Location Is Everywhere
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Location Is Everywhere
Location is Everywhere, How is it Changing our Lives? It affects everything in our daily lives. How do we manage it to live, work and play smarter?
Curated by Luigi Cappel
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The issue McDonald's blames for its french fry shortage is causing other ... - Washington Post

The issue McDonald's blames for its french fry shortage is causing other ... - Washington Post | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
The West Coast port slowdown is giving retailers a big headache, and, in some cases, costing them big bucks.
Luigi Cappel's insight:

Imagine if McDonald's couldn't serve you french fries, or you couldn't get bread at your local grocer, or ink for your printer, all those little things that you take for granted you don't need to stock, because the retailer will always have it for you.

 

Have you ever been to a retailer to buy something and find that it's out of stock? There are two reasons for this. One is the person managing the inventory wasn't watching their stock turn, or demand. Another is seasonal or promotional activity that placed more demand on a product that required more stock than normal, for example a sudden heat wave would result in greater demand for ice cream and cold drinks.

 

Over the last 30 years with the benefit of EDI and other technologies that have created a manufacturing and delivery chain where there is information and risk sharing between growth and manufacturing, freight and distribution and the retail point of sale data, we have developed into a JIT or Just in Time economy. Everything has become finely tuned and when things are going well, this reduces costs at each level of the value chain. When things go wrong that can cause chaos very quickly, especially in small or niche markets.

 

Here are a few examples:

1. McDonalds had problems with potatoes for their fries in Venezuela not turning up in time due to a labour dispute at west Coast ports in the USA. They only carry enough potatoes to meet a short period of time, in order to meet their commitments to fresh product.

2. A supermarket chain in Australia buys bananas from the farm cooperative in Equador before they are even picked. A freight hold up of a week means the produce ripens to soon by the time it gets to the supermarket and they have to throw away product by the container-load.

3. A car manufacturer has 10,000 cars in production that can't leave the factory because a maintenance survey in a factory in Indonesia discovered a fault in the factory and subsequently had insufficient components to produce a component for the in-car entertainment system, halting production of a whole batch of cars in Japan. Because these contracts were let out 2 years in advance, there was no quick solution to replace them.

4. A slip on a New Zealand road took 3 days to repair and as a consequence a lettuce manufacturer could not get their produce to a fast food retail chain in time and the alternate route was not suitable for the large refrigerated trucks to drive though.

5. A brand new large supermarket couldn't open because a container of receipt paper was  incorrectly marked at a wharf in SIngapore and this wasn't noticed as being missing in the testing of the new POS Scanning System in the store, meaning it was too late to find an alternative short term supplier for the first day of the official launch, with queues of customers and dignitaries waiting to go.

 

Almost everything we do today is based on Just In Time. When it goes well, we benefit at all levels of the value chain in productivity, freshness and quality of product, negotiations and relationships between business partners, optimized freight management, optimized road networks and much more. However when one component of this value chain breaks down, the impact is major.

 

The results of those little chinks, traffic congestion, a labor strike, a software glitch, above average demand for a product and our delicate balance can tip and next thing you know there are significant ramifications to business and consumers. The costs of getting it right are significant. Perhaps sometimes our drive for perfection can also be our Achilles heal. 

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Daimler's concept car turns into mobile living room - Financial Express

Daimler's concept car turns into mobile living room - Financial Express | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Germany’s Daimler wants to reset consumers’ expectations about self-driving cars with its futuristic Mercedes-Benz F 015 concept...
Luigi Cappel's insight:

One day I want you to remember my blog, because you read it here before a car brand did the marketing using my words. "Better than your lounge".

 

This is an example of the sort of ideas that came from 1960's and '70's science fiction books. You descend into your conversation pit (the cabin in your car), have a few drinks, listen to some amazing quality digital surround music, enjoy each others' company and then open the door and arrive at the theater.

 

After the show, you recline back into your lounge, have another drink and discuss the show, while the video display revisits the experience you are talking about."Did you see the part where he did that thing?"

 

It's a balmy night, so you hop out of the car and stroll along a beach which is on the way home, for a breath of fresh air. When you return  to the car, it has prerecorded the relaxing ambient sounds of the beach you just left, accompanying you from outside. You see the same stars through the tinted transparent roof and get a glimpse of an almost full moon peeping through the trees before the car parks itself inside your home, while you finish a coffee that you would swear was brewed by a skilled barrista.

 

Whilst it seems like teleportation without your body being disassembled into it's atomic elements and reassembled at each location, it is simply the car of the future which drives and parks itself safely and has the latest in entertainment technology to keep you enthralled while it navigates you smoothly to each destination in luxury and comfort.

 

It is just like something out of a science fiction movie, where instead of virtually reality, it brings you to each new reality with no fuss, safely, quietly and probably expensively, which will make it even more desirable to those who can afford it.

 

The coolest part of all is that this technology is being built in concept cars today and will be available to rent or own in the very near future. All I ask (not that I'm likely to ever own one) is that I can also enjoy driving the vehicle (because I enjoy being behind the wheel) when I want to.

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CES 2015: Connected car tech to watch - ZDNet

CES 2015: Connected car tech to watch - ZDNet | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
[UPDATED] Smart, connected cars are a major trend of this year's Consumer Electronics Show. What products and players are noteworthy for their contributions?
Luigi Cappel's insight:

I have to say I envy the journalists who get to go to CES. I used to get to Comdex and check out new business technologies, which was really exciting, but my colleagues who went to CES probably had more fun playing with the new consumer electronics.

 

So what's new in the area of the connected car. Have a travel through these 12 concepts. The main thing is that the geeks amongst us have been trialling all sorts of new technologies and tomorrows car, courtesy of the Internet of Things IoT, advances in location based services LBS and Infotainment, brings them all together through the capabilities of in-car communications and external telecommunications.

 

Whilst many (including myself) have concerns about distracted driving, car manufacturers are working on that too and CES introduces the Pilot, much like the concept of autopilot on an aircraft. Driving on the freeway or country roads, you might use the self driving car, but when you get into a built up area, the driver is alerted and control is given back for more complex urban driving.

