Location-enhanced web: get people out of the house

Location-enhanced web: get people out of the house. “We knew there were quite a few webloggers in London – we sometimes meet up – but no one knew how many or where they were,” he says. People do know now – or at least they know to which tube stations the 350 bloggers who have added themselves to the map are nearest.

Henderson says his map “seemed like a fun thing to do”. But there is a serious side. The Bloggers' tube map puts a sense of place back into cyberspace. By doing so, it has the potential to help a group of people doing things online recognise themselves as a real world community and build closer links.

It does more than reveal who's blogging in Brixton. The Bloggers tube map also shows one of the key directions for the development of the web. When the net first went mainstream, people talked up cyberspace as some sort of alternative global space, a new frontier where distance was dead and you were free to associate with like minds around the world. Where you were in the real world wasn't supposed to be that important.

Now, things are beginning to move in the opposite direction. People are beginning to see that location is important and that linking the net to the real world may open up all sorts of interesting possibilities. A location-enhanced web will get people out of the house and give them new ways to interact with the world around them. The net might be a tool for localisation as much as for globalisation. That's the dream. [Smart Mobs]

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