Hot Inside the Perimeter

So many of my friends ask me – what the hell is that foursquare/gowalla/brightkite thing I see popping up on your Facebook, Twitter or blog feeds. Well, for those not in the know, it’s possibly the next big thing (or possibly just annoying). Anyway, these are all so-called LBS or Location-Based Services. These services are all variations on the idea of ‘checking in’ to physical locations via a GPS-enabled mobile device to let your friends know what you are up to. Some, like Gowalla, involve a game of sorts, where virtual objects are available for pickup when you check in, rather like a virtual version of Geocaching. Gowalla ran a scavenger hunt in December for actual prizes – t-shirts, $10 iTunes gift cards etc – and I managed to find an iTunes card on my last trip to NYC, although I’m still waiting for the card to arrive. Anyway, as seen above, there is this spiffy site Wheredoyougo that creates a heatmap of your check-ins by using the Foursquare APIs along with Google maps. No surprise there that I pretty much stay ITP (or at the airport, ahem). There’s also a cluster of activity up on Buford Highway where I drag the family to get our ethnic on as frequently as possible ;-).

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