Even before Facebook announced Places yesterday, I was writing this post about the perils of location based services like FourSquare, Gowalla and now Places. Much has already been written about the theft and stalker aspects of these services and for those reasons I’ve been limiting my use of these services and Leo Hickman’s piece in The Guardian last week only encouraged me to further limit my use.

What is interesting though is Weeplaces by Movity. It visualizes your FourSquare movements which I think for the user is fairly interesting in terms of looking at where you spend your time which when connected to other services like transport and housing becomes insightful. Of course this is a real goldmine for advertisers, especially if they have demographic information and given many people are less cautious than me when using FourSquare. This shows us where advertising may go – real-time, demographically targeted ads. Nothing earth shattering in that statement but it’s fun to see these things starting to happen before our eyes…it got me wondering about what else this could impact

 

  • land rents – imagine your rent changing weekly based on the shift of people or companies offering to offset your rent for sharing your data
  • traffic – it’d be interesting to have “things” checkin like our cars. it’d bring a new dimension to security tracking of vehicles but also traffic management and realtime parking charges
  • sales data – imagine combining this data with retail sales data to show the real spending patterns by demographics etc.

 

The land grab is on for location services and new businesses will be built overnight. There is going to be a tonne of cloud storage needed for all of this data and hopefully, a whole new platform for building apps on the web.