The number of daily Google searches from mobile devices is set to surpass searches from PCs and laptops by next year according the Guardian. This is a colossal change – suddenly place becomes a crucial context to what people are looking for. What does that mean for a local blogger with loads of great local content? I’ve run a local blog since 2006 – there are about 1,500 posts on an area a mile long by half a mile wide, the vast majority about a specific place within that patch. Read more
Tag Archive for Geolocation
It’s great to hear that our augmented reality and geolocation toolkit for journalists has got through to the semi finals of the Knight Foundation’s News Challenge: mobile. Journalists have always had an acute sense of time about their work. But the rise and rise of mobile search means that they will need an equally acute sense of place to find an audience for their work. Historically the ‘place’ bit has been a meta issue someone else took care of. Your work was just in a paper or channel marketed at a specific place. Publishers themselves have been slow to wake up to geo-tagging so that the web itself knows where their stuff is about. And as the density of content about place and things increases exponentially media outlets , need to experiment with new ways of displaying place or object linked content such as the burgeoning augmented reality environments enabled by new powerful smart phones.
Our bid is to help journalists and others by providing simple tools to geo tag content and to bring it into augmented reality environments. We’ve done the hard bit – getting the tech to work at all in partnership with NESTA – we hope Knight will support us to grow and bespoke this work for journalists working across our great networks. Naturally I think we should win, but even if we don’t i hope our proposal gets people talking about the issues.
Over the past few months I’ve been working on the Nesta & Nominet Trust funded project HypARlocal (we really should get around to changing the name, suggestions?), where we are focussing on taking geolocated news content from hyperlocal blogs and publishing it for smart devices to find based on their location.
I’ve been quite wrapped up in the geolocation of content and pushing it out to Layar & Wikitude that I had stopped looking at what other AR things were out there.
I’ve been revisiting the app store and playing about with some of the new and some of the old apps to see whats new or how they have changed.
Aurasma, we have played with this quite a bit recently and have come up with some interesting public service uses for Aurasma and other image recognition apps. I’ll be writing a bit more on that soon but if you were at the Nesta event a few weeks ago you will have seen Will and I demonstrating one of our ideas.
One of my favourite apps that sort of falls in to the Augmented Reality group is Star Chart for the iPhone, for £1.99 I think it is worth the money. Fire it up point it at the sky roughly where you are looking and the stars and planets are shown relative to your location so you can work out what you are looking at.
because it doesn’t use the camera it just uses your location and the direction the phone is pointing, it also works during the day.
If you often lie on your back in a park watching planes fly over head and wonder where they are going then the Plane Finder app is the one for you. Again it is a paid for app but based on your location it finds planes and then overlays them on to the camera view of the sky. There is a free (ad supported) version and a paid for version.
I’ve nicked a screen shot from the app page here because it is raining in Stoke and there are actually no planes around to see.
I’m sure you have all seen the ads on TV for the Halifax home finder app? An obvious and interesting use of geolocation and AR, worth a look even if you aren’t looking for a new house.
And finally if you want to see Zombies climbing out of your tiled floor then Zombie Hunt is the app for you.
What are your favourite Augmented Reality apps? Share them in the comments below.
Most people who read this blog, or know me, will know that I have been working on a Nesta & Nominet Trust funded project on Augmented Reality for the past few months.
We have been taking content from various places and delivering it to people via their smart device based on there location, it is a bit of a hotch-potch of content with potholes from Fix My Street sitting beside food standard ratings from Rate My Place and content from local blogs. Nesta & the Nominet Trust have signed the project off now and are more than happy with what we have produced.
The AR project allowed us to create and test a platform that almost completely removes the barrier to entry for presenting content in to AR environments. We have a working proof of concept that we can show people and 99% of the people we do show go ‘wow that is so cool‘ or ‘if I give you this feed/data/content can you put it in there?‘ while pointing at the iPad.
Now we are starting to look at further developing the fantastic Apollo platform written by Adrian Short, to filter different types of content or produce different streams from different content creators. As part of this future development it would be really good if we could get a list of content types that people would find useful if they could be delivered based on location. Once we have a list then we can look at where we could get the data from, does it exist, do we need to create it etc. So two versions of the same question:
From a consumer of content perspective, what public service content would be good, useful, interesting if you could have it delivered to your smart device based on your location?
Or the same question to #localgov people, what content would be good, useful, interesting if you could have it delivered to peoples smart devices based on their location?
In other news about the same subject, we have submitted a proposal to the Knight News Challenge to develop the Apollo platform and build an Augmented Reality & Geolocation Toolkit, it would be really cool if you could go and like this so the nice people at the Knight Foundation can see that people are interested in what we are doing. If you are in a particularly Liking mood then you could also Like the n0tice entry as well.
So any ideas, suggestions & thoughts on Geolocated public service content or if you are in #localgov and have datasets that you might want to let us play with then talk to us in the comments below.
Talk About Local got the opportunity to spread the word about the hypARlocal prototype we’ve been working on at a Nesta organised event for people working with innovative tech projects in London last night.
The hypARlocal work takes a different look at the potential that augmented reality platforms offer for content with a public service emphasis such as local news and information.
So far we’ve worked with a number of hyperlocal publishers, including the Edinburgh Reporter, to showcase local content via AR (you can read more about this at the dedicated blog here).
During the event, William and Mike gave a demo of the two differ types of AR – the geo-tagged content from the hyperlocal publishers and then object-triggered AR where a physical object triggers an interactive experience via a mobile device.
Using this technology the demo showed how information from public health posters can be instantly displayed in a different language or take the reader to further resources.
Earlier in the evening the group – all makers of technology aimed at supporting communities – heard about the #wewillgather project. Its founders were inspired to create the platform after starting the riot cleanup using nothing but twitter. They realised the organising power technologies offers despite there being no organisation and are now rolling out a beta service which helps people locate and volunteer to ‘do good things’.