Location aware services coming of age

Some of the earliest posts on this blog were about how powerful location aware services could be. I spoke about Mobile Mashups and SOA, as well as Location Based Services (LBS) and AGPS and finally the value of Location (and how I thought it was relevant, but not quite sure what to do with it). You’ll notice this is “so long ago” in Internet History (last year) that I refer to Touchstone, now called Particls.So it’s with great interest that I can see some of the things I was blogging and thinking about beginning to become a reality. I was a user of Plazes for a while, but ultimately gave it up because to some extent I just didn’t get it and I think having seen BrightKite now, it was missing the fine-grained access I needed to feel comfortable at that time (it may have it now I haven’t re-checked).BrightKite is a very compelling and interesting service, provides reasonable privacy settings, but also links in to Twitter by default to set either your location or tweet it. I’m going to see how it evolves, but I can see BrightKite becoming part of my tweeting in the future (especially when I get a new phone in the next couple of months). It will potentially be my photo-log of where and what I’m doing, auto-feeding this in to Twitter as appropriate, while I’ll use Twitter directly through it’s various other clients for my 140 character tweets on the world and the community.Another interesting feature of BrightKite is FireEagle. FireEagle sounds like it’s the DataPortability answer to Location Based Services, an open exchange for location information and the fact that a player like Yahoo is making a move in this space suggests we are at the cusp of big things to come.Dopplr also adds to the picture of location based services, although in this case Dopplr fulfills a “Where am I going” rather than a “Where am I” feature.I speculated early on, that LBS would potentially be of use for the Enterprise, but I couldn’t quite touch on the use. The big area I could see is staying in touch with the people who are part of your Enterprise as they move around, with BrightKite and it’s GEORSS feeds, Dopplr and it’s “where am I going to be” and services like FireEagle, I can see that in the next 6–12 months, this will start to become a reality.To paraphrase myself from over twelve months ago:

As Architects, understanding how location works and what location information is needed to tie the system together will be critical steps that can be taken now to ensure early mover advantage when it finally becomes a reality.