20 November 2005

Geo-Tagging & Ambient Findability

After a conversation about geo-tagging with Ton Zijlstra last Thursday, my antenna are obviously now picking up on anything related to location, tracking and the possibilities that roll from that. This is a focus of his. Several months ago, he turned us on to Plazes.com, a nifty web service that let's you find people in your vicinity, and even available wifi. Plazes.com is cool because it visually brings you into an environment with photos and maps, so that you can see where you are in context of others - or in relation to the nearest available wifi. You connect through geographic accessibility.

Findability seems to be an emerging key strategy...not just people but information, connections, places, things.

With this in my head, I ran across an article from the Linux Journal on "Geotagging Web Pages and RSS Feeds", which is more about working with the technology for tagging websites than the networks it can create. Still, it fed into my thinking about how location technology enables us to do so much and to connect in so many different ways.

Last month, I read a great piece on Ambient Findability from Peter Morville. This led me to tracking the bookmarks at Del.icio.us/livlab/ambientfindability.

What I see happening is a convergence into web-based services sites that allow us to co-develop social applications that help us connect ourselves - our content, our location and our way of behaving with others - with others and their content, location and ways. This is another form of social networking based on finding others with a shared interest, purpose, or just location.

Visualizing what we need to find is also important to finding it. What if you had a tag cloud floating close by, continually fed by your Del.icio.us bookmarks. You could just have a peek, tap it and connect to your resources. Of course, this means we have to start refining our tags into relevant category streams.


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