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Fwix, Badger, CrowdFlower, UrbanQ, 360Cities and BestParking.com show off the power of geolocation
Several startups had five minutes apiece today at Where 2.0 in Santa Clara, Calif. to show off the location-based services they're working on. A few even had some brand new announcements to make.
Here they are for your perusal:
Fwix, a Web service aiming to answer the question "what's happening around you?", lets users search for places, based on zip code, latlong or street, and nearby trends. Hamid Schricker, product marketing at Fwix, announced Fwix Developers, an API for developers to use when building geo-enabled applications. The service, which boasts clients like NBC Universal and AT&T Interactive, sees eight million API calls daily.
Badger, putting badgemaking in the hands of the crowd, is a geolocation service for sharing and tagging pictures with the rest of the world. Once a user takes a photograph, they can either create a new badge based on that photo (e.g., "Art Cars" at Burning Man) or tag it with an already created badge (Street Art, Exploration, etc.). App launches in May.
CrowdFlower boasts one million on-demand workers, crowdsourcing large-scale data needs, including verification of constantly-changing location information.
UrbanQ is a location-based app for discovering places and experiences. More importantly, however, the application is partly built on Location Genome, a platform emerging from private beta today. Location Genome, which UrbanQ founder and CEO Maria Zhang describes as "Pandora for places," is a SaaS platform enabling app developers to flip on intelligent personalized user location interaction from day one. The platform already has several app mobile apps and enterprise businesses on board.
After showing off a couple sweet shots from panorama photographer community 360Cities (including one of Robert Scoble at Where 2.0), founder and CEO Jeffrey Martin introduced Panomonkey, a just-launched online panorama photo stitcher. It sounds too good to be true--and just might be since the product is still in beta--but Panomonkey automatically stitches photos you've taken into a 360 degree panorama of the like seeing on 360Cities.
Since the LBS guy from Verizon failed to take the stage, Benjamin Sann stepped in to talk about his service, BestParking.com, which aims to help users find... the best parking. And the cheapest too. Type in a neighborhood, address, cross street or attraction in your city, and BestParking shows you what street parking is like as well as the rates for nearby lots. Besides the website, there are apps for iPhone, Android, and BlackBerry available, in addition to a mobile Web version. Developers can access BestParking data through a website widget, XML feed or API.
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