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What Tools Do You Need to Create a LBS Application Part Two

One of the key things people want in an LBS application is to be able to find Points of Interest (POI) including geographical, community and business POI.

GeoSmart has collected and continues to collect information about all the places that people would like to visit, and unlike other databases, includes a lot of information that has importance but isn’t necessarily business related. For example beaches and bays, public toilets, boat ramps, parks etc.

Our latest service is called the Point of Interest (POI) Web Service V2. We have full time staff focussed not only on collecting quality spatial information about places you might want to find for an LBS Service or Application, but also making sure that it is current. Where relevant we use ANZSIC Codes which are a standard supported by the NZ and Australian Governments.  These offer a layer of categories from high level to more specific, so you can look at food and beverage or Italian Restaurants at either end. We have a browser tool to help you find the correct category here.

Our comprehensive database which is used in various forms and subsets on websites such as AA Maps, Bayleys, Winejobs Online and many other sites has a wide range of POI. These include shops, petrol stations, banks, ATMs, schools and where relevant, make sure you get to the right place at the Point of Interest. For example if you are going to a hospital, you probably want the Accident & Emergency entrance. If you are going to the golf course or a school, you want the official entrance and so on.  Our data, where relevant includes information such as contact details.

The POI Web Service can also be used for geocoding street addresses in order to display them on a map, using our geotagged web map tiles, which can be used on a mobile or normal PC browser. We have a comprehensive database of New Zealand street addresses, which you can try out on the AA Maps website, using our autocompleter.

The range of parameters are wide and varied and you can find more information in the Developer Page.

A key commonality in successful LBS applications overseas is the ability to find the service you are looking for nearby. For example, you are in the city and want to find a nearby cafe for some lunch. The POI web service would let you specify how close you want to find one and even give them to you in order starting with the closest to you. Our POI database is also used in products such as TomTom and Navman car navigation devices.

Because the database is very comprehensive and constantly growing and being validated, you can pretty much develop your application and populate it with our data and be up and running in no time.

Another service that we offer in conjunction with the NZ Automobile Association is the AA Maps Bizlocator. This is a free service which allows any New Zealand business to register their location with us and at the same time get a free web map to put on their website to show people where their office, shop or other business location is, assign it to ANZSIC Categories and then be available for addition to our POI database, all for free. The only condition is you have to go online at least once a year to confirm that your data is current. Once the map is up, you can even get and print turn by turn driving directions from anywhere in NZ and print them neatly on A4 paper. All for free. For more information on that please go to this page, where you can set up an account and ‘Add Your Business’.

bizlocator

This is part two of a series of blogs on tools for LBS applications. Please feel free to comment or leave questions on this blog.

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April 2, 2009 Posted by | AA Maps, cartography, driving directions, geosmart, gps, lbs, location based services, maps, Mobile maps, navman, new zealand, proximity based marketing, satnav, social networking, tomtom, Uncategorized, web maps | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Free V, Free Ice Creams, Free Entertainment and Location Innovation Awards

So I’ve been thinking some more about entries that people could come up with for the Awards. It’s summer Downunder and that raises some interesting ideas for LBS applications for the Awards.

In summer we have lots of events such as beach parties and concerts in parks sponsored by various organisations and often in conjunction with radio stations. Often as part of these events, ice cream and energy drink brands get together and offer opportunities to win free product and other goodies by getting to the right place at the right time.

This might be a game or a treasure hunt or it maybe simply a matter of telling people that there is a free concert on in a particular park or beach, or that the Outside Broadcast Radio Vehicle will be at a certain spot at a certain time and if you are one of the first (x number of) people to get there you will get some free product.

LBS is a great way to get people to head for those locations. Here are a few examples:

  • Text a message to a short code with your current location (street address) and get the time and location of today’s beach party or concert, complete with personalised turn by turn directions on how to get there.
  • Text a message to a short code with your current location (street address) and get your first, or next clue to get you closer to your prize.
  • Text the name of your town to a short code  to get information about the next event date and time.
  • Receive a message that you can forward to your friends who you want to join you at the party or concert so they can also get their own driving directions.
  • As above but with electronic coupons so that the first (x number of) people with the coupons get the prizes or free product. Only people who receive the electronic coupon qualify for the prize, which means people who send invites will want others to send one to them, which creates a viral marketing process.