 

So ultimately (and hopefully holding back the reigns on proprietary technologies (like the VW Golf that came out with an iPhone 4 adapter) we get car navigation, hazard detection, self parking, finding a park, finding where you parked when you want to get back to your car, remote start (for climate control and just for fun), bonding you car to your phone (including the option of selecting the mobile OS), mCommerce (should that now be dubbed motor commerce), cameras recording behind you and in front of you for safety and to remember your trip and so much more.

 

This is a natural progression which leads to a car that you not only get into to enjoy driving (sorry Public Transport, you need to learn from this because man's love affair with the car will not be going away any time soon due to these enhancements), but your car knows who you are, what your needs are and of course how to get to where you want to go.

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CES 2015: 'DroneMobile' App Allows GPS Vehicle Tracking, Remote Start, and ... - Mac Rumors

CES 2015: 'DroneMobile' App Allows GPS Vehicle Tracking, Remote Start, and ... - Mac Rumors | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Automotive convenience system marketer and manufacturer Firstech is showing off its comprehensive vehicle app service DroneMobile at CES 2015. While...
Luigi Cappel's insight:

A couple of critics of this solution, but personally I like it. I used to have remote start and it is great when is is either hot like it is in New Zealand right now (I have a black car) or cold like it is in the USA at present.

 

This is fundamentally entry level Fleet Management catching up to smartphones. Security and find my car are little bonuses. If you share your car with your children or friends, this is a great way of being able to keep an eye on them, where they are and how they are driving, are they speeding? Is there going to be a surprise letter in the mail?

 

I'm assuming the price includes installation and I'm not sure how that works given that it says it will go into 100% of cars. I suspect some of these will require more work in the installation than others.

 

It's all very well to say that you will wait until you buy a new car that has these features built in, I'd love to be doing that, but its not in my budget and if I had the money to buy a new car, I might just as likely end up buying an older car, my dream car is a Corvette and unless I win the lottery, I would be buying an older model.

 

The thing with a car like that is that you can't simply replace it under insurance, it's THAT car that you want to keep. Products like this will be very easy to sell imho.

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Kit Kat 'thieves' arrested after wholesaler hid GPS tracker among chocolate bars

Kit Kat 'thieves' arrested after wholesaler hid GPS tracker among chocolate bars | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Andrew Widdowson, who owns a vending machine supply business, was compelled to take vigilant action after his warehouse was raided three times in six months
Luigi Cappel's insight:

I'll say it again, I love these stories. Some sugar addict kept stealing KitKat's out of a vending machine so the owner put a GPS tracker into one of them and sure enough, he was able to guide police directly to the freeloaders who are now helping Police with their inquiries. It might get to the point where it is easier to get a job!

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Anger over apps which allow users to spy on partners' mobiles and computers - Daily Mail

Anger over apps which allow users to spy on partners' mobiles and computers - Daily Mail | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it

ItSpyware software, bought online for as little as £30 and installed in just five minutes can turn an ordinary smartphone into a powerful surveillance platform allowing abusers to monitor their partner in real-time.

Luigi Cappel's insight:

It's not surprising that these apps are turning up, but what is surprising is that if it is illegal to sell them, how is it that they can advertise and promote their products through some of the biggest media and online publishers.

 

The video implies that you can't find out if your phone has been bugged with this or one of the similar apps, it sounds like whilst it isn't easy, it is possible and there are a number of websites like http://blog.flexispy.com/flexispy-vs-stealthgenie-one-100-undetectable/ that show what to do of you think someone might be monitoring your mobile.

 

Apparently in many countries it is not illegal to sell these products, with the disclaimer that using them might be. As far as use is concerned, in most countries it is only legal to use the software if the person being monitored is aware and approves it. For example this would be a great solution for field service people, for example people in health or security who care for or visit people in their homes, for example a case worker or a mental health nurse. It would be a good option for people who have children who suffer from conditions where they may become disoriented, conditions such as diabetes for example. This article provides more information that may be helpful http://resources.infosecinstitute.com/mobile-phone-spying-software-legality-symptoms-and-removal/.

 

Spy software, bugs and similar solutions have been around for years, but being able to access the ubiquitous device that everyone carries around on them is a big worry, especially when it comes to stalkers, spousal abuse and employer invasions of privacy.

 

Many years ago I helped establish a field sales automation solution. The client wanted it hooked up to a fleet management system, specifically because he didn't trust his staff to be where they should be, i.e. he wanted to spy on them. In that scenario it wasn't illegal because his staff understood that the Fleet Management system was GPS tracking. He explained that the reason he wanted the system was to be able to identify the nearest sales person in the field when they got new customer inquiries. 

 

It is illegal to track your staff, f they don't know you are doing it.

 

In actual fact people tracking other people happens all the time. People check into locations with Facebook and other social media applications, they post photos and share all sorts of location based information. I've seen lots of examples where people think they are sharing information privately, but the people they are sharing with may not be using privacy settings.

 

If you want to enjoy today's social media applications, then you are pretty much giving up on privacy and that's fine. Just understand that the point of social media is social. The point is that you choose to share that information, you understand that other people, strangers, will be able to access it without you knowing.

 

In the case of software that is installed on your mobile, tablet or computer without your knowledge, that is insidious in my opinion and needs to be stomped on. The problem is being able to prove it and prove who did it. It is unlikely that most Police organizations would know how to detect it or have the resources to deal with it, therefore they have to attack the source.

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Santee: Beware of GPS Enabled Mobile Apps - Patch.com

Santee: Beware of GPS Enabled Mobile Apps - Patch.com | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Many consumers are unaware that their location may be accessible even when the particular app is not in use.
Luigi Cappel's insight:

If you read my blogs, you probably know all this, but it is great (which is why I moderated this story, that a Police Department is sharing information about how to protect your data privacy.

 

On the other hand there are countless stories, pretty much every day of the week, of people who recover their stolen cars because they had a GPS tracking device, or left their GPS enabled smartphone in the car and had Track My iPhone or similar software on it.

