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The Data Czar: Social GIS

March 22, 2010
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GIS always seems to meander its way into our lives in one way or another. The latest is its infiltration into the social media realm. With hundreds of millions of users, the marketing potential is phenomenal.



GIS always seems to meander its way into our lives in one way or another. The latest is its infiltration into the social media realm. Popular social sites Facebook and Twitter are promising to extend location as part of their ongoing efforts to keep us virtually connected as a species.

Users of these platforms typically want to share almost anything about themselves, privacy concerns or not. There is little doubt we shall see the location tab underused. Of course this model is already in existence by Brightkite, Foursquare, Booyah and Gowalla, and others are comfortably establishing themselves in location-based technology as part of their social product offerings.

With hundreds of millions of users, the marketing potential is phenomenal. By enabling the capabilities of geographic information with the consumer in this milieu, the spatial potency of social GIS emerges to target consumers based on their location.

Spatial data requires painstaking management-an intense melody of behind-the-scenes efforts supplemented by stringent policies that culminate into the functional maps, displays and apps we use today. GIS has woven itself against a backdrop of technological gadgetry and, thanks to the user interactions premise of Web 2.0, will give more vigor to social networking and add new dimensions to the discipline.


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