Personal Location Data: Next Business Killer App?
Ferhad Erdogan
JUL 16, 2013 08:00 AM
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Smartphones and tablets provide fast growing access to a new kind of data called personal location and related location based services. And these same devices that provide this spatial data can also allow people to form communication networks with their workgroups.

Most businesses and real world applications now need to combine spatial data and communications within workgroup defined networks. As an example, mapping is an essential tool for fire service and search and rescue teams formed for emergency services, then disbanded when the tasks are completed. Adding spatial data to real time collaboration tools provides an intelligent and interactive visualization of location based data and analysis.

Furthermore, analyzing this data can lead to more informed decision making and enable working groups and teams to share data more efficiently, regardless of location. This can improve workflow; reduce time required for particular tasks and share valuable insights and comments that will improve the overall scope of the project. As an example, having up to the minute information as to the exact location of each member in a search and rescue team can literally mean saving lives. In business, this data improves decision making for marketing campaigns such as customer demographic data thus allowing companies to refine budgets and marketing campaigns.

A sales team's geographical activities are easily tracked and mapped to maximize productivity and efficiency. Team members can also send each other various work related information and pull data from a central location about their customers, engineering projects or other workgroup oriented tasks. Public transportation can re-route services as necessary and in real-time, delivery services assure timely delivery while collecting valuable data such as on time delivery, vehicle performance and other logistics.

There could be many uses for this combination of technologies. A search and rescue team can collaborate with each other on missions while keeping track of their location. A repair team can keep track of each other and exchange knowledge in real time; a transportation fleet can also remain connected while sending spatial data to their network. Environmental applications include forest industry mapping, trail mapping or wetlands delineation. Public safety applications could encompass 911 address mapping, aerial surveys, fire perimeter mapping, locating buried infrastructure and facility maintenance surveys. Lastly, the technology is applicable for incident reporting applications such as animal migration tracking or oil spill assessments.

A real world example of how this innovative technology was utilized was with the Turkish Government Forestry Service. A smart phone solution running on iPhones/iPads and Android devices used geo-location data applications to inform people on key landmarks, wildlife, and more, while they traveled through an historical national park in Turkey, visitors are informed about the location they are at as they travel to various spots in the park.

As we can see with the examples too, spatial data technologies combined with the ever growing base of smart devices are here to enhance communication and collaboration, especially in groups.

With the spectacular growth of smart mobile devices and big data on the cloud spatial data shows up as a great reference data in bringing mobile technology applications of all kinds.

by Ferhad Erdogan
Co-Founder, Arvenos Technologies. For more information, contact Ferhad Erdogan at all@arvenos.com, or via twitter address: @bginteractive.

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