A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal content, commerce, and technology.
Square Launches Web Directory to Find Local Merchants (GigaOm)
Square is launching a web-based directory of merchants who take Square and Pay with Square payments. The service is limited for now but shows how Square can be a better resource for its merchants and better local discovery tool for consumers.
Airbnb Gets Into Recommendations With “Local Lists” Of Users’ Favorite Neighborhood Hangouts (TechCrunch)
Airbnb has quietly been getting into local recommendations, sending out surveys to its users as a way to find out which local neighborhood places its guests should check out. The hope is that by providing recommendations to guests, they’ll have a better stay, see more local sites, and check out other recommended local vendors while in town.
5 Reasons Location Is The Smartphone’s Killer Map (Fast Company)
For a long time location-specific advertising has made sense, simply because it allows hyper-precise targeting. But in terms of mobile computing it’s never been very precise because you don’t take your computer everywhere and it doesn’t have GPS. Your smartphone, of course, does.
While Apple and Google Bicker, Knight Invests in Open Maps (Nieman Journalism Lab)
September was a big month for maps: Amazon released its own Maps API to challenge Google’s hegemony. Meanwhile, the Knight Foundation put its money and might behind maps owned by no corporation: OpenStreetMap.
Curiosity Rover Makes First Foursquare Check-in on Mars (Mashable)
Curiosity’s first check-in was today at the Gale Crater, where she made her first landing on the night of Aug. 5. Located on the equator of Mars, the Gale Crater is home to the 3-mile high Mount Sharp and is Curiosity’s primary target as it holds billions of years of Martian history.
Itography Hopes to Lure Advertisers to Location-based Virtual Collection Game (Venture Beat)
Itography wants to change mobile ads into something better that both brands and consumers will love.The Austin, Texas-based startup, is creating a game where mobile users can pick up virtual branded items such as shoes at real-world locations using their smartphones.