according to emily zager…

A Look at Location-based Services

Posted on: November 25, 2009

The hottest trends right now in new media are focusing on tools, programs and apps that encompass location-based services.  These services go beyond Google Maps to incorporate Foursquare and various mobile possibilities.

Location-based services allow others to detect where a person or device is, at any time.  Smart phones are commonly capable of this activity.  Verizon, Alltel, and AT&T are popular forerunners implementing this blossoming social media device, and aim to monetize their consumers.  However, the iPhone currently conquers the territory, and has done so since the devices began implementing GPS capabilities about three years ago.

Many companies utilize these apps in order to track user habits as well as physical availability.  Some devices that utilize location-based technologies do so with 3G networks and WiFi.   In a sense, this makes popular vehicle GPS devices such as Garmin a little redundant or unnecessary.  I don’t know about you, but I’d rather be able to scout locations, plan a road trip or discover my whereabouts in the palm of my hand, and not with a $1100 device.

Now, a whole new batch of innovative location-based service are on the horizon and making headway.  Loopt, Gowalla and Foursquare add a differnt dimension to such platforms.  For example, you can link your Twitter account to your Foursquare account, allowing your location to be broadcasted to others.   You can also develop a network and earn various titles such as “mayor” as you visit actual locations.  I feel like Fouresquare is a fun little device that fuses Twitter and Facebook.  I have not yet tried using the program but will look into it shortly.

What do you think about location-based services? Effective, useful or otherwise?

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Emily received her BA in Advertising & Public Relations from Loyola University Chicago in May 2010. She is inquisitive by nature and loves to surround herself with new situations, people and the world around her.

Emily is a lifelong dancer, a current ballroom dance instructor, and lover of all things social media. She's currently searching for a new career opportunity in PR, event planning or advertising. Take a peek at her musings about media, branding & the PR indsutry.

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