October 31, 2009
Earlier this week Google announced Google Maps Navigation (Beta), and this is a real game changer. This is a turn-by-turn GPS navigation system, with voice guidance. It will first be available for Android 2.0 devices, and then the iPhone version will be released.
Google says, “When you use Google Maps Navigation, your phone automatically gets the most up-to-date maps and business listings from Google Maps — you never need to buy map upgrades or update your device. And this data is continuously improving, thanks to users who report maps issues and businesses who activate their listings with Google Local Business Center.”
This is an advancement in the cloud computing arena. This system depends completely on information located on the Internet, and is therefore always updated and always accurate.
Some features include:
This short little video explains the Google Maps Navigation system accurately and simply:
Will this free GPS system put the likes of TomTom and Garmin out of business? Not necessarily. And not immediately anyway. It does change the industry though, drastically. And the markets have reacted already. TomTom’s shares fell by 20.8%, and Garmin’s fell by 16.4%.
For more information on Google Maps Navigation, including screenshots go to google.com/navigation.
Update 1 Nov 2009: NYTimes article: Hurting Rivals, Google Unveils Free Phone GPS
October 5, 2009
Recently I was invited to give a talk on Social Media and particularly Facebook. The talk was for a business network, and it was at their weekly breakfast meeting. Normally my assistant does complete SMC (Social Media Coverage) of all my talks – including photos and video footage. This was a small talk though, so I went alone, with only my digital camera. Just before my talk I kindly asked the fellow next to me to snap a few shots of me during my presentation. He did so, and perfectly. Then I took some more shots of the rest of the event.
At the end, the event organizer asked me to email the photos to her because she had forgotten her camera at home that morning. I did send her the photos, but not via email. I sent her a link to the photoset on Flickr. Photos of all our events go up on both Flickr and Facebook. Facebook is excellent for exposure and attention, but Flickr is better for sharing.
Flickr keeps all photos at the resolution it was taken (and we always take photos at a very high resolution), and allows you to share those photos with anyone, while also automatically offering the user 5 additional photo sizes to download. This is extremely handy. When sharing photos it’s easier to share them online, because you might end up emailing the photos to a number of people, repeating the same task, and extending your bandwidth usage, unnecessarily. It’s also a good repository of photos if you ever need them when you’re away from your computer, or if you ever lose your originals. Although Facebook has a bigger tally of photos, the fact that it decreases the resolution of every single photo can sometimes be inadequate because most times we need high resolution photos.
When I sent the lady the email with the Flickr link, she was amazed at the site, and emailed back saying, “What site is this?” This was another reminder of how we in the Web industry take for granted the tools that we use everyday. I don’t believe that Web 2.0 is hype. I believe that Web 2.0 is extremely valuable to everyone in the world. We can do so many things now that were literally impossible a few years ago. I think we’ve taken big leaps in many areas – communication, marketing, productivity, and others.