Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Lost Forever - Remembering Location Based Services Now Gone

In preparing for my prior blog post listing location based services and mobile apps with a prominent locative functionality, I noticed that many of the apps from my prior list (in 2013) were out of business. An even greater number of apps were still "live," but had been abandoned by their creators and not updated in a year, or two, or four.

But I think it's important to remember these apps. Not only are they part of our social and technological history, but many of these apps created new directions and charted paths for future technological innovations. So this post is in honour of the trailblazers now lost forever.

List of deceased location based services:
  • Benefon - released in 1999, possibly the first friend finder feature
  • Brightkite - place check-ins and geosocial networking
  • Booyah - make of location based games MyTown and Nightclub City
  • Carrr Matey - pirate-themed parking finder
  • Centrl - geosocial networking
  • CheckIn+ - augmented reality check-in app
  • Citysense - nightlife discovery and social navigation
  • DeHood - tap into neighbourhood buzz to find local businesses
  • Ding Dong - ring your friends with your location
  • Dodgeball - SMS, pre-cursor to foursquare bought by Google and shut down (see CNET eulogy)
  • Dopplr - social travel planning (bought by Nokia and withered)
  • EveryTrail - user-generated trip recommendations
  • Fire Eagle and Friends on Fire - location sharing platform and API, by Yahoo
  • Flook - user-generated geolocated information
  • Glancee - friend finder based on proximity and social and personal commonalities (started in 2010, bought by Facebook and shut down)
  • Geoloqi - bought by Esri and shut down, their apps including DinoDeals - proximal alerts of deals, Geotracks - real-time friend tracking, and Geonotes - leave geotagged notes or subscribe to location-based info 
  • Geopedia - geotargetted Wikipedia entries - as also offered by WikiMe
  • GeoSpot - started in 2005, offered location-based information and search products
  • Google Latitude - real-time friend tracking (merged into Google+)
  • Google Local - proximal recommendations (merged into Google Maps)
  • Google Sky Map - identify the stars near you (open sourced & mothballed)
  • Glassmap - friend tracking app by Groupon (merged into Groupon Now)
  • Goby - suggested fun activities based on your location 
  • Gowalla -  place check-ins and geosocial networking
  • Groundcrew - place centered coordination and mobilization
  • GyPsii - European company that claimed to have the world's largest geosocial network
  • Hidden Park - location based game where fantasy creatures are found in the parks around you
  • HipGeo - geosocial networking and user generated place recommendations
  • Historypin - enabled users to add old photographs and text narratives to locations (website still running, but apps mothballed)
  • Hurricane Party - helps friends find, share, and create spontaneous parties
  • Junaio - augmented reality vicinity info search
  • Local Books - proximal search for book stores and literary events
  • Localmind - get answers about a specific place & real-time events by people who are there
  • Locatio - by Seiko, possibly world's first LBS, launched in 1999 it included locative mapping, wayfinding, geo-targetted weather forecasts, and proximal restaurants, hotels, and sights
  • Loopt - geosocial networking
  • Magitti - local recommendation, from PARC (see ReadWriteWeb article)
  • Mscape - location-based gaming platform by HP
  • Moby- family member tracking and coordination
  • Nearest Subway - locates nearest subway station in various cities
  • Nearest Wiki - content from Wikipedia overlaid on places via A.R.
  • Neer -  geosocial networking
  • Plazes - an early geo-social networking app, bought by Nokia (read eulogy)
  • PinDrop
  • Poynt - local search with proximity based reviews and mapping
  • Rally Up - geosocial networking
  • Red Rocket - pioneering Toronto-based transit app
  • SCVNGR - pioneer in location based commerically oriented gaming
  • Sitegeist - aggregator of locative info, including census data
  • Sonar - ambient friend finding
  • Task Ave - location-aware reminders
  • Tripbirds- travel tips from friends
  • Trippy - trip advice from your social network
  • urbantag - tag and share lists of places with friends
  • Voxora - voicemail for places
  • Where - proximity-based promotions and deals, by PayPal
  • Whrrl -  brand based groups for recommendations, tips, and deals
  • Zeitag - historical photographs overlaid of users locations
Let me know if I missed one of your dearly departed. Also, if you're interested in location based services, I'm conducting a study soon on this topic and would love to hear from you. Check out my study at my research website.

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