 

Sometime people are able to track their stolen devices because of automatic settings that save photos taken on them, onto the cloud. There are definitely pros and cons to location based settings:)

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GPS ankle bracelets used to track immigrants caught at border - CBS News

GPS ankle bracelets used to track immigrants caught at border - CBS News | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Immigrants caught crossing border illegally in Texas' Rio Grande Valley given the devices after being released from custody
Luigi Cappel's insight:

It's another interesting use of GPS ankle bracelets. I don't know the politics as to whether these people end up with rights to stay in the country, but if they have means of support that's great. But if they are illegal immigrants awaiting cases that may go for years before the get to caught and I assume they can't legally work, how are they supported.

 

With many examples of the anklets not being  monitored very well and the consequences of that,  chances are that before long we do end up going to putting chips into people's bodies that include GPS and transmission capability. They would be less tamper-proof. I guess the main issue is power for comms.

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Driver Survives After GPS Leads Him In Front Of Speeding Caltrain In Atherton - CBS Local

Driver Survives After GPS Leads Him In Front Of Speeding Caltrain In Atherton - CBS Local | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
The driver of the Toyota Prius had mistakenly made a turn onto the tracks on the direction of his GPS unit.
Luigi Cappel's insight:

Here we go again, the GPS made me do it. So it was raining and the intersection crossing the railway track is sort of an S and a bit complicated. Isn't that even more reason to be focusing on what you see on the windscreen rather than on the road outside.

 

Folks before you go on holiday, or drive on roads you are not familiar with, read the start up screen on your nav system. It will tell you something along the lines of it is a guide, but focus on what you see on the road. If you are new to GPS or the particular brand or model of GPS Nav you are using, get familiar with how it works. It will usually say something like turn left in 100 yards. If there are multiple streets it will highlight the one it means.

 

Make sure your maps are up to date, many manufacturers update monthly or quarterly. Some of the latest TomTom units update daily if you want to take advantage of that.

 

Quality varies depending on the brand of the nav unit and the source of their map data. Ask around and read reviews to see who has the best data for the area you want to go to. One very important thing is the difference between car navigation and simply map apps that provide directions. If you want a systems that tells you the local speed zones, one way streets and other important features, I recommend that you have either a branded app or nav device, don't rely on your mobile phone's map app, which is fine for walking and possibly catching public transport. It's about the right tool for the job.

 

The bottom line is that when you are tired or stressed out, for example when weather conditions are bad, don't rely on the nav, use it as a guide and rely on what you see through your windscreen. If it looks like a water reservoir or a lake, or the sea (I'm serious, people have blamed their satnavs for all of these) or a river, or a railway track, it probably is. If the sign says it is a one-way street do not enter and the nav says go straight through, do what the sign says, it could be a mistake in the GPS map, but it could also be a detour because of road maintenance or an accident.

 

Use your common sense.

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What you need to know about location-based mobile marketing

What you need to know about location-based mobile marketing | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Ever since smartphone makers began incorporating GPS receivers into their handsets, marketers have dreamed about making use of the technology.
Luigi Cappel's insight:

I don't want to be critical at this time of the year, but this seems to me to be a case of the journo being given half the story, or this isn't what you need to know about location based mobile marketing in order to be massively successful at it.

 

I have spent half my life waiting for businesses to catch up with the key ingredients to transition from the obvious technical elements of location based marketing to an environment that has people saying I LOVE THIS and WHAT TOOK YOU SO LONG?

 

I wrote my first business model for this with the NZ Automobile Association several years ago when we were still using Windows Phone devices like my awesome iPAQ. It was a complete model for a successful location based tourism business which I have no doubt would be extremely successful right now. It combined harvesting excess inventory with knowledge about people who were close to the locations and were open to buy the services.

 

None of the solutions I have seen to date have dealt with certain key fatal flaws and I'm not going to divulge them all here, because they have value to me should I ever decide to set up my own business or help another business achieve it. All I can say is that it is not about using traditional models of business.

 

As a past ambassador for Foursquare I quickly saw the potential and could have had a huge business going with their solutions, but again they clung to policies that slowed their growth outside of large cities where you had massive populations that provided just enough business to make it look good, but even there they failed to achieve their promise.

 

Don't get me wrong, in 10 years time we will be doing location based marketing in a big way. I just have a habit of being ahead of my time. The thing is that if we don't, then within 10-20 years, conventional retail other than C-Stores and other essential service providers like hospitality, food and health will shrink to the point that many huge names in retail will go broke. They won't even know why. They will blame the Internet instead of realizing that the problem was that they focused purely on stock-turn, aisle ends, product positioning and even skimped on quality staff.

 

If you are in retail and want to do well, start thinking outside of the square. Location based marketing is a great option for you, but it isn't just about GPS or proximity based marketing. The best tools in the world don't make you a good engineer, the best products in your shop won't keep you in business if you rely on foot traffic and if people aren't much into going shopping any more and can get products cheaper and easier online, then you are going to have to do something different.

 

I know of a lot of businesses that have gone under, or shrunk, claiming conditions outside of their control caused their ultimate demise.  I know,  I have worked for companies who thought they knew it better, the answers were all in the spreadsheets. Some of them no longer exist, some have shrunk by 80% or more and are hanging tenaciously to their aged stock reports. When they go under, they will be enduring a self fulfilling prophecy. Such a shame because I know many of those businesses don't need to go under.

 

They need managers or consultants with imagination who understand the new technologies and how to harness them to change their business models and reinvigorate their businesses as vibrant entities. The ones that do get it, and it can work in virtually any retail environment will thrive, the others with their staid old board members will scratch their heads and say they were always going to fail and unfortunately with that mindset, no amount of GPS Smartphone carrying, open to buy shoppers will save them.

 

What frustrates me so much is that it doesn't have to be that way.

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See inside NYC holiday windows with Google Maps - New York Daily News

See inside NYC holiday windows with Google Maps - New York Daily News | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
See inside Macy's, Bloomingdale's and other holiday window displays with Google Maps.
Luigi Cappel's insight:

So here's a glimpse of the future. Imagine if street view was able to be updated whenever there were new images to share? Imagine a world where each Google smartphone had a piece of software like Panoramio whereby each image of sufficient quality could identify where it is in location, could be picked up by Google and stitched into street view, updating that piece of the map puzzle.

