Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Next Wave of Geo-Tagging

“It’s what we don’t know that is the breakthrough.”

Investors Geo-Tagged: The investment trail of Chris Sacca 
Quora CEO & Former Facebook CTO 

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It’s time for a leap in the geo-space.

So much is known about a place, but so little is represented.

A big missing strategic piece has always been the lack of compelling content to measure up to the capabilities of Google Goggles or even  Apple and Google Maps. 

Viewers have not been impressed with generic photos, recycled listings, ads looking like Times Square or unmeaningful user-generated words geo-tagged to “augment” a rich geographical world.

Foursquare and Facebook check-ins could certainly be re-vitalized by better content. Travel/accommodation sites could also spike interest with greater location intelligence.

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To make places more interesting,  Jump2Spot embarked on a mammoth project to geo-tag digital content that had been curated daily and collected  over 7 years. 

10,000 hours was spent geo-tagging notable photos and iconic stories (new and old).

A new kind of "augmented reality" has been created. You can see where Bob Dylan was photographed for an album cover, wrote a song or bought a house. You can follow the footsteps of  Steve Jobs, to where he invented new ideas, regularly ate, met notable people, traveled and lived. You can see where Audrey Hepburn or Madonna checked-in. You can see where The Godfather made an offer that “can’t be refused.” Or where a lesser known photographer took a stunning photo.

Today Jump2Spot's GPS atlas is more than double the world’s longest novel in words, accompanied by notable visuals geo-tagged. It is already larger than the world's first  digital encyclopedia.

Stories can be seen near the most photographed spots in the world and on every block in Manhattan. New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, London, Paris, Toronto, Chicago,  Vancouver, Dublin, Boston, Washington DC, Philadelphia, New Orleans, Montreal, and Rome  have become  “story networks” where geo-patterns and geo-connections can be seen.

A new form of geo-journalism emerged - to chronicle what happened at a place, its stories geo-tagged there.  News is geo-indexed.  

A new form of geo-history emerged - to time lapse what happened at a place over  a century. 

New history has been discovered from old history via  geo-intersections disclosing factoids seen only by mapping stories at a common place.  Who knew F Scott Fitzgerald moved into the same apartment building of his hate mailer within months of receiving his letter? 

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So where does a stand-out geo-library go from here?

 Jump2Spot 2.0 blueprinting 
at U2 producer ’s place

In the tech space, too many build what they know. But it’s what we don’t know that breaks through. Or as my math prof once said, “You have to twist your mind to see it.”

There are formulas for status quo but there are none for breakthrough.  

At first, Jump2Spot 2.0  focused on a new kind visual geo-zine showing cool things near any place - including stories matching your interests and stories connecting people at places.  But  a convenient process where you don’t have to do much while on the go  became paramount. These days, even opening a new app is quite a chore – especially if you have 100 apps on your phone.

Today you can open Jump2Spot 1.0 and see stories nearby instantly without pressing a button. Or alternatively, type an address to see stories near a place top of mind. It’s so simple but still too much in this era of serve me (who has no time) conveniently.

The Jump2Spot 2.0 blueprint is now focused on having your  instant camera shots trigger story annotations for your photos.

When you use your camera, Jump2Spot 2.0 could automatically  inform you  about objects in your photo – and notable stories related to the spot.. You will no longer be clueless about the place you just photographed.  

Additionally, it can alert you of interesting things to photograph nearby. 

* * * 
A lot of brain power is behind this start up. 

There's  a pre-seed stage  advisory board that includes a tech executive who managed Cisco and Motorola;  digital product leaders with global experience at AirBnB,  Blackberry’s Instant Messenger,  the New York Times and TV Guide; a museum app guru  at the  Royal Ontario Museum; and community leaders involved with Esri, Ushahidi, TED, and SxSW. Friends with experience at  Intel, Harvard,  Amazon.com and a leading VC have put thought into it.

Thousands of people have reacted to stories shared by Jump2Spot 1.0 to give valuable feedback. 

Founders are personally active in communities now spanning 9 cities - and it's clear a creative or leading edge audience expects a highly visual, relevant and resonating, convenient experience. 

The geo-story assets are tremendously rich, but it’ll come down to the execution of  product convenience. 

Stay tuned.

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