November 5, 2005

Yahoo! maps capitalises on slow start

Posted in Articles at 2:46 am by siddey

Although all the new Online LBS applications currently make it look as though the world is comprised purely of the United States and lots of water, I’m impressed with the potential of the newly released Yahoo! maps. Along similar lines to Google maps, Yahoo! maps demonstrates how Yahoo! has capitalised on being a late entrant by delivering some very nice enhancements to Google’s equivalent offering.

http://maps.yahoo.com/beta/

Have a good look around at some of the examples/demonstrations and you’ll clearly see both the consumer and business benefits of these services. To throw in yet more jargon terms, Online applications such as these are called Mash-ups. Mash-ups result from one or more online web service (e.g. Yahoo! maps) being used as the foundation for building another service on top that integrates additional information or functionality.

Software developers can leverage the features of these web services with relative ease. Mash-ups are not a new concept by any means, however, when did that ever stop the marketers? What is new is the relatively recent introduction of publicly extensible, location enabled web services.

Stripping back the jargon and hype, it’s a great way for Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft to lock people into using their web services. The benefit to them, as always, comes back to the advertising potential. Built into their publicly accessible application programming interfaces (APIs) is, or will be, mandatory advertising and branding. This is continuing the evolution advertising delivery models over the web as we currently know it. Companies will now follow us, wherever we are and for whatever it is we are seeking on whichever “connected” device we use.

This model is already resulting in consumers gaining access to lots of new innovative, information rich, location aware services and as a “bonus” we receive tailored advertising to help pay for it all. Such is the way of the capitalist world. Someone has to pay for all this cool new technology!

LBS Mash-ups are another evolving stream of online-only software. Online-only software has been in existence since the early Dot-com period. Instead of applications solely residing on your desktop computer, PDA or mobile phone, applications are accessed on the web using only a browser. This evolution has been popularised in the media under the labels “software as a service” and “web 2.0”. In the delirious Dot-coms days, the provision of Online-only software in a commercial sense was coined, “Application Service Provision” (ASP). Some people may rightly argue that they are slightly different concepts. They’re welcome to. For me, it’s still tomatoes.

Now we’ll just wait for SPAM 2.0 to eventuate. I can picture it now….

Boy sees girl…

Girl sees boy…

Boy’s PDA detects presence of girl…

Girl’s mobile phone looks up profile of boy on the Internet and sends a *kiss*…

Boy receive’s an instant message from Yahoo! maps…

“BUY VIAGRA NOW!…..just take your next left, head 100 metres down the road and drop in to BARNEY’S PHARMACY”.

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