 

If someone at Google isn't already working on a project to create exactly that I'll cut my hair off, seeing as I don't have a hat to eat.

 

Given that Google owns the operating system for a very large percentage of all phones and has software on most of the remainder, it would be very easy to do. Obviously they would have to deal with processing the data, but imagine (totally assuming they also have privacy covered) being able to see the cherry blossoms in Tokyo, the tulips in Holland, a line up for the Rolling Stones Concert in Madison Square Gardens and the latest Christmas light show on Fremont Street in Vegas.

 

Instead of looking at a Street-view map that's 2 years out of date, you could have one where parts of it are current at any given time. Google could then create location based games which would give people missions which involved taking pictures to fill in the gaps that haven't been recently updated.

 

All this needs now is for Google to acknowledge that they are either doing it, or that I gave them the idea, they could maybe offer me the job of setting this up globally, that could be fun, or at least a set of Google Glasses and the latest Smartphone to tether it to and I could be one of the first of the new wave of people helping to build this new copy of reality. I would start with some local Christmas highlights like Auckland's tree decorated with hundreds of bicycles, or some of the amazing New Zealand streets where every house in the street is lit up for Christmas, with amazing displays of yuletide.

 

Did you read it here first? How long do you think it will be before this crowd-sourced idea takes off? 

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Putting the User in the Driver's Seat of the Connected Car - Wired

Putting the User in the Driver's Seat of the Connected Car - Wired | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
The auto industry is racing to deliver on a grand vision for developing the “Connected Car” in which location technologies are integrated with relevant content to deliver a uniquely personalized online driving experience designed for those behind...
Luigi Cappel's insight:

This is a very well thought out and written article. If you are interested in the direction of the Connected Car, I recommend having a read.

 

A couple of very important points for me. One is that Google, whilst it has some very clever technology, is not (yet at least) capable of delivering true car navigation. It doesn't have the detail or the functionality, although it is fantastic from the perspective of a location based system.

 

A key issue is access to connectivity. Yesterday I was looking for evidence of a car crash that had been reported in New Zealand and  wanted to see a congestion map to see the impact of a closed national highway. Looking at the map it was clear that cellular coverage was week (or at least from Android mobiles, because it didn't show anything in the area of the crash, where I expected to see evidence of slow or stationery vehicles. I can only assume that mobile coverage was the problem.

 

Connected cars won't be very connected if they can't talk to a cell tower, unless manufacturers also look at mesh networks, but as far as I know most of the effort in that space is for late model cars of one brand e.g. Volvo to talk to each other. Not many people buy late model Volvo's in New Zealand.

 

There was also mention of car manufacturers who tie in to certain technologies, like the Volkswagen that had an iPhone cradle built in. Interesting move. Another very key fact is that many car manufacturers that put OEM car nav systems into their cars invest in the system and the initial map (typically one free update within a month of buying the car, but not ongoing) or they put in the map, but not the real time traffic solutions, which are equally important and available today. I do appreciate that the build design and OEM parts and partners are decided a couple of years before the first of a model is built. That means that smart ITS tech companies need to be involved in the car design much earlier. That means more car manufacturers need to consider mobile and ITS as part of their strategy, today is the information age. Safety is critical but location based computing will sell tomorrow's cars.

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Maps: The countries that have been hardest hit by extreme weather - Washington Post (blog)

Maps: The countries that have been hardest hit by extreme weather - Washington Post (blog) | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Low- or lower-middle income developing countries are affected most.
Luigi Cappel's insight:

I've read and written quite a lot about climate change and there are many who say it is not true, that climates are cyclic (yes they do have patterns) and it's all just scaremongering. So tell me a month in recent years that hasn't produced a record of some climate related kind. It might be hottest, coldest (I did say climate change), wettest, stormiest, windiest etc.

 

I've also written about climate refugees coming to New Zealand http://thefuturediaries.com/2014/11/21/the-climate-change-refugees-are-coming-to-new-zealand/ from the future, but if I read this graph it would suggest parts of New Zealand are also at risk.

 

Would I come back to or stay in New Zealand, yes definitely, not just because it has plenty of good drinking water and isn't subject to the same extremes as places like Asia, USA, Europe, the Pacific Islands and even some places in Australia, but also because we are a very tolerant multicultural society. Sure we have our rednecks, crime and other problems, but they are minor and rare in comparison to many 1st World countries. When a criminal escapes custody in New Zealand, the whole country knows who they were and what their circumstances were. Would that be the case in California?

 

Climate change is happening and it will bring good and bad. We will have more subtropical storms in New Zealand and  climate will force agriculture to rethink the best places to farm and what products are best suited to certain locations. We will be able to grow crops that we haven't been able to grow here before, it brings new opportunities. We have issues with Ozone holes, but I've never seen acid rain, or huge forest fires, or heard people complain about having to drink recycled storm-water and having to buy bottled water. We have plenty of fresh water and natural energy resources.I wouldn't buy a house at sea level on the beach unless I had a great insurance company and a back up plan, or was rich, I'm happy being 10 minutes walk from the beach.

 

This map should be compulsory viewing for people around the world. It should be used by teachers in schools to understand why countries rate differently to others, to explore ways of improving their conditions, or at least be prepared for what is to come.

 

So has anything changed in your area? Have you had recent climate/weather extremes? Do you ever wonder about the fact that every few weeks there is a storm, or a drought or giant hail or extra high rainfall, tornadoes where they aren't known, conditions that are the worst they have been in 100 years? Just watch how often those extremes are reported. It's more prevalent than you might have thought and it is not getting better. Many scientists and world health and safety authorities are suggesting that we have brought the world past it's tipping point and yet there still seems to be a political desire to not to much about it.

 

A good starting point is interactive maps like this to increase awareness and to just be aware of what is going on, at least in your neck of the woods. What will today bring? What's happening in the Philippines this weekend for starters. But also just watch in your neighborhood, your country and your neighboring countries. Not scouring the media looking for extremes, just look at every day occurrences and  think whether that is the same as it was 30 years ago. Think about what it might be like in 20 years time. Don't care? Do you have children or maybe grandchildren? What is in store for them and did we have a part to play in creating that and can we have a part in reducing the impact, even if we are past a tipping point.

