A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal content, commerce, and technology.
HopStop Live Brings Real-Time Crowdsourced Transit Information to the iPhone (Verge)
Popular transit app HopStop today announced the launch of HopStop Live, a crowdsourced platform for reporting and seeing when trains, subways, and buses are delayed. While a couple of apps like NextTrain have tried crowdsourced transit delays before, none have the scale of HopStop: over two million monthly active users, 700 transit agencies, 20,000 lines, and 750,000 stops in total.
Efficiently Selling to SMBs: Finding Paths of Less Resistance (Street Fight)
Michael Boland: We’re entering a more fertile environment for what I’ll call the SMB advertising “Trojan Horse.” Local companies start by targeting SMBs’ CRM systems, payroll, back office management, reputation management and payment processing. From there, local advertising can be unveiled as a “one-stop-shop” upsell.
Check In, Flame Out: How To Save Foursquare (TechCrunch)
John Biggs: With their tactics struggling in the face of better-established competitors like Yelp, and their strategy apparently consisting of plotting a course between Google and Apple’s Scylla and Charybdis in a leaky drifting raft. What’s poor flailing Foursquare to do? Funny you should ask. I happen to have an answer. And it is this: merge with Groupon.
Layar Shifts Focus From AR to Print, But Has Hopes for Geo-Located Future (Street Fight)
When Layar launched in 2010, a lot of excitement about the Dutch company stemmed from its augmented reality browser. But while the concept was very cool to local-focused techies, it didn’t quite catch on with regular users the way that it needed to.
Patent filing Suggests Apple is Working on ‘Street View’ Mapping Technology (Apple Insider)
An Apple patent application discovered on Thursday hints that the company is looking to deploy on mobile devices a virtual navigation system based on panoramic location data, much like the popular “Street View” seen in Google Maps. Published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Apple’s “3D Position Tracking for Panoramic Imagery Navigation” describes a graphical user interface that leverages an iPhone or iPad’s onboard sensors to navigate panoramic imagery.
Google Local: Are Mobile Signals Actively Used in Ranking Local Results? (Blumenthals)
Mike Blumenthal: I would suggest that the future is now and that Google is currently using some mobile signals in their current ranking algo. Google has invested in a number of technologies that will give Google on the ground signals as to whether a consumer actually visited a location and consummated a sale. But Google has two very widespread highly trusted technologies, Driving Directions and Android, that function at huge scale and could be providing signals now.
California Bill Would Require Companies to Tell You What Personal Data They’re Storing or Selling (Verge)
California Assemblymember Bonnie Lowenthal hopes to fix privacy with the California Right to Know Act of 2013, a bill that would require companies who keep sensitive personal data like buying habits or location information to disclose it to users on demand. Companies that don’t keep data, or that anonymize it to the extent that it cannot be linked to a particular person, won’t have to report.
Leaders in Indoor Location Positioning Technology (The Next Big Thing)
Don Dodge: Indoor Location will be a huge market, bigger than Maps or GPS. Many big companies have been researching this technology for years. Some already have products in the market. Here is a quick look at some of the players and where they fit in the technology stack.
SavingStar Lands $9M From American Express, First Round & More To Expand Its Grocery eCoupon Service (TechCrunch)
SavingStar, the paperless coupon and loyalty service for grocery stores, is adding another $9 million to the bank, both from its existing investors and newcomers like corporate benefits provider Edenred and American Express Ventures. SavingStar has been able to stand out from the ranks of eCoupon players by offering a model that enables customers to collect rewards earned over multiple trips to the grocery store, while allowing them to decide how they want to cash in their rewards — whether it be a bank or PayPal deposit, a donation to charity or a gift card.