TODO: Move each article to its own page, add a tag "press" for each. Then make this page pull the list of articles tagged "press"
Geoloqi - Foursquare's Biggest Threat?
December 9, 2010 by Meghan Casserly
Geoloqi is a fully customizable GPS-based application that lets you set your own reminders, rules and notes based on your geographic location. Think FourSquare without the exhibitionism. Geoloqi, the brainchild of cyborg anthropologist Amber Case and her partner Aaron Parecki, will use GPS technology to map users, but not broadcast their locations to the world—only those they choose to share it with and when.
The app lets you decide how long to share your location. "I'd like to share my location with a client if I’m meeting them somewhere, so they can know when I'll arrive," writes co-founder Parecki in a web presentation on the faults of other location-mapping products including Foursquare, Dopplr and Gowalla. "But after our meeting, I absolutely don't want them to access my location. This is often true even with friends. Friends' location is not always relevant to me. Current location-sharing systems are currently all or nothing."
"This is a very different approach to sharing than most social networks take," Parecki points out, "Since we don’t limit to sharing with other Geoloqi users."
The Portland-based pair of Parecki and Case has so far received no major financial backing, and Parecki says all design and development has been done by volunteers who are helping out because they are "very interested in the project." Pricing for the application, which will be released as a public beta in January and will be available at the app store has not been finalized.
With no millions of VC money to prop them up, I wondered to Parecki how Geoloqi hopes to be self-sustaining in the year to come, and his response was far from the advertising-based answer I expected. "We plan on licensing the iPhone software development kit to developers who want to integrate location into their own apps," he told me. "Also we will likely charge developers for heavy application programming interface access if they go over a certain threshold."
What's Next for Check-In Apps?
August 27, 2010 by John Sutter ![|right|300px|link=http://www.cnn.com/2010/TECH/innovation/08/27/checkin.apps/index.html](/press/files/2010-08-27 cnn checkin apps.png)
An open-source group called geoloqi is trying to take that idea of an automated check-in radius even further.
The volunteer group of app developers, which is based in Portland, Oregon, is working on a website and app that will help trigger events if and when a person walks up to certain pre-set locations.
For example, you would be able to set the app to text you your shopping list when you went within a certain distance of your favorite grocery store.
Or, if you didn't show up to work by 9 a.m., you could set the app automatically to e-mail your boss saying that you're late, said Aaron Parecki, geoloqi's founder.
"We're calling these geonotes," he said, "and these are location-based notes so you can leave yourself a note that is tied to a location and pops up when you're there."
The site and the app should be up and running in about a month, he said. Geoloqi won't be a social network, exactly, but it could be integrated into Foursquare, Gowalla or other location-based networks, he said. The group has one new project up -- it's a Seattle, Washington-based website that can send you a text message, in real time, when a 911 call is placed within a certain radius of you.
Geoloqi-powered ChatterCast Wins Open Government Hackathon
August 24, 2010 by Chris Mattieu ![|right|300px](/press/files/2010-08-24 tropo chattercast.png)
There is no doubt that this weekend’s 24-hour Open Government Tinkerstorm was a huge success! A conference room full of passionate open government developers came together along with city leaders like Bill Schrier, Seattle’s CTO, and Robin Friedman, former Seattle Emergency and Disaster Management Director. Tropo, Socrata, and Amazon AWS sponsored the event and remained on hand to help and guide the event participants to success. In the end, all of the entries developed and deployed are available as open source and were produced for the benefit of the citizens of Seattle.
Reflecting on the event, I wanted to share an interesting observation that I had during the course of the contest. The winners of the iPad, Amber Case and Aaron Parecki, were not originally in the contest. They were hanging out with us at the event working on their totally awesome side project called GeoLoqi. Halfway through the event, Aaron looks in my direction and says that he is interested in integrating Tropo SMS with GeoLoqi. Several minutes later his iPhone buzzes with an SMS and he looks at me and Amber and says, “It worked! GeoLoqi just me an SMS notification triggered by my location!” This was certainly very exciting for all of us but it the event gets more interesting…
Amber and Aaron left to get some sleep and came back in the morning for breakfast with an idea to enter the contest. Their idea was ChatterCast, a mashup of Tropo, Socrata’s data.seattle.gov, Instamapper, and GeoLoqi services. Basically ChatterCast subscribes your phone to real-time 911 call data provided by http://data.seattle.gov. ChatterCast alerts you based on your location of 911 events happening around you.