 

I loved the recent comments by Stephen Hawking last week, which echo what I have been saying for years. If we had artificial intelligence perfected, the Hal 9000 scenario would make a lot of sense, This planet's chances of survival in supporting life other than cockroaches, scorpions and other species that can apparently survive almost anything, would be much improved if humans were no longer around.

 

I'm getting off my Sunday Soapbox now. I kind of like being human, I like living and I love experiencing new things. I also accept a responsibility that I share with all of you that in order for my descendants to have a safe environment to live in for the foreseeable future something has to change and it starts with each individual human being. It starts with acknowledgement that we have problems. 

 

What little thing could you do today? Pick up some rubbish, recycle some plastic, teach your kids about climate change. Plant something in your garden. Find out more about what's happening in your part of the world. You are the problem and you are the system. If it's to be, it's up to me.....

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Amsterdam traffic controllers offer commuters personalized route advice - CIO

Amsterdam traffic controllers offer commuters personalized route advice - CIO | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Dutch traffic control will use a mobile app to control traffic flows and keep things moving on Amsterdam's busy roads
Luigi Cappel's insight:

I will watch this one with interest. It sounds very top heavy and I am interested in the level of automation it offers. I'm hoping it is multimodal because Amsterdam has excellent train, tram and bus services. It is interesting that it doesn't provide navigation and assumes that you know your way around.

 

It's also interesting that they offer people choices expecting that some people will select a slightly slower route to the benefit of others. Maybe the Dutch will do that, being the socially conscious people they are. I can't see citizens near me doing that in numbers that would make an iota of difference.

 

One feature I do like is the ability for the motorist to send an audio message to report incidents, like live stock on the road, which transmits to the Traffic Operations Center together with the GPS coordinates. On the other hand this sounds like a very expensive solution, if not in development then in the people at the TOC, to deal with management of systems supporting and impacted by this. It sounds simple, but optimization of networks is a complex affair involving things like management of times on traffic signals and motorway ramps, managing implications of accidents, incidents and road maintenance. It would require a lot of modeling and management in the background and moat TOC's are flat out in reactive mode already.

 

A solution like this would be highly complex, but I'd love to see it in operation. Maybe I can get a quick tour of the system next time I'm in Amsterdam.

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StartupBlink maps startups, accelerators and coworking spaces around the globe - The Next Web

Ever wonder where the next startup boom might happen around the globe? A close look at StartupBlink might be of help. The site features a world map of startups, accelerator programs, coworking spaces and more.
Luigi Cappel's insight:

This is awesome, not just because it is on a map:) There are so many start-ups around the world an knowing just how many there are in New Zealand, StartupBlink has a way to go in order to capture a larger group of them, but this will happen as people get their heads around the value of his site. 

 

There are loads of start-ups in particular niches who could be collaborating with each other, where they are covering similar ground, for example those working on transport solutions like carpooling, tourism solutions, augmented reality, mobile apps.

 

One of the things I like about this service is that it recognizes that there are many elements to a start up and many people they need on-board or to be associated with. It might be they need a maven, a marketing/sales guru, funding, they may need established businesses that have the problems that the start-up is trying to solve to be their first clients, or perhaps to join their advisory boards.

 

So as a broad-brush look, what do I like about this site (which I will explore in much more detail to see if there are associations I want to develop)?

 

1. It is on s map and you can find businesses based on proximity. Are  you looking for a business, skills or people near somewhere you are going, people you want to meet. A map i much easier to use than a table.

 

2. You can search by category, such as start-ups, influencers, freelancers, jobs.

 

3. You can look by industry segment or focus, for example 3D Printing, Alternative Medicine, Big Data, Health Care Information Technology, Travel & Tourism as well as many more niche categories.

 

4. Blinks. I'm still getting my head around this, but it seems that blinks can be announcements, but can also be comments. You can vote, comment or share information including via social media.

 

When I have time, I'm going to explore this concept further. I may well find start-ups working and developing leading edge solutions in areas where I can use help, or it may be that I just get excited about some of the solutions and blog about them, to help others find them.

 

Last note, from my first look around. I don't know what their business model is, but it is free to register, so if you are a budding entrepreneur, in a start-up and looking for people or opportunities, why don't you have a look as well and lets see what comes out of a deeper look at http://startupblink.com/.

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If Pictures Are Worth a Thousand Words, How About Maps? - Algemeiner

If Pictures Are Worth a Thousand Words, How About Maps? - Algemeiner | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it

My blog is callJNS.org – A major book publisher, deluged with criticism for leaving Israel off a map in its Middle East Atlas, has apologized and withdrawn the book from circulation.

Luigi Cappel's insight:

My blog is called location is everywhere, but it seems that if you want it to be, location could be nowhere.

 

If each country decided to redraw the map based on how they would like the world to be, it might look very different. Russia for example would be much bigger than we recognise today, half of the countries in Africa would change their borders and then we have the groups like ISIS, who would like to change the borders of the Middle East changed dramatically if not removed altogether.

 

One must accept that borders do change in the course of history, even recent history, but let's not confuse people by showing something different to that which legally exists. It is very easy to indoctrinate and confuse people, which is of course part of the purpose behind these edits.

 

I'm assuming there is a global authority, probably the United Nations, where the boundaries of countries or sovereign states are agreed, even if not unilaterally.Those are the borders that should be shown on maps.

 

Anyone can then redraw their own versions, but name them for what they are. So the map above might be called 'the Middle East the way the Palestinians would like it to be', with Israel removed. Of course ISIS might want one with most of the countries including Palestine removed. I wonder how they would feel about that?

 

This blog isn't political and has no opinion about the borders or rights of nations, it is about accuracy at a point in time. Location Based Services are about people being able to use maps, GPS, mobile devices etc to find there way around the world. Therefore imho they should either be fictional or fact. If they are fact, what you see on your device, should be what you see in situ if they are factual. If they are not factual, such as in games, or for example educational where you might use a park to represent a pacific atoll, recreated in a virtual way so that people can experience and learn from it, play games on it, that's fine. Just lets be clear on what it is.

