James Mayes

Posts Tagged ‘geolocation’

Blog: FourSquare visualisation

In Conference, Foursquare, Mobile, Recruitment, Social Media, Social Recruiting, Start-ups, SXSWi on March 19, 2012 at 9:03 am
Just back from a week at SXSW, the year’s major global digital event. As always, loads of great new ideas and tools to share – but very much blown away by FourSquare this year. While not a new service, it certainly broke out in a way I haven’t witnessed first hand before. Previously, I’ve watched as people used competing geo-local services to organise and communicate, often with the activity being tied together on Twitter.
This year was different. FourSquare owned it, and not in a small way. Pretty much everyone I spent time with agreed FourSquare was their go-to place for geo-local discovery during the week, for meet-up organisations, for lunch planning, for parties, etc.  I’d love to see some traffic figures from the company on what happened during the week, and indeed whether those levels endure – but it was certainly amazing to watch and participate in. Example? I checked into the convention centre. Early users got excited by a Swarm badge for checking in with 50 other people. I checked in with over 3,700 other people on the second day.
Back to London now and contemplating implications of this.  I have another post on FourSquare in the works right now, but first up, I want to share a quick trick I found.  I felt Austin (SXSW host city) was fairly compact. Events around town, but all walkable. So how easy is it to extract info from FourSquare on my check-ins and verify this? Quite simple, as it happens!
  1. Log into the FourSquare website
  2. Take your 4sq KML feed from here
  3. Paste it into the search box here
  4. You’re done. Scroll and zoom as you please!

You’ll get the full history here. You can remove specific places if you choose and play with the display from there. Personally, I was just interested in my Austin adventures.

The next post will look in more detail at some specific usage which has relevance to recruiters. Right now though, I’d simply suggest if you’re using Facebook and Twitter as part of your social strategy but haven’t considered FourSquare, you have work to do – and not much time to do it in!

Blog: Safety tips? Or how to interest a 4 year old in Geography!

In Gadgets, Mobile, Personal, Social Media, Start-ups on August 11, 2011 at 1:22 pm

I’ve been meaning to play around more with Glympse for a while now (tagline: Share your where). Simply, it allows you to share the location of your smartphone with one or many people, for a time-limited window.  It’s been around a while now (founded 2008) and certainly constitutes a stable platform rather than something beta.

The use case outlined on the site is a new take on that age-old problem of running late for a meeting. Send the other person a text from the Glympse app on your phone. Limit the visibility to the time you expect it to take. As you and your phone move towards the destination, the other party can see your progress nicely mapped out, zoomable for detail or total progress.

It came back into my mind recently as a result of the London riots, overhearing conversations about getting home safely in the evening. If you used Glympse to send your partner a text or email, they’d be constantly aware of your location, able to see if something knocked you off the expected route.

I tested it out again on a recent journey back from a client meeting, sending my wife a Glympse via SMS. Got a text back minutes later, saying “seriously fantastic, love it”. I think that’s an endorsement….  What I didn’t expect was subsequent usage though – my eldest (4 years old) was pestering, wanting to know when Dad would be home – so she pulled the Glypmse map up on a laptop instead and Harry watched as I drove back across the South East, my phone regularly sending GPS updates on my location. Turns out, he was fascinated!

A sample of the Glypmse map is below – thoroughly recommend checking them out.  Only one caveat so far – tracking your position on GPS and transmitting a regular location update murders your battery life. Fine when charging in the car, not sure I’d be so happy on the train…

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