're allowing us to build services which instead of answering the question: where is my nearest X, will let us explore the area around us. Mapping the wealth of knowledge on the internet to physical locations and allowing us to actually input data when we're most likely to want to - when we're actually there. From experience, when I'm out there the data I want most is about out there.