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Criminal gangs could hack connected vehicles on the road: report - domain-B

Criminal gangs could hack connected vehicles on the road: report
Luigi Cappel's insight:

Years ago my car was used as a pilot for the launch of a new security system and I saw videos of crooks waiting for someone to park their car, while they recorded the signal from the owner's remote control as they locked their Ferrari or other expensive motor.

 

Today with more sophisticated electronics to lock cars, I heard that the new concept for stealing cars is to try to get people to stop their car, for example by putting a baby pram in to middle of a suburban road, waiting for a concerned motorist to stop the car and run to a non-existent (hopefully) babies assistance. That way they have the actual keys and the car is already running.

 

The next step in cars is that they have computers that talk to other cars on the network in order to improve safety. If a smart car has to slam on the anchors for that baby carrier on the road in front of you, its computers will tell your car's computers, faster than you can say "Oh shit" and your car will attempt to come to a safe stop.

 

This means that it has open communications and according to this story universities have already tested these systems, including remotely engaging the brakes (if you want to get the car) or the accelerator if you want to crash the car. I'm sure we'll see this in the movies in 2015, but I'm more worried about seeing it in the newspapers and on TV in the next few years.

 

The good news is that they are doing these tests now and hopefully the systems will be encrypted in some ways to make this more difficult to do. On the other hand, a lot of lives could be saved if Police were able to govern brakes (i.e. slow cars to a safer stop) during pursuits.

 

Someone was asking me a few days ago if computing and mobile technologies are going to decline "I mean, what more could they do". The answer, particularly due to the Internet of Things IOT, is the opposite. We are going to see rapid change and growth in technologies that you must have at a pace that will boggle your mind. You just won't think of them as technology, it will simply be the home alarm that lets you see your visitors have arrived at your home before you, the security camera will show you their faces and a button on your phone will disarm the alarm, unlock the door, turn on the lights and let them get comfortable.

 

If you think 2014 was cool from a technology perspective, this year is going to be even more exciting and the pace will at least double every year imho.

 

Oh and a note for those useless TV science fiction series prop developers. We won't be using slightly longer mobile phones in 20 years time. They won't look like phones at all. Another topic on New Years Eve was how we are going to communicate. Your iPhone 6S ot Galaxy will look as antiquated as the brick and the iPAQ Windows Mobile I can't bear to get rid of. But as I tell my wife, it will be worth something as a collectors item.

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5 travel apps & websites that bring responsible tourism alive

5 travel apps & websites that bring responsible tourism alive | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
WRTD Five travel apps & websites that bring responsible travel alive by enriching traveller experiences and building better relationships with brands
Luigi Cappel's insight:

I've been trolling through end of year articles on how travel apps will make a difference to your trip and it feels like an excuse for journalist to take a deep dive (short for republishing stories instead of coming up with creative and useful new material) into old copy. I don't want old stories about Booking.com or tired apps, or what was popular last year. I read that last year.

 

So this story has a few interesting ideas. I was talking to someone a couple of days ago about how they always wanted to go to Egypt, but it will probably never happen, because it doesn't feel safe any more. Some people are getting too old for adventure tourism. I certainly agree when I look at what my daughter just went through through in the Philippines. Just 2 hours after she arrived at her river resort, she got a phone call from the management saying they had to evacuate urgently because the river was going to flood due to a major storm. She (unlike some other guests) managed to grab her luggage and leave, not long before the roof of her room was totally submerged. She spent the next two nights on a concrete floor being cared for by locals, then when the water started going down, went to to the airport to get out of the place only to find:

 

1. The insurance company would not pay for the difference in having to change flights (after the call center spoke to her supervisor) under the 'loss of enjoyment clause', i.e. you can't claim insurance because you don't like a place any more; just because it is flooded to the rooftops and you have had a frightening potentially life threatening experience, doesn't mean you can just up and leave, you have to stay somewhere else in the same place, if you can find one, because thousands of other suddenly homeless people are in the same boat as you.

2. The airport had been closed because of the storm, many flights throughout the area had been cancelled and to catch up, the earliest flight she can get on is 5 January, so she's stuck there anyway and given that boats weren't allowed to leave the harbor (not that I'd want her on one with the 15,500 people who were also stranded due to that sensible decision) there really wasn't a safe way to get out.

 

Luckily she found a resort that had a room left, it was a luxury room, more expensive than the resort she had been in. but a girl can't sleep on a concrete floor in a strangers home for a week unless she has to. A big thanks here though to the wonderful Filipino people for their hospitality. So there will be an interesting discussion with the insurance company subsequently because they want paperwork from the resort to prove that she couldn't stay here. "Hang on please Mr Insurance claim person while I snorkel down to my office and find a piece of letterhead".

 

But I digress, it's been a stressful few days.

 

The first couple of apps in this story are about apps that allow you to experience a place without being there. What I don't like about a lot of apps like this is the concept of a tourist video where everyone sees the same film. That's the point of traveling isn't it, that you have a unique experience that isn't pre-canned. So Africam allows you to watch places like a watering hole in the African bush, which sends out a tweet if a wild animal turns up for a drink or a play. Now you can see something that is happening in real time as if you were really there. No-one knows what will happen next. That's a very cool use of technology. People who can afford to go might decide from watching that they will go and see the real thing, which provides payback, while those who can't go, still get to have a unique African experience. Thumbs up from me.

 

Pack for a Purpose is another very cool app. The idea being, instead of filling up your luggage with extra clothes you aren't going to wear, you can look online and see what people need in the area you are going to. Now if you are going on that trip to the Philippines, you can bring clothing, or Africa might be pencils and reading books for a children's orphanage.

 

Storymap from Dublin is cool in that it lets you click on places on the map and watch videos or read stories about things that happened on that spot. It's cool, but for me it needs to deliver the mobile promise that is starting to happen around the world. I want information that is GPS triggered, delivered to my mobile that gives me options not only to learn about the place I am at right now, or 200 meters away in the direction I am walking, but also to be able to leave my own message, sounds and images.

