3D, Geospatial Tags are the Way of the Future: Where Conference 2012

At the O’Reilly Where Conference: The Art and Business of Location, the venue where emerging tech meets anxious investors, Facebook project manager Josh Williams addressed app developers interested in exploiting location-based opportunities.

Williams,  the former CEO and founder of Gowalla (acquired by Facebook last December), stated that adding a tagging feature to mobile apps would greatly benefit the developer, especially with Facebook’s Timeline, since anything tagged appears there.

“Data density has always been a challenge, especially in the location space where getting meaningful activity around geography is a struggle for young developers,” said Williams.

Google Maps covers 75% of the world

Speaking of location, vice president of Google Geo, Brian McClendon, spoke at the conference proudly informing everyone that Google is everywhere, well, almost.  McClendon tackled the topic of how Google Maps began, further discussing the future of the geospatial data visualization service.

What started as a service that provided aerial satellite images in 2006 to 2D maps courtesy of Street View, McClendon stated that 2D is just the beginning and that 3D will be the key to exploring the real world in the near future.

At present, there are over 3,000 cities in 35 countries covered with millions of miles of published images and 187 countries covering 26 million miles of driving directions.

Targeted Push Messaging Service

Also at the Where Conference, Urban Airship, the startup that provides developers with a simple way to build in-app purchases and push notifications, unveiled Segments – the location and custom audience segmentation enhancements for the popular messaging service.

Segments is the product of Urban Airship’s high-performance push notification platform and SimpleGeo’s geo-spatial data.  Urban Airship acquired SimpleGeo back in October 2011 for $3.5 million.

Segment’s API will be available for developers who want to improve app functionality by basing it on location and time-based data.

“As an always-on-you device, smartphones and apps offer the ability to accurately know where people are and what they care about, but too often marketers cast a wide net using only snapshots of insight,” said Scott Kveton, CEO and co-founder, Urban Airship. “In ignoring individuals’ context and behavior over time, marketers risk losing the privilege of leveraging the most intimate communications channel available.”

MyCityWay’s urban exploration app

MyCityWay, the real-time, personalized, geo-aware urban reference for mobile devices developed in 2009, previewed their MyCityWay NOW app at the Where Conference.

MyCityWay NOW turns mobile devices into a  mega-utility tool for urban exploration and offers personalized, real-time, all-access Dashboard that instantly connects you to all the up-to-the-minute usable information you crave.  It also uses a color psychology-based design for a more intuitive experience.

Where Conference, previously called Where 2.0, is now in its eighth year of presenting leading trends in the geospatial sector.  The conference ran from April 2-4, 2012 at the Marriott Marquis in San Francisco.