Waldo could never hide these days. “There’s all this openness now, thanks to location-aware apps and mobile devices,” says Brady Forrest, chairman of Where 2.0, which will host industry leaders in San Jose to discuss everything from 3-D mapping to augmented reality. “Users can announce their locations every time they tweet. There are apps that, if you’re at the Gap and there’s a sale at a store nearby, you can find out about it. You can always know what’s being said and going on in areas you’re near.” Here, we map some of the companies that make it their business to know where everything is. — SS
The Nokia-owned company is everywhere: Its data are used by mapquest, Yahoo maps, Microsoft’s Bing maps, Garmin’s GPS devices, and XM Radio’s traffic maps.
Amsterdam, the Netherlands
With its AR browser for smartphones, Layar adds layers of content to what you see through your camera viewer. But these newfangled maps are finicky: The iPhone version was pulled from the App Store because of instability.
The company gained fans with its Wikitude app, which augments reality with Wikipedia info. Mobilizy recently teamed up with travel-info company Lonely Planet to create AR travel guides.
Sutton Coldfield, England
As with Wikipedia, users can edit this free world map, created from the ground up by volunteers using GPS tracks. The not-for-profit OpenStreetMap Foundation supports the project, but insists that ownership lies with the contributors.
tue, march 30