 

Imagine my daughter being able to leave a virtual geocoded (GPS location tagged) message with a photo of her resort room with a tiny piece of the roof showing, and talking about her loss of enjoyment insurance clause to the person who is trying to minimize the insurance claim and wanting documentation from the drowned hotel to prove that she actually has nowhere to stay. Imagine also if she could mark a trail to the home of the people who took her in for a couple of scary nights (they might of course not want the publicity), so that others could pass that location and give them some flowers or just let them know that people appreciate their thoughtfulness and care, bringing total strangers into their home. Now that would make for a great story map. Imagine the stories that ordinary people could leave on street corners. Places where songs were written, pledges of everlasting love were made, people rescued each other from the rampaging mud and water that destroyed peoples homes and livelihoods and the subsequent rebuild. All accessible on your mobile as you walk along. Imagine if you could then leave your own story at the same place for others to find. I'd like to do that journey, drive up the hill and hug and shake the hands of the people who helped look after my daughter while I was stuck anxiously hoping for the next TXT message to say she was OK. 

 

So let's not just rehash old apps, let's look for new experiences that will enrich our lives, whether it be in the world as we travel it, or virtual travel from the safety of our own homes. It's 31 December 2014 and I wish you a very happy and safe New Year for 2015.

 

 

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Emergency Calls: Teens tracked by GPS in stolen car - Mansfield News Journal

Emergency Calls: Teens tracked by GPS in stolen car - Mansfield News Journal | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Mansfield News Journal
Emergency Calls: Teens tracked by GPS in stolen car
Mansfield News Journal
Police tracked the location of the moving vehicle using a GPS device kept in the car.
Luigi Cappel's insight:

This wasn't much of a story to me in that I read stories like this every day, (including the part where the thief is almost always caught with either other stolen goods or illegal drugs0 but then I remembered that I am not you and we might not take the same stories for granted.

 

The days when stealing a car is easy pickings are disappearing. If you have a car that is worth not losing, i.e. you value it more than the insurance money and inconvenience, put GPS in it. There are loads of low cost solutions. Some people are even just hiding old smartphones with prepay SIMs wired into the car so they are always fully charged as a very low cost tracking tool. I love how Police watched this thief drive the car, get stopped at red lights that Police pre-arranged and then watched him hop into the back seat to make out that he hadn't been the one driving.

 

You know, if you have nothing to hide, you should be welcoming all the web cams out there. They save lives and catch crooks. If you are a crook, keep committing crimes where we can track you and Police and find you, it saves the tax payer loads of money. Or go get a job. It pays better and you don't have to look over your shoulder.

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Trash haulers in Ulster County could be subject to GPS tracking by Resource ... - The Daily Freeman

Trash haulers in Ulster County could be subject to GPS tracking by Resource ... - The Daily Freeman | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
TOWN OF ULSTER >> The Ulster County Resource Recovery Agency is considering the purchase of software needed to track trash haulers who are in apparent violation of the county’s flow-control law.
Luigi Cappel's insight:

Get used to it. Tracking commercial vehicles is going to be more prevalent and whether they are going to the right places at the right time is part of the deal.

 

I was involved in a large national field service company. They wanted to rationalize that the amount of time the staff were contracted on site to perform a service was the same amount of time as agreed by the sales person and the client. One of their divisions was cleaning bathrooms and pest control. In some cases they found that work was taking longer and the following year they would increase the price, in other cases they were over charging and were able to go to the client and offer them the same service at a reduced price, which won them a loyal following. In fact they could have used it as a marketing ploy to show off their integrity.

 

Any whilst we're talking about GPS tracked vehicles, this company actually had a high sense of ethics and were very clear that they did not want to be big brother, they just wanted to be best of breed in their industry segment, They went further than this and used technology to include route optimization, working out which vehicles in which order, to reduce travel times and distance and provided car navigation to their vehicles so staff (often new migrants) wouldn't get lost.

 

They lost a very small number of people, whose lifestyle included spending a lot of time using their company vehicle for non company activities both during the working day and after hours. These were also the people who reported that their GPS systems weren't working, got sent direct to auto--electricians (not knowing that the systems had tamper alarms) and t transpired that the GPS antennas were encased in tin foil (effectively blocking the tracking signal). They typically changed their habits or resigned because they didn't want to lose their lifestyle, or have to work as hard as their colleagues.

 

The end result of this system was such that productivity and profit increased, most staff were much happier and their customers were provided with a dramatically improved quality service.

 

Staff who did a good job found promotion career opportunities and the company did so well that they ended up taking over several of their competitors who did not adopt the new technology. There are many significant benefits of GPS Fleet Management and when its about fairness for staff and customers as in this example, it is a win win.

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Location services: How GPS delivery is changing shopping - BBC News

Location services: How GPS delivery is changing shopping - BBC News | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
How do you guarantee fast, accurate and reliable deliveries - whether it's pizza or a Christmas gift? Use your smartphone and GPS technology.
Luigi Cappel's insight:

This is so true and will represent some interesting new business models. I came up with a concept a couple of years ago using GPS and Augmented Reality for deliveries of services. I called it Pizza on the Beach. The idea was that rather than just deliver the product to someone's home, why not deliver it anywhere.

 

Just in the same way that Uber allows you to see where your ride is on the map, if a delivery person was paid electronically in advance reducing risks of not getting paid and of being a potential target, they can deliver anywhere at all, right to your favorite spot on the beach (I'm in New Zealand on a beautiful summer's morning, where my local beach had about 30,000 people on it yesterday).

 

Using Augmented Reality on a mobile, the delivery person can point their phone (or use AR / Google Glasses) in the direction of the customer's mobile phone and see exactly here the customer is, even on the beach or any other busy public space.

 

Looking for a new business model? There must be countless opportunities for delivery based business models. Very low overheads and minimal risk.

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App Shopper: Tel Aviv Travel Guide - Augmented Reality with Street and Transport Map 100% Offline - Tourist Advisor for your trip to the city (Travel)

App Shopper: Tel Aviv Travel Guide - Augmented Reality with Street and Transport Map 100% Offline - Tourist Advisor for your trip to the city (Travel) | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Mac Apps, Mac App Store, iPad, iPhone and iPod touch app store listings, news, and price drops
Luigi Cappel's insight:

If you know me, you know I'm into AR and I'm always looking for ways to use it in mobile apps. I haven't tried this app yet and probably won't because while I would love to, I'm not likely to be heading to Tel Aviv any time soon. Before you stop and say I'm not going there either, the company that made this app has similar apps for many parts of the world. I'm heading for Amsterdam amongst other places next year and at the bottom of the link, you will find it on the top of the list of other places they have applied this technology.

