Saturday, June 06, 2015

List of Location Based Services

I'll soon be starting a study on location-based services. I'll be studying the field rather broadly - any mobile application or mobile website that deliver geotargetted content.

Over the years, I've maintained a list of location based services on this blog.  I had to stop updating the list as it was changing too quickly to keep up. More and more apps were offering a locative functionality as part of their features.  On the other side, other apps were going out of business with equal rapidity.

For my study, I'm open to talking to people who use any sort of locative functionality on their mobiles. This can take the form of:
  • using Foursquare or Yelp for restaurant recommendations in your area
  • reading nearby news or gossip with Yik Yak or Twitter
  • playing location based games such as Ingress or geocaching
  • finding someone to hooking up with via Grindr or Skout
  • learning more about a place with Findery or Flickr
Below is a list of some of the popular mobile apps with locative elements categorized by their primary offering.

  • Flickr - upload and view georeferenced photos
  • Instagram - upload and view georeferencing photos
Coordination, Communication, and Safety
  • Glympse - share location with contacts and specify visit duration
  • Guardly - personal emergency system, alerts authorities and close contacts with user’s location in an emergency
  • Swim Guide - find nearby beaches, their safety status, and historical info
  • Ushahidi -  crowdsourced mapping and place-based storytelling
  • Yik Yak - anonymous, nearby gab and gossip
  • YWCA Safety Siren - sends location to emergency contacts; maps of women's health clinics & resources
Commerce and Marketing
  • Groupon - proximity based and general shopping deals
  • Geotrigger - service provider for brands to create geolocative mobile apps by Esri
  • Lovely - proximal apartment rental information (U.S. only)
  • Placecast - service provider for location-based business intelligence and geotargetted ads
  • - search and receive info on properties for sale in your vicinity
  • Shopkick - proximal promotions and customer loyalty programs
  • YellowPages - uses location to identify and search for nearby businesses
Geosocial Networking
  • Facebook - location sharing and encourages place commentary
  • Swarm - check-ins and friend tracking by Foursquare
  • Find My Friends - friend tracking by Apple
  • Google+ - share your location with customized groups
  • Grindr, Blendr, and Tinder - date finder apps
  • Skout - reputedly the world's largest network for friend and date finding
Health and Fitness
  • MapMyWalk - map and share your walking/cycling routes along with other fitness features - similar apps are Endomondo and Moves
  • PulsePoint - apps to locate volunteers trained in CPR for emergencies and another for defibrillators
  • WebMD Allergy App - geotargetted allergy forecasts, tips,and customizable alerts
Local Discovery and Hyperlocal Information
  • Around Me - find business near your location by biz type
  • Banjo - delivers trending news and events near you
  • Field Trip - runs in background, when users get to interesting places (e.g. business, sight) a pop-up appears with details (I'm not sure how "interesting" is defined however)
  • Findery - place annotations and photos to encourage exploration
  • Google Maps -  comprehensive maps plus proximal business search and recommendations
  • Star Chart - identifies user position to view astronomical information via augmented reality view
  • Tagwhat - hyperlocal info about nearby places
  • Twitter - tweet or search for tweets within a specified area or by hashtag
  • Weather Channel - geotargetted weather forecasts
Location-based Games
  • Friendly Fire - military themed game using own's hometown as battle headquarters
  • Geocaching - use your mobile device to uncover hidden caches - c:geo is a free, open-source equivalent
  • Ingress - physical world as site of collaborative science fiction competition
  • Parallel Kingdom - massive multiplayer online game that uses real world as setting for fantasy game
  • Tiny Tycoons - claim real places to compete for game riches/li>
Navigation and Transportation
  • Gata Hub - taxi-hailing app; uses positioning to identify pick up location and near cabs - similar to Hailo
  • SitOrSquat - find nearby bathrooms with user reviews of their cleanliness by Charmin (genius marketing effort and I must say the most useful apps!)
  • Uber - find a private driver, arrange pick-up spot, and track the car's location
  • Waze - community-based traffic and navigation app
Personal Efficiency and Organization
  • Checkmark 2 - proximal task reminder service (Apple only)
  • Matchbook - facilitates bookmarking and viewing businesses one wants to visit (Apple only)
Social Recommendation and Navigation
  • Foursquare - proximal business recommendations & reviews from friends and others users (check-in feature now moved to Swarm)
  • Yelp - user-generated local reviews combined with local search engine
  • Zomato (formerly Urbanspoon) - location based restaurant recommendations
Travel and Place Guides
  • Gogobot - travel tips from friends & other users
  • TouristEye - travel planning, destination tips, and nearby search from Lonely Planet
  • LiveTrekker - aggregate, share and map your digital media
  • RoadTripper - a travel guide for off-the-beaten path explorers
  • TimeOut - travel guide apps for major cities and tourist hot-spots with proximal recommendations
  • Trover - geotagged travel photos and stories
  • TripAdvisor - get the leading travel website's user generated content on your mobile with proximity search
Let me know if I missed one of your favourites. And consider helping me out with my study. Read more participating in the study on my research site.

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