get unstuck, in time

18 August 2008

Geohacking with Locatable

Locatable has had well over a thousand downloads in the first 12 hours, so I've just been updating the featured sites to give everyone something to play with. I haven't yet heard of any "made for iPhone" sites that can take advantage of the latitude/longitude sharing feature of, so for now the links you'll find there are publicly available web sites and services that take lat/long coordinates. I used some of the more common online mapping services to test during development, but now that I have a little more time to browse around, I'm finding a lot of interesting things that can be done already:
  • Geocaching. Use your iPhone to participate in local treasure hunts.
  • GeoNames. Find and identify nearby landmarks.
  • Panoramio. Look at photos that have been taken near your location.
Here are some things I'd love to see but haven't tracked down yet (even if they don't yet exist as lat/long-enabled URLs, the mashup would be easy to do): movie listings, traffic reports, friend finder, turn-by-turn spoken driving directions, emergency services finder, shop finder (Apple store, anyone?), and so on. Maybe I'll hunt around a little later. In the meantime, let me know if you have any links to post.

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Blogger blogborygmi said...

This is really impressive, with lots of potential.

Being able to log into with coordinates is great -- I can't believe they haven't released something like that, themselves.

What other websites do you imagine can take advantage of this? A lot of the stuff you list is already possible through Maps or Yelp or BoxOffice.

How about (opt-in) account-based stuff that can notify friends when you get to a destination? Or tells you how far you've traveled since you last logged in?

I'm all for privacy but it seems like the real benefit of this app is the ability for personalized location services -- not just "nearest movie theater" but "nearest theater with a movie starring that actor and genre you previously specified."

August 19, 2008 5:22 PM  
Blogger Wesley said...

That's the idea. Personally I think it's a lot easier (including cheaper, faster, and less beholden to Apple) to develop a web application than a native one for the iPhone, and while the AppStore has had a lot of press lately I think the web has a huge role to play. (Let's not forget that it's dead simple to create a desktop icon for a web bookmark).

I don't intend to write all those web apps, but I hope someone does. I want to focus on making Locatable work as well as possible for those developers that want to use it.

August 19, 2008 9:08 PM  

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