A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal media, technology, advertising and startups.
In the automotive space, the responsibility for advertising is shifting from car makers to car dealers, and that means significant boost for local media, especially online, according to a report looking at the auto category from Borrell Associates. Online is pulling ad spending from car companies and dealers at a more accelerated rate, and display is likely to remain a key beneficiary. (Paid Content)
In the quest for a unified database of places, geo-location startup Factual is making big strides. Yesterday it announced a partnership with SimpleGeo to maintain and power its places database, which up until now has offered a competing database of places in the eyes of developers. (TechCrunch)
Groupon launched in China earlier this year and while it’s been tough going, the Chicago native is slowly gaining ground. China currently has 4500 group buying sites but Groupon, or GaoPeng as it is called there, was number 15 in terms of revenue at the end of May — which is not bad considering the company’s late entry into the market. (Daily Deal Media)
What might location technology look like once it moves into the mainstream? Fast-growing startup Life360 is aiming for that mainstream market and has interesting plans. The company offers a free app for family members to track each other’s locations. (ReadWriteWeb)
Shadow Cities is a location-aware, network-friendly iPhone game that may be a great indicator of where things could go in the future. It uses your real-life locations (with maps like you’ve never seen before) and real people, and puts them in a game-like environment. (GigaOm)
Hyperlocal city website Rockville Central has migrated operations from a standalone website to a Facebook page. Is the news organization’s shift a bold move or a big mistake? (10,000 Words)
Hot on the heels of Loopt’s announcement that it is moving into the daily deals space with U-Deals, a young startup called Ringleadr is chiming in with its own user-generated deals service. Rather than fall back on deals that are already being offered through the hundreds of deals sites across the Web, Ringleadr wants to let its users make the deals. (TechCrunch)