This week on memePDX, Cami Kaos and I cover Platial calling it quits, upcoming Portland Lunch 2.0 with Oregon Film, ShopIgniter’s funding, Webtrends Facebook analytics, and then a whole bunch of patent stuff.
It’s Thursday. Oh yes it is. And It’s a post Ignite Portland Thursday at that. So you’re probably dragging a little. Looking for something to make you “appear busy.” Well, if watching people talk about the hottest tech stories in Portland and beyond will help you look that way, you’re in luck.
It’s never easy to write a story about a Portland startup shutting down. But it’s especially hard when it was one of the first of the new generation of startups—and one that secured funding. But that’s the post I’m having to compose right now.
Di-Ann and Jason will be exploring how iPhone OS 3.0 and Map Kit will change the burgeoning social mapping scene given that the iPhone has just “drastically increas[ed] the number of services which can integrate location.” Read More
And today, I was completely blown away when I caught up on a series of posts by Portland-based Platial’s Di-Ann Eisnor, documenting her thoughts on “How neogeography will change the way we live.” After reading the series, you’ll never look at mapping the same way again.
I always wish companies took time to blog a little bit more. Share a little insight. Blow off some steam. Or even just tell us what they’re thinking.
Sometimes I think the folks running startups forget that they’ve got a great deal to share. That their experience or their failures or even just their focusing on a singular topic in excruciating detail gives them a unique vantage for which many of us mere mortals yearn.
I got the chance to see a demo version of Nearby at Platial’s iPhone App launch party a few weeks back. And it’s a pretty slick little application. Nearby takes advantage of the location-aware features of the newest iPhone, allowing users to dig into Platial content that is pertinent to both where they are—and where they might like to be.
Like most mapping applications, users can find the typical “publicly available” information about locations. But with Nearby, they also gain the advantage of tapping into Platial user data—the stories about the spot you’re standing. That means litterally thousands of notes, images, tags, and reviews for some areas. Stories of personal experience. And insight. Stories that you don’t usually get, unless you have an actual person or two to guide you.
Long story short, Nearby is a virtual tour guide, providing the backstory for the world around you. And with the iPhone app, you’re getting that story as you walk through that location.
“This reinforces our mission to create the Peoples Atlas,” said Di-Ann Eisnor, CEO of Platial. “For two years we’ve been collecting information about all kinds of places that are meaningful to people; user-generated content that goes beyond commercial listings and into architecture, activism, street art, playgrounds, local history–things you can’t find anywhere else. We still have a long way to go, but we’re closer now with Platial for iPhone.”
Nearby is currently available for download from the Apple iPhone App Store. No registration is required, so users can begin using the app right away.
Well, if you have an iPhone or iPod Touch with the 2.0 version of the firmware.
Have you tried the Platial Nearby app? I’d love to hear about your experience.
Platial is a free online mapping resource where people around the world every day share and discover all kinds of places. Anyone can map just about anything including their towns, lives, travels, feeds, files, photos, video, and stories in one simple interface.
Techvibes has released the latest version of its Portland Start-up Index, with an interesting pair of debuts. Portland-based Platial has been added to the list, debuting at #12. What makes this interesting is that Platial-owned Frappr also debuted this month—at #5.
How did the other companies and products fare? Take a look. The usual “apples and oranges” rules apply.
Portland-based Platial, one of the original social mapping applications and caretaker of more than 150 million geobits of information, has rolled out a new build of its application that promises to take a critical step forward in social mapping, moving from the ability “to plot points on a map” to the ability to have much deeper and meaningful experiences with locations and the people who love them.
Not the least of which are a ton of new categories for your map items:
Sharing the experience
But the most important part of the release may not be the things that you see. The most important part of the release may be the things that you feel.
Because the latest build of Platial focuses on helping the viewer move from disconnected innocent bystander to participant, by immersing him or her in the rich contextual fabric of the location.
“We’re trying to push a little further,” said Di-Ann Eisnor, Platial CEO. “We’re trying to capture that experience by providing relevant and contextual information.”
And that experience is definitely heightened by Platial’s move into the content space.
I’m happy to see Platial’s flavor of social mapping move beyond the realm of “writing a few notes about this pin on the map” to something that furthers the storytelling that has always been at the very core of the Platial service.
And with the Flanders build, I see them moving into something that truly gives meaning to location: history, context, deep content, and differing views.
Portland-based Platial, the de facto leader in “social mapping,” has just announced a move that is sure to increase both their user base and their overall utitlity: Platial is going mobile.
Using services from mobile partner, Lightpole, Platial users will now be able to:
… take their maps to go with Lightpole’s new local aggregator for mobile. All Platial maps will now have a Lightpole icon which allows people to send their data to any java enabled phone. Most of Platial’s location-based content will be available with the download of Lightpole’s application meaning that even non-Platial members can access Platial content.