Tag Archives: gps

Now that Foursquare has mapped every business – time to start adding features

I remember a few years back when all the location-based services, like Foursquare, didn’t have a complete set of locations to check-into. I would often find myself creating a new location or skipping the check-in altogether.

Today, that seems like an issue of the past, as Foursquare recently said:

“We’ve hit a pretty amazing milestone – there are nearly 1,000,000 businesses claimed on foursquare.”

With a near complete set, the next step is to start adding features to each of those locations. Check-out Foursquare’s latest update as they do just that:

Starting today, you’ll start seeing updates…from the places where you’re a loyal customer. It’s an easy way to keep up with news from places you frequent, including things like new specials, pictures of the latest shipment of shoes, or a serendipitous food truck appearance. The best part is there’s no extra work for you to do: we already know you care about a place if you’ve checked in often or liked it, and will show you updates from it when you’re in the same city.

Also, when you look for places or when you check in, you’ll see these updates on the page – kind of like the chalkboard where a restaurant writes its daily specials. For example, when you’re on Northern Spy Food Co.’s page, you’ll see their recent update about their latest seasonal drink.

To see what these look like in action, check out some of the businesses that have started sharing updates. Some are national chains, like H&MTogo’s SandwichesOutback Steakhouse, and Wolfgang Puck. Some are universities on foursquare, like University of Wisconsin-MadisonUniversity of South FloridaDuke University, Texas A&M UniversityIndiana University-Bloomington, and Boston University. And some are local New York favorites, like Luke’s Lobster,  New York Public LibraryNYC Parks Department, and Northern Spy Food Company.

 

Source: Foursquare Blog - Introducing Local Updates from businesses – keeping up with the places you love has never been easier!

 

 

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Foursquare launches promoted updates – now all social networks have ads in your news feed

It’s official, all the social networking sites have started adding “promoted” tweets/posts/places to your news feed. It’s no surprise considering that Twitter, with its “promoted tweets,” recently said it has a “truckload of money in the bank”.

 

Today Foursquare is launching its version of search ads, Promoted Updates.

Promoted Updates operate like Google’s promoted listings or Twitter’s promoted tweets. They are pay-per-action ad placements that only appear when a user is searching for a venue in Foursquare’s Explore tab.

Foursquare determines a user’s current location and check-in history before displaying a Promoted Update. The ads are powered by the same recommendation engine as its Explore feature. All of the paid placements will be clearly labeled at the top of the feed; they can include a store’s recent news, photos or specials.

Foursquare has partnered with about 20 merchants, from small mom and pop shops to national chains like Best Buy, to launch the pilot program. In the next few months, Foursquare hopes to turn Promoted Updates into a self-service tool merchants of all sizes can use on its platform.

 

Keep reading: Business Insider - Foursquare Launches Promoted Updates, Its Newest Effort To Generate Revenue

 

 

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High-tech archaeologist uses radar, thermal-imagery, & UAV’s to explore sacred sites

Many Mongolians consider the tomb (of Genghis Khan) an extremely sacred place and believe any desecration of it could trigger a curse that would end the world.

“Using traditional archeological methods would be disrespectful to believers,” Albert Yu-Min Lin says. “The ability to explore in a noninvasive way lets us try to solve this ancient secret without overstepping cultural barriers.

Lin investigates sites with a high-tech tool kit that leverages photographs taken firsthand on the ground, images gathered from satellites and unmanned aircraft, GPS tracks from expeditions, and geophysical instruments. “There are many ways to look under the ground without having to touch it,” he observes. Thermal-imaging systems show what lies below by detecting heat signals and patterns emitted from the Earth. Magnetometry uses the Earth’s magnetic field to pinpoint subterranean clues as microscopic as bacteria in decaying wood. Ground-penetrating radar bounces back images revealing subsurface objects or disturbances. Tiny remote wireless sensors collect data from places no human can go.

“These new approaches could benefit all kinds of projects, from gaining a whole new view of regions like Mongolia to tracking animal migrations to mapping the brain,” notes Lin. “The real trick is synthesizing the vast amounts of information we collect into something that can be understood. My colleagues and I use visualization techniques to sort, relate, and cross-link billions of individual data bits. We program it all into a file that allows us to re-render it into a digital 3-D world.”

 

Keep reading to learn how they cast that data into a 3-D room that you can move around in and explore the archaeology site - National Geographic - Albert Yu-Min Lin

 

 

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Cadillac releases sophisticated array of semi-autonomous sensors for self-driving cars

Google isn’t the only company working on a self-driving car. Cadillac today announced that it is actively road testing a semi-autonomous system called Super Cruise that can control a vehicle’s steering, braking and lane-centering capabilities. Super Cruise, according to Cadillac, is designed to help make freeway driving easier on the driver when either stuck in traffic or during long hauls down the interstate.

The system works by combining on-board radar, ultrasonic sensors, cameras and GPS data to give your car the ability to read lane markings and detect curves in the roadway.

via Laptop Magazine

 

For certain luxury cars, we are already half-way (or more) there. From the Cadillac news release:

Many of the building block technologies for Super Cruise are already available on the all-new 2013 Cadillac XTS and ATS luxury sedans, as part of the available Driver Assist Package:

  • Rear Automatic Braking
  • Full-Speed Range Adaptive Cruise Control
  • Intelligent Brake Assist
  • Forward Collision Alert
  • Safety Alert Seat
  • Automatic Collision Preparation
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Side Blind Zone Alert
  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert
  • Adaptive Forward Lighting
  • Rear Vision Camera With Dynamic Guidelines
  • Head Up Display

The key to delivering semi-autonomous capability will be the integration of lane-centering technology that relies on forward-looking cameras to detect lane markings and GPS map data to detect curves and other road characteristics, said John Capp, General Motors director of Global Active Safety Electronics and Innovation.

 

 

Pretty crazy to think about all the technology needed to self drive a car. That’s 12 sensors/alerts/displays with more needed to fully automate the simplest of driving tasks. Makes our brains seem pretty sophisticated.

Google Street Roo – exploring the outback one bounce at a time

One of our top requests from our users is the ability to roam the vast Australian continent. Unfortunately, the remoteness of the outback has posed a challenge for our traditional Street View cars and trikes.

Today, we’re happy to announce that Google has found an innovative way to capture a special collection of images from the back of beyond to include in Google Street View.

Over the next four weeks, more than a thousand Big Red kangaroos will be equipped with a 360-degree head camera that will automatically capture images when the marsupial is on the move during daylight hours.

The cameras on our Street Roo collection team will be powered by solar panels stitched into the back pocket of custom-made roo jackets. Images will be wired to Google in real-time. A GPS tracker embedded into the jacket will match the location of the kangaroo to ensure the image is accurately uploaded onto the new Street View layer.

 

Keep reading - Official Google Australia Blog