Category Archives: Uncategorized

Hanging Out with @CageyJames

Hanging Out with @cageyjamesA week ago, I joined the pantheon of geo-dignitaries who have talked with James Fee (the very active @cageyjames on Twitter) of Spatially Adjusted on Hangouts with James Fee. We talked about a bunch of topics:

  •  WiFiSlam and Apple’s plans for them
  • Persistent location and where its going
  • The dreaded “Big Data” and what that means in location
  • A little baseball
  • Other geo stuff.

It’s kind of like sitting down for coffee or a beer with James and talking about stuff.  It’s an hour but hopefully reasonably entertaining.  Enjoy! Video is here.

Indoor Apple? Why Apple Bought WiFiSlam.

wifislam_logoAccording to the Wall Street Journal, Apple has bought WiFiSlam, the indoor location  company for $20M and will now presumably be working to allow Apple iOS devices to self-locate indoors to within 2.5M accuracy in real-time.  Indoor location has been an active field for a couple years and Apple’s move will keep it in line with Google who has been working on that technology for a while as well.

If it all works as advertised, WiFiSlam gives “aisle-level” accuracy fast enough to let the consumer get relevant information before he or she moves on to another aisle. That’s the “2.5m in real-time” part and is a Holy Grail of sorts for indoor positioning because of its potential for retail targeting. They use ambient wireless signals from WiFi and Bluetooth which means that you don’t need to install a bunch of extra gear. This is not easy; a lot of companies have been banging away at this for a while.

So, why did Apple want this?   Continue reading Indoor Apple? Why Apple Bought WiFiSlam.

Back on Bloomberg. This time: Persistent Location

Screen Shot 2013-02-07 at 5.45.34 PMBack for a 3 minute segment on Bloomberg West today.  This time, the rumored Facebook location tracking application prompted a discussion about location tracking or “persistent location”  applications.  I’ve written on this before and this, along with more personalization of location apps are my candidates for the big trends for 2013. Continue reading Back on Bloomberg. This time: Persistent Location

Mike Dobson’s Better Post on Apple Maps

Mike Dobson’s blog this week on the Apple Map’s launch has become the gold standard for solid technical analysis of the issues there.  It’s great to see so many folks picking up on it (here, here, and here among many others) and Mike getting some exposure for his expertise.  Truly could not have happened to a more deserving guy.  Mike doesn’t write often but when he does, it is always worth reading.

But it’s one thing to be wise in retrospect, much harder to anticipate problems. That’s why it is worth re-reading (or reading for the first time) Mike’s comments on problems he anticipated for Apple when they announced Apple Maps at WWDC in June. They are dead on.

Second guessing is easy and not always appreciated.  Forecasting accurately is what separates the pundits.  Nice job, Mike

Let’s Agree on What We Disagree About

Management genius Peter Drucker wisely observed that 90% of the disagreements in life arise from a failure to agree on what the disagreement is about.  I’ve been reminded of that comment this week in the aftermath of the problematic launch of Apple Maps.  A certain segment of the argument for and against Apple’s decision to launch goes like this:

Side 1:  Apple Maps are a major step back!  They shouldn’t have put them out!  Steve sure wouldn’t have!!!

Side 2: You don’t get it, Mush-for-Brains.  Apple had to build their own map to get away from The Great Evil!

Are so it goes, back and forth for a few dozen comments appended to the initiating blog. Continue reading Let’s Agree on What We Disagree About

Hi Apple. Welcome to the Mapping World. How was your first day?

Man, tough welcome to the mapping world for the newly launched Apple Maps.  There’s been a ton of commentary from all quarters, some insightful, some less so.  I debated chiming in, partly because so much has already been said and partly because I have several friends on the Apple Geo Team.  They’re smart, dedicated people and I suspect that today was pretty brutal over there. I didn’t want to pile on. Continue reading Hi Apple. Welcome to the Mapping World. How was your first day?

Google acquires deCarta SoLoMo Patents

August 30, 2012: The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) reported that Google had acquired the rights to a set of 7 patents from deCarta.  I worked at deCarta from 2005-9 and am pretty familiar with the patents so I thought I’d comment on the significance.  However, nothing here is based on proprietary or confidential information; it’s all readily available to anyone who wants to read the patents closely but, since I’ve done that, I thought I might save anyone interested the trouble. Continue reading Google acquires deCarta SoLoMo Patents