Mobile GPS mapping is today’s tricorder

Am I harping on about mobile mapping apps too much? I think we’re just getting started — this is an area that is currently experiencing rapid innovation. Now that so much information on the web has been georeferenced, in part due to Google’s ongoing KML indexing project, it makes sense to want to access the information when you’re there, on the move, where it is most valuable.

For a sense of just how fast things are moving, have a look at the Mobile Gmaps blog today, where developer Cristian Streng picks up on Ogle Earth’s Whale Valley posts from the past few days and then segues to some of the upcoming improvements to GMap-Track (which lets you publish your position to the web) — including individual tracking maps and the ability to publish GPS tracks to the server directly from the phone!

The big picture? There are two trends afoot, I think: In one direction, it is getting easier for geospatial content to make it to the mobile phone, filtered by GPS-determined location. In the other direction, it is getting easier for us to signal our location and publish geolocated impressions of our surroundings to the web. Where will all this end? When the device in my hand is not so much a phone as Dr. Spock’s tricorder, that ultimate location-aware information device and transmitter.

(And let’s not forget that Google Earth CTO Michael Jones claims the tricorder was one of the inspirations for Google Earth. In that case, I’m looking forward to Google Earth for Symbian:-)

2 thoughts on “Mobile GPS mapping is today’s tricorder”

  1. Great analogy, but that’d be Mr. Spock–Dr. Spock was the baby guy…

  2. Dr. Spock may have been the first Earthling then to have refurbished a baby into a tricoder. Which, of course, was the inspiration for Teletubbies.

    Don’t worry, Ogle Earth. We knew what you meant. There’s no shame in not being a real Trekky like Chad. ;)

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