Reflection Upon the Geolocation’s Year

As we reflect upon the year’s events , let’s talk once again about Geolocation, not as a new phenomenon but as a summary of the evolution of this service in 2010.

Among other reasons already mentioned in a previous blog post, the fact that more and more mobile devices have GPS is one of the major causes of the course taken by geolocation service in the last months of 2010.

Increased use of this service is one of the most remarkable effects: According to an article published by Mashable  last week, Foursquare, the most popular geolocation platform, has 5 million users, increasing its user base by a factor of 10 in just nine months.

The act of sharing the location has changed, it also added tastes of people, their opinions about visited places, shopping recommendations, vacation tips or tips for a nice dinner at a new and romantic restaurant.

Users use geolocation as a source of information, a service which not only encompasses “where” but also “how”, “when” and “who”.

Beyond sharing people locations, these services have also been designed to help businesses attract more customers to their stores since most of them help employers encourage engagement and promote virtual social interaction around a physical location. Slowly, companies, especially restaurants, are joining geolocation sites to implement different marketing actions, so far, only experiments waiting for the feedback from the public.

A good example is the campaign that Telepizza made in Foursquare, an action fully focused on marketing objectives.

Telepizza offered discounts on pizzas to people who did check-in at local or nearby restaurants.

What did Telepizza achieve?

1. Geo-segmentation: users who checked-in had a very high probability of being from the same neighborhood of Telepizza

2. Behavioral Segmentation: Telepizza marketing reached people who use to commonly  go out to dinner

3. Clients loyalty: Telepizza rewards every time you eat there

4. Channels desaturation: a person who buys in the store is a person who does not use the phone or the website of that store.

5. Even… stealing customers! If when I go into a store and do my check-in, I get a better deal for a pizza at another location nearby, of course I will think of leaving this restaurant and make my way to Telepizza.

So far we have appointed two players linked to the evolution of geolocation in 2010: users and businesses. The third character on stage is the developer: On the one hand, web sites are quick to offer and incorporate geolocation services into their interfaces. On the other hand, applications which include geolocation are multiplying with the same speed.

Foursquare knows that. Therefore, it has an API that allows developers to build their ideas on the foursquare platform. Developers use the API to build new check-in functionality, cool games, and interesting data visualizations.

SimpleGeo deserves special mention here.

SimpleGeo defines itself as a service which makes it easy for developers to create location-aware applications. SimpleGeo provides relevant contextual information such as geographic boundaries, weather, and demographics for a specific location. It offers a free database of business listings and points of interest (POIs) that enables real-time community collaboration. It provides api clients in Objective-C, Android, Java, Python.

According to TechCrunch , ” SimpleGeo wants to help make business data freely available for anyone to use, which would be a gigantic shift in how location … apps could be built more cheaply.

Thus, throughout this year, geolocation has become increasingly popular among ordinary users, being an attractive market niche for companies and developers.

As mobile technology continues to impose the idea of being “always connected”, geolocation will gain strength and prominence as a new form of social interaction.

In a previous blog post we tell you about another interesting and new use of geolocation, connected to art, which is still developing and has remained outside the commercial world.

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