The Convergence of Location, Mobile and Social Technology - And the Data That Makes it Happen
2011 is the year social applications (Facebook, LinkedIn) are morphing together with location-based applications (Four Square, Google Earth/Maps, GoWalla) in new and exciting ways. As usage of these applications explodes, it is leading to new opportunities in the data space.
Smartphones (Android, iPhone) and tablets (iPad, Android also) are generating large volumes of location data as they are moved almost continuously from point to point. This data, combined with social and location applications, is creating a new wave of application innovation. The applications will be heavily dependent on a broad range of data however, not just user location data.
So where does StrikeIron fit in?
Much of the positional data behind location-based applications are generated by the devices themselves. However, much of this data is only useful when utilized in conjunction with large datasets of businesses, addresses, location databases, customer data and other types of relevant data that is being compared or referenced to. This can be especially valuable when delivered to a device providing some kind of valuable result or insight in real-time. However, it is very important that these datasets of reference information are accurate, comprehensive and current. Otherwise, the user experience can be quite frustrating and adoption of these applications will be slow and far less successful.
People and their organizations are gradually beginning to understand the importance of data quality in general, but for use with location-based applications, address quality is especially important.
StrikeIron's Address Verification capabilities are not only used to validate the existence of addresses, as well as ensure mail deliverability, but they are also used to generate latitude and longitude coordinates of an address as part of the validation process (as well as several different types of geocode data such as census tract data). These "geocodes" can then be used in many scenarios such as calculating distances between addresses or points from a certain business, legal uses of address proximity (many law firms use this service), real-time proximity to customers or prospects, geo-related business intelligence such as customer distribution, product distribution maps, satellite-related navigation, nearest store locators, assigning appropriate representatives in call center scenarios and many more. All of these can be enterprise or consumer-oriented in nature and each use case can be key components of social/mobile/location applications.
So as the proliferation of devices and more applications containing mobile, location and social aspects continues, technologies that ensure a high quality base of data for these applications to run on top of will be equally as important in this next wave of innovation. Fortunately, with real-time APIs from StrikeIron to insert anywhere in the process, it makes putting these new ideas to work a whole lot easier and effective.