It immediately made me think of taking this photo as we passed a mapping car near Davis, California; the driver looked at me as I took the snap and I wondered 'is it an intrusion of privacy to photograph a camera car?"
I now have some of these on a GPS iPAQ including one where you help prisoners escape from the Tower of London and it would be a fun thing to do with a bunch of people. Whack a Mole is like rounders without a bat or ball and UXB is Battleship, Boggle and Mastermind with added beeping. On a serious note I think place-coded gaming will be a big thing and place-coded information will be a big thing, but I'd quite like to just play Whack a Mole again!
You can now buy scratchcards on EasyJet!
Barcelona is warm and sunny with blue skies and the evening parties range from geeking on the stand to geking above the stand to cava and jamon iberico at the rather trendy Sugar Club. Total for Monday; two airports, one car, three taxis, one metro...
Social networking sites are so last year, events sites are very this year - and intown2 is trying to cover both bases. If you're in London, or Seattle, or San Francisco or wherever for a day or so, and a friend of yours happens to be there too, why not meet up? Well, usually because you don't know they're there at the time. Put your address book and your calendar into intown2 and as long as they do the same, you'll be able to catch up with people.
This has the same barriers to entry as any other social networking site: you have to put in all your friends (by hand or by importing a CSV file) and so do they, plus you have to enter your travels one at a time. Obviously there are privacy issues with importing your address book and calendar into a public site wholesale, but there has to be a better solution.
- Offer the service as an add-on for existing social networking sites like Linked In, where you can cross-check against your address book, you've already done most of the work and where there is a big enough pool of other people who have too.
- It would be a natural add-on for Plaxo, where you're already trusting them to keep addresses up to date.
- Offer to scrape your address book in the same polite way Linked In does rather than making you export a file by hand, and offer to scrape the calendar for multi-day events as a starting point (always with the option to leave an event out).
- Or go the distributed route like FOAF; when more people have calendar info published on line, a site could aggregate it and help you find passing friends that way.
It's quite late to start a social networking site from scratch, even with a clever idea like matching locations. If a lot of people have to do a lot of work for an non-deterministic reward (you might not find any travelling friends going your way), even a free site has a high cost.
And the free account only allows you to add 10 friends; I think I can keep in touch with that many people by email, actually. The public events categories are an odd mix of sport, theatre and gay pride marches. The site asks for the cities you visit most but doesn't offer those as quick options when you create a trip. There's no widget to put on your web site encouraging people to click through to intown2 to check if they're going your way. It's a nice idea, but there are a lot of rough edges.
zvents is very pale-blue-and-orange-with-white-space Web 2.0, similar to Eventful: I'm seeing this look a lot at the moment. Unlike , it only covers the Bay area. You can search by events, venues, tags, groups or people, and when you get the results you can switch the list to a map view or a calendar view. With a lot of results the map and main calendar view show you the number of results rather than the individual events, but you can get a 1 day, 3 day, 7 day and 30 day view as well. Here it's the guided tours that dominate rather than the bookstore events, but when you get down to individual events they're very well presented with maps, times, repeat events, similar events, other events at the same venue... More useful details than Eventful.
AllConferences has a hierarchical drill-down of categories and an advanced search, though you can only search by one condition and picking March 2006 without a date produces events from June 2004 as well. There are conferences going back to 2001 and those are what you see when you search by City; the general search box does a better job. Look here for commercial and academic conferences.
These sites tend to be better for finding a specific event on a specific day than browsing through the possibilities for a longer period of time. For that, I want to be able to start with a large pool of results and filter them. The best filtered view of search results I can think of - and it has deficiencies still - is the hotel map view in Expedia; you can zoom in on the map to refine the list of hotels, or remove hotels from the list to clear them from the map view. I'd like the same for events; let me zoom in to an area, or a category of events, or a smaller date range, or to a time range across several days (what's on every evening next week?). Let me remove all the sports events and everything that's recurring rather than a one-off and trim down from any day in March to just these 9 days. It's all about underlying hierarchies of logical units: know that a week is a logical unit of a month, know that Kirkland is within the greater Seattle area. Some of this you can do with a folksonomy, but a categorised hierarchy is going to help for geography, discrete units (today/tomorrow/this week/next week/this month/next month/this year) and distinguishing between broad tags (music) and specific tags (baroque). Organic tagging can define a problem space, but it doesn't structure it well.
Do we have these kind of detailed schemas for describing not just the obvious properties of events (date, time, venue, organiser etc) but also the range of values so we can build the filters?