This is a great example of how someone with an idea can not only win a contest only after getting started in the final hours but how anyone with an idea can change the world. Tropo’s ease of use makes it super easy to communicate with telephones via voice and SMS or even IM and Twitter with a couple of lines a code. There’s no reason not to add telephone support to your existing web applications to make them even more powerful in this mobile and social age we live in today. So what are you waiting on? Sign-up for Tropo today and change the world!
10 Tools for Distributed Developer Teams
July 14, 2010 ![|center|link=http://mashable.com/2010/07/14/distributed-developer-teams/](/press/files/2010-07-14 mashable distributed developer teams.png) mashable.com
Recess Gallery Presents Social_Net_Works
July 14, 2010 ![|right|300px](/press/files/2010-06-01 gps map portland.png) Tonight from 6-9 pm, Social_Net_Works opens over at Recess Gallery (4315 SE Division, inside the Artistery), featuring artwork inspired by social networks. I've gotta admit, these projects sound pretty awesome: Alicia Gordon is showing photos which she shot during "Casual Encounters" arranged through Craigslist; J.P. Huckins is truncating a previous social experiment, Best Friends For A Day, to present, Best Friends For Ten Minutes (it's exactly what it sounds like— you'll be BFing with Huckins for ten); and according to Hungry Eyeball, Dane Overton "has converted two monitors into cyborgs that will attempt to communicate while observers can send them text messages to provoke or interrupt the conversation."
While the above projects sound great, l'm most intrigued by Aaron Parecki and Amber Case's GPS-generated self-portraits. Parecki has been logging his location every seven seconds via a mobile GPS tracker for the last two years; and for the past six months, Case has been doing the same. Using the GPS data gathered, experiential portraits have been generated, representing the artists' lives not in literal pictures of the body, but in images of where the body has been— plotting the artists' movements onto maps, and color-coding these movements under variables like time of day, speed of movement, etc.. See some examples here, or stop by Recess tonight.
The Future of Location Services: Recommendation
July 5, 2010 by Mike Melanson
Last month, I decided to take to the road with my blogging. Armed with a 12-inch netbook, an iPhone and a 1995 Chevy Astro Van, I've hit the paved pathways with many intentions to see just how mobile technology can or cannot determine how we approach and experience the world. Just a couple weeks into the experiment, I've come to one certain conclusion - ambient awareness and the combination of recommendation engines with geofencing is the future when it comes to all of these location-based services.
![|right|300px|link=http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/lessons_from_mobile_blogging_the_future_of_lbs.php](/press/files/2010-07-05 readwriteweb background location.png)
So far, almost all of these LBS apps are about me sharing my location with you, whoever you may be. While it's certainly a first step, they work primarily off ego rather than utility. They require the user to actively seek information, rather than letting the user define some conditions and receive notifications in response. There are, however, a few exceptions and they are where all other LBS apps should aspire to go.
'''Should "Checking In" Go Into the Background?'''
Foursquare, for example, recently updated to include iOS4 compatibility, but left out background location. Must we really open Foursquare and either check in to a location or browse a number of unrelated "tips" in order to find out about relevant services and locations in the area?
We spoke with one developer, Aaron Parecki, who focuses on location tracking mobile apps, and he told us that there were a number of factors involved in making apps such as Foursquare act in the background. He related his experiences living in both Portland and Eugene, Oregon, and how the place made all the difference in how he approached the data involved. Portland is a larger, more densely populated city than Eugene, which can change everything when it comes to location apps.
"In Eugene, I was able to define circles over places in the city and say 'this circle is the grocery store' and say 'if I'm in this circle, I'm at this store', but in Portland, it doesn't quite work that way because there are too many things close together and stacked vertically," he explained.
For apps like Foursquare and Gowalla, maybe automatic check-ins are not the next step. As Parecki points out, many different check-in locations can occupy the same space. Do we really want to be automatically checked in to every adult video shop, strip club and bar we go near?
On the other hand, these same services could use their wealth of geolocation data and check-in history to make location-based recommendations
Location-Based Recommendation Engines
What if I want to be able to tell an app that, today, I'd really like to go swimming while I'm out and about and have it alert me to swimming holes as I'm out running my errands. Or how about an app that lets me know, as I explore a new city, of art museums as they near within two miles? Maybe an app that alerts me to registered historical landmarks? Parecki said that this type of scenario is entirely possible, but access to location data and battery life are the primary areas holding back location apps from persistent background operation.
One app that recently updated and really gets it is Trapster, the iPhone app that keeps track of road hazards, speed traps and even roadkill. Although we ran into some general GPS issues, the latest version of the app does exactly what we'd expect - it runs in the background and responds to a series of user-defined settings. As you drive along, it will notify you of upcoming road hazards or other whatever else you set it to notify you about. One of the great things about an app like Trapster is that you know you're going to be in a vehicle, so the issue of battery life is likely eliminated, as you can keep the phone plugged in the whole time.
Another great app I've run into in my travels is & RV by AllStays. Although the app does not have background location or PuSH notifications, it has extensive settings for what types of points-of-interest you'd like to know about and how close they need to be before being included in the listing. As you drive along, you can have your co-pilot look at the app and it will tell you what points-of-interest, from Walmarts with overnight parking to state campgrounds to truck stops, are off the nearest highway exits. The app would take little more than a simple addition of background location and push notifications to be fully there.
As far as location data, AllStays has been gathering this sort of data since 1999, providing a database of travel locations as its primary business, and Trapster relies on crowdsourcing its data.
The pairing of background location with real-time data and user preference is the next step for LBS services. While we're all busy worrying that the Internet is going to whittle our existence down into a series of 0s and 1s, it already has but we're missing out on the benefits. Apps that are careful to respect our privacy with appropriate settings could open the world of mobile technology up to the very real potential that's out there.
On The Scene: On the map and in the future
June 3, 2010 by Angela Webber
!(/press/files/2010-06-03 oregon business on the map.png) Cyborg anthropologist Amber Case and PHP developer Aaron Parecki presented one such project of their devising, a yet-to-be-released program called "Geoloqi."
Geoloqi will track a user’s location at all times, and use this data to provide various services. A user can leave himself a note to receive when he gets to a certain location, for example, a reminder to pick up batteries when he's in the store. The user can send a real-time map to a friend or client, to take the mystery out of when he or she will arrive. People meeting will know exactly what time to expect you if they know exactly where you are—you can even set up an automatic message to send to your boss if the software can tell you're going to be late for work.
One of the goals of Geoloqi is to automate a certain amount of existence. Case and Parecki seek to make the interface "ambient," that is, require very little actual interaction with the software in order for it to work. For example, if you set up Geoloqi to turn your lights on at your house when you arrive, you won't need to interface with the light switch. If you have an automatic alert that will give you the next bus departure time when you arrive at an airport, you won't need to seek that information out on your phone.
This may seem a bit creepy to you, but Parecki and Case are obsessed with this project. Parecki has been tracking his location using his Android phone for nearly two years. He has maps of his locations, color-coded by speed traveled. Using only data collected from his GPS locations, he has created maps of Portland and Eugene.
Case also carries a phone with her wherever she goes, to track her location. She actually has a phone expressly for this purpose—she is carrying it in her boot at Open Source Bridge.
With questions of security and privacy surrounding open source giant Google and closed-source giant Facebook, Geoloqi may seem like a scary and dangerous thing. But some may not mind so much, according to Don Park, another Portland software developer working on GPS projects.
"For a generation that has grown up posting to Facebook and Flickr, this isn't such a big deal." Park said that this generation even reaps the benefits of self-promotion through these digital means.
Case and Parecki, and the Open Source movement, are going mainstream sooner than you might think. Geoloqi will be beta testing this month, and Mayor Sam Adams gave the Open Source Bridge keynote this morning. The future, for better or worse, is now.
Open Source Bridge: Geoloqi Will Let Everyone Know Where You Are—If You Want
''June 3, 2010'' by Ron Knox
What do you mean when you say you’ll be somewhere in five minutes? Are you actually five minutes away? Ten minutes? Still in the shower?
“Five minutes could be any amount of time,” says Amber Case, a cyborg anthropologist and about as close to a technology celebrity as Portland has. “That’s not even a real estimate of time.”
Now, Case and fellow PDX-based developer Aaron Parecki are close—like, superclose—to letting your phone do all of that hypothesizing for you. The two say they are weeks away from releasing Geoloqi, a mobile and web application that will quietly and constantly map your location and, if you’d like, tell your nearest and dearest where you are in real time.
![|right|300px|link=http://blogs.wweek.com/news/2010/06/03/open-source-bridge-geoloqi-will-let-everyone-know-where-you-are%E2%80%94if-you-want/](/press/files/2010-06-03 wweek geoloqi.png)
Here’s how it works: The application, designed the Android smartphone and iPhones equipped with the fourth generation operating system, runs in the background while you’re driving around or biking or whatever, taking GPS snapshots of where you are every so often and uploading those to a server. Those geo-locations can then be shared with friends, co-workers or whomever through a social profile.
The application is the culmination of months, if not years of work by the two developers—but Parecki in particular. Over the past months, Parecki has been using a GPS enabled phone to map his travels around the city, resulting in a massive Portland map filled with more than 10 million GPS points. The map shows not only location, but the speed he was traveling. The parking lots around Chinatown are solid black lines—you can’t go very fast when you’re hunting for a parking spot. Meanwhile, I-5 and the other highways around Portland are blurs of bright red—the result of GPS mapping at 50 miles per hour. Now, with Geoloqi, those maps of your location, and your speed, can help predict when you might show up somewhere—and let the person waiting know your ETA.
To hear Case and Parecki describe it, as they did yesterday at the Open Source Bridge conference, the uses for Geoloqi are multifold. Sure, you can tell a client when you’re stuck in traffic and running late to a meeting. But you can also tell friends when you’re on your way to the bar, sending an automated SMS message to their phones when you get within a certain range; automatically “check in,” Foursquare-style, when you show up at a certain place; if you have the right adapter, you can turn you lights off and on when you leave and return to your home—no switch required. And so on.
Plus, the application can communicate with you—the future you. If you need the future you to remember to pick up eggs at the store, you can leave yourself a geo-tagged note on a desktop map. Then, the next time you show up to the store, you’ll get a text message: Pick up eggs. If the future you will be traveling to a city you don’t know very well, leave the future you notes about what bus route to take, what the building your going to looks like, which restaurant to eat at. And of course, whoever you’re planning on meeting in this city can know when you show up. All in real time.
Knowing where someone is in real time can have real benefits, beyond just the coolness of knowing. Instead of waiting patiently for someone to show up, you can carry on with whatever else you’d rather be doing—playing Google Pac-Man or whatever—until a text message tells you they’re right outside. And rather than standing on some random street corner staring at your phone hunting for directions, texts with embedded maps will pop up on your phone, showing you exactly where to go without you having to search for it.
Of course, having others know where you are can be problematic, privacy-wise. You don’t want your boss to see that you’re at the Beavers game when you’re supposed to be sick in bed. You don’t want your ex to know where you are—ever.
Parecki says that’s exactly why the application has two ways to hide your information—according to both who you want to see it, and how long you want it shown for. For your friends, you can, in a sense, turn off your signal. Most of your friends don’t care to see where your are at all hours of the day, and vice-versa. For other people, like business for example, you can simply send out a link with to a map of your GPS data that expires whenever you want it to—in a half-hour, and hour and so on.
The principal is based in augmented reality—basically, the real world as enhanced by technology. Reality, as we know, is filled with interfaces. Every light has a switch. Every Foursquare check in requires you to poke at your phone in public for five minutes. But in the reality this application creates, all that goes away. Lights turn on when you pull in the driveway. You check in without every picking up your phone. With this, Parecki says, “you take away the interface. The interface becomes ambient.”