 

However I love this app and the thoughtfulness that has gone into it. I've played around with Augmented Reality apps for a few years now, ever since I first tried out a Google One phone. Point your mobile in any direction and you will be able to see what businesses, retailers, tourist attractions are in that direction.

 

As well as tourist itineraries, information about public transport and much more it also includes offline maps, so if you arrive somewhere, like I did in New Orleans a couple of years ago and don't have a Sim Card for that phone yet, you already have some maps that you can download at home or somewhere that you can get WiFi so you are not already isolated.

 

Of course your mobile comes with map apps. They are great for finding your way from A to B, but if you are a tourist and want to see the highlights of a city, then a dedicated app that can help you highlight the things you want to do and see and find your way around is what you need.

 

It's just a shame that large states and provinces still seem to be focused on guide books. Loads of wonderful tourist attractions are missing out because their region doesn't have an app. Why can cities do it when regions can't? Because its easy to sell advertising and they target different markets.

 

Anyway, enough of the soap box. When I head to Europe, I will be trying out one of these apps and reviewing it on my blog. Why not try one too? At the very least you will have fun with the AR which makes it all so much more intuitive for directionally challenged people who struggle to turn a map the right way. You know who you are:)

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Don't Text and Drive—Especially If You're Old

Don't Text and Drive—Especially If You're Old | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
A new study shows that texting while driving becomes even more dangerous with age.
Luigi Cappel's insight:

On the way home this evening, I watched a few people txting and driving, no biggie, it was on the motorway, so not many corners. Yes I'm being sarcastic. Only two weeks ago I watched video of a car that crashed straight into the back of a stationary vehicle parked on the 'safety strip', no hint of braking involved.

 

So what does this story tell us? Older people don't multitask as well as younger people, No surprises there. However here's the thing. Young people who have good fast reflexes, obviously trying really hard on the simulator still crossed the centreline 25% of the time, when txting while driving.

 

Have a little think about that. How many reasonably sharp corners do you drive around every day when you are dropping off the kids, going to work or doing what you usually do. Now imagine if a mentally agile young driver crosses into your lane while they are on the phone. Let's say only 1 in a hundred are txting, but they cross the centreline 1 in 4 times while they are doing it. 

 

What do you think the odds are of you or someone you know being the victim of someone who thinks they are OK, a good driver, momentarily distracted, taking a chance to look away from the road, just for a few moments? Not much?

 

Here's a statistic for you from 2012 in the USA. In 2012 an estimated 421,000 people suffered injuries due to crashes involving a distracted driver. That's not the number of crashes, but the number of people who were injured where the injuries were reported. 3,328 people died. Last year (2013) over 153 Billion txt messages were being sent a month in the USA.

 

Oh and by the way, for the self congratulatory young people reading this message and being pleased that they are so much less likely to crash while txting, 10% of all drivers under 20 years of age who died, were reported as having been distracted at the time.

 

If it's that important, why not pull over to the side of the road (not the motorway) and do it safely? I wish you a very merry Christmas and a safe and Happy New Year.

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Traffic jam on toast ... it's the Christmas clog in Sydney - The Daily Telegraph

Traffic jam on toast ... it's the Christmas clog in Sydney - The Daily Telegraph | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
ABANDON hope, all ye festive holiday-makers, the Christmas traffic chaos begins now.
Luigi Cappel's insight:

Looks like a lot of the Sydney population go on holiday early. I've been doing a fair bit of research on this problem lately about New Zealand roads. The NZ Transport Agency has also been doing a lot of work on identifying peak times and on Monday, they will have Infographics on their Current Highway Conditions website http://www.nzta.govt.nz/traffic/current-conditions/index.html, which will allow people to identify the dates and times that they should travel based on peak vehicle numbers and the capacity of the most popular routes to take them.

 

A really interesting factoid is that in Christchurch on Christmas Day 2500 cars cross the Waimakariri bridge between 11AM and 12PM. It's not a problem, that is within capacity for the State Highway, its just a unique condition where the Christmas Dinner (lunch) is part of the Kiwi traditional way of life.

 

Another interesting fact from research suggests that despite the severe congestion 40% of motorists never check real time travel information before they leave. On the other hand, 60% say that if they had travel information they would change their travel plans, such as delaying their journey or taking a different route, such as one of the suggestions in this article.

 

There are of course loads of ways you can get travel information, the question is more about whether you look for it or are confronted by it, before it is too late.

 

Do you look for travel information before you go, or do you just go sit in the holiday parking lot and complain that someone should do something about it?

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Man runs miles to spell out marriage proposal with smartphone GPS tracker - Mirror.co.uk

Man runs miles to spell out marriage proposal with smartphone GPS tracker - Mirror.co.uk | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
A runner has proposed to his girlfriend of two years by running miles to spell out the big question on his phone's GPS
Luigi Cappel's insight:

There's a trend happening here of people using GPS to map out words, and particularly marriage proposals. There was recently on a story where a man went all over Japan for a year using GPS to track words on a map.

 

This is very cool and potentially a great way to get people exercising. I have been trying for years now to get Map My Run to consider a feature whereby you can see everywhere you have been on a map, without success. My concept is I want to see where I have been before and the goal is to cover all roads, i.e. go places I haven't been before. They said about 4 years ago that they would add it to the design mix, but maybe I'm the only person that has been asking for it. Maybe soon I'll be able to do that on Google Maps and won't need Map My Run any more. My phone seems to have a pretty good idea of where I am and where I'm going.

 

This would be another way that people could create GPS art, like this, but you can see my point which is the weakness on many of these apps, not just Map My Run. This guy has had to do one word per route and bring up four separate screens to share his message.

 

It's cool, but it feels very much like a Palm Pilot when it should be a Galaxy 5 or iPhone 6. Don't get me wrong I loved my Palm devices so much I kept them.

 

I have to laugh about the new phone with a stylus, representing it as a modern innovation.

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