OGC at Location Business Summit USA 2012

The OGC joined with M For Mobile for the Location Business Summit USA 2012, held in October in San Jose, California. 

150+ senior-level attendees from companies such as Yahoo, Google, and AT&T were in attendance, as well as innovative location based services companies such as Sensewhere, Micello, and PointInside.  The agenda provided practical information about how location can be used to target users appropriately, tailoring location content to fit the context of what users want and need. "Location business" involves such things as:

  • Connecting with consumers on their mobile devices
  • Enabling proximity marketing
  • Providing invaluable customer data
  • Redeeming coupons
  • Engaging drivers safely but effectively

There were many opportunities to examine emerging technologies such as indoor location, augmented reality and location based advertising, and to discover how other companies are using location based services to realize revenue. OGC's IndoorGML, ARML2, and 3D Information Management (3DIM) activities were highly relevant to the interests of people at this event.

  • Panel discussion on predicting behavior based on location

I was on a panel discussion on with David Petersen, CEO, Sense Networks and Brian Wool, VP of Content Distribution, Localeze, moderated by Bill Michels from Factual. My input during the panel spurred conversation about effectiveness of location information in predicting behavior, which led to topics of location privacy.

"Is Human Mobility Tracking a Good Idea?", a recent article in ACM Communications, discusses research on "How Predictable Are You?" including this quote: "In a study involving 50,000 mobile phone subscribers, researchers found they could, on average, accurately predict the movements of individuals 93% of the time."

Location is highly effective for predicting behavior, so it can be highly profitable.  As legal discussions begin to consider location privacy it is important to consider a second theme in the ACM article. "Is it unethical or even illegal for an unknown entity to profit from being able to predict her movements?"  The OGC Spatial Law and Policy Committee (SLPC) provides a forum to discuss the unique legal and policy issues associated with spatial data and technology.

David Peterson of Sense Networks made a presentation on "transforming raw location data into actionable intelligence."  He made the point that geofencing is not sufficient and that history of location is needed to be effective in predicting behavior.  Their Retail Retargeting product gives retailers targeting options when combined with Sense Networks’ spectrum of 1,000 behavioral attributes for each user. Their company's privacy and data ownership policies are based on The New Deal on Data, as advocated by Alex "Sandy" Pentland, head of the Human Dynamics group at MIT.  

  • Indoor Location Panel

An interesting panel addressed “Opening up the Indoors for Location Services.”   Ankit Agarwal, CEO, Micello said that they are "largest provider of Indoor maps".

Nathan Pettyjohn, aisle411 made the prediction: "Bluetooth 4 deployment for indoor location will occur in next 12-18 months."  

aisle411 is a new member of OGC.  aisle411 entered the market in August 2009 with a mobile service that allowed consumers to search retail stores for product locations inside stores using their mobile phones.   Kris Kolodziej is VP, Location Services for aisle411.

  • Random items

Accuracy of location data was seen as a concern.  One presentation stated, "Roughly half of all venue data on Facebook and Foursquare is not accurate."  This is an area the OGC membership could address by defining a schema for assessing PoI and similar geospatial data quality topics.

Augmented Reality was present in several panels and presentations including Brian Selzer, Ogmento and Lisa Hu, blippar. The discussions revealed many good opportunities for OGC ARML 2.0 implementations.

The presentation by Google included the “Google Now” application that comes with Jelly Bean version of Android, which I plan to try out on my new Samsung Galaxy Note II.

The trendy phrase of the event was “Social Local Mobile” - SoLoMo