Local News + Google Maps + Social Media = TapIn

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Location-based photojournalism platform Tackable has been up and running since early this year. The service lets smartphone users take photos which get placed on a live map, and has functionality for journalists to create hyperlocal photo assignments to crowdsource reporting for breaking news in specific locations.

Yesterday the company announced that it had partnered with The California Newspapers Partnership and the San Jose Mercury News to create an iPad app called TapIn, which allows users to view layered information (including news stories, coupons, business listings, services, and events — as well as images and video) on top of a dynamic location-aware map. The app launched as TapIn Bay Area yesterday, and has plans to expand elsewhere in the future.

“TapIn is the world’s first location-aware digital newspaper,” Luke Stangel, Tackable’s co-founder, said in an email to Street Fight earlier this week. “Imagine cutting up your local paper into 10,000 little pieces, and organizing those pieces on a real-time map. Fire at First and Main streets? That article now sits above that intersection. Interested in the events happening in your neighborhood this weekend? Each event is time- and location-stamped, and searchable.”

The app is currently free, but Stangel says there may eventually be a $4.99-per-month subscription fee. Most of TapIn’s revenue goals are centered around location-based advertising, coupons and classifieds, and the freshly launched version 1.0 of the app features location-aware coupons. Stangel said nonetheless the company is continuing to experiment with other types of revenue generators.

TapIn also includes an experimental feature called “Gigs,” which allow you to ask for specific things from complete strangers, notes Stangel: “For example, you might read about the fire at First and Main, and want to see live photos of that intersection. Simply drag the Gigs pin over to the intersection and ask away. People at that location can respond with text, photos or video, using the companion TapIn iPhone app.”