Another concept could be a solution for free product for people driving on a holiday trip. This could be along similar lines, but promoting a different service. For example:

  • In recent years the narrow Kopu Bridge leading into the Coromandels is a major bottleneck, sometimes with delays of an hour or sometimes much longer. On a number of occassions I’ve seen one of the distinctive V cars on the side of the road giving away cold cans of their popular energy drink to frustrated drivers sitting in a long line of traffic on a steaming hot summers day. If they are going to do that, they could come up with some sort of LBS traffic report telling people where the traffic jams are and where to find themselves a bottle of V to cool down with. Of course this would also be a great concept for brands like TipTop Ice Cream who frequent run summer competitions.

These are just a couple of ideas where popular brands can have some summer fun with LBS and Viral Marketing to promote their brands, show some technology leadership and appeal to the tech savvy Generation Y people and build some product loyalty.Maybe you could come up with an idea, win one of our awards and then sell the concept to them.

December 15, 2008 Posted by | awards, competition, competitions, driving directions, geosmart, lbs, lbs games, location innovation awards, new zealand, proximity based marketing, real time traffic, social networking, Uncategorized, viral marketing | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Is your business listed in car navigation?

A few weeks ago we advised that you can have a free map of your business location on your website, complete with driving directions from anywhere in New Zealand. A lot of companies have taken us up on our offer and we would love more people to take advantage of it.

Another feature of the AA Maps Bizlocator is that your company location information will also be provided to the major car navigation brands in New Zealand. Even if you don’t have a website, or don’t want a map of your business location on your site, you can still register your business location on the form, which you can find by clicking on the button that says ‘Add Your Business For Free’ on the AA Maps web page.

By completing your information and after validation, your companies details will be included in the Points of Interest data we supply to all the major car navigation brads including Navman, TomTom, Nav N Go, Horizon, BMW, Siemens VDO and more. This means that if people are in their car looking for your type of business, they will be able to find it and be conveniently guided to your door.

It doesn’t matter what your business is, it could be a cafe, a stationery shop, a dentist or pretty much anything. Car navigation systems allow people to search for businesses by category, close to where the car is at the time or close to the destination the driver is going to.

For example, let’s say someone is going to Rotorua for a sporting event and they need to buy some new runners or a spare bike tyre, they can then find your business without any local knowledge or needing the Internet or a phone book.

The service to you is totally free, the only catch is that you have to log on to your free account at AA Maps at least once a year to confirm that your information is still current.

September 15, 2008 Posted by | car navigation, driving, driving directions, gps, maps, new zealand, web maps | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Free map and directions on your New Zealand website

If you have a business, shop, club, church, school, sport venue or any other venue with a web site, we are delighted to offer you a free map to go on your web site. We have created a tool called the AA Maps BizLocator which you can use for free to put a map on yor website.

We launched this over the last few months at the Small Business Expo and the most common question was, “What’s the catch?” So here it is: At least once a year, you need to confirm that your information is up to date because as well as giving you a map on your website, we share your business information with other services:

  • Car Navigation. We supply maps and Points of Interest to 93% (and growing) of the New Zealand car navigation market. By using our service, yor company or location details will be supplied to car navigation product including Navman, TomTom, Siemens VDO, BMW, Ford, Honda, NavNGo, Horizon and many other brands, to help people look for your business by brand, type, name or keyword.
  • Web sites such as AA Maps, Bayleys and Professionals Real Estate and many more that use Points of Interest to add value to their sites.

Ok, so it’s free, but will we charge later? No, the AA Maps BizLocator is a free service and will remain free. The only cost to you may be a very small charge by yor web developer to place the map on your web site.

We have the only full turn restriction web site for New Zealand because we have driven the whole country and can therefore ensure that people can use our driving directions to get from anywhere in New Zealand to your business, by the fastest route and even print the directions on an A4 sheet via the AA Maps web page, so that your customers or associates can take the directions with them in the car.

By providing people with directions to your location for free, you are also playing your part in reducing the carbon footprint by giving them accurate directions and making sure they don’t get lost. It’s amazing how many people you see driving round with a dazed look on their faces and a map ion their hands. Make your business easy to work with and put yourselves on the map with us for free.

Even if you don’t have a website, but have a destination, go to the AA Maps website and LIST FOR FREE because your information will still go into the car navigation and web maps to help people find you.

July 20, 2008 Posted by | car navigation, carbon footprint, cartography, driving, driving directions, gps, maps, new zealand, web maps | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment