GPS device + data feeds + social = awesome service

One of the most interesting market directions in recent months in my mind is the way the concept of a location service is evolving. People are using location as a vector to bring information that matters directly to them. A great example of this is Dash.net.

Dash is a GPS device that leverages the activity of its user base and the wider local data pools on the Internet to create a more personalized driving experience. Ricky Montalvo and I interviewed them for the latest Developer Spotlight on YDN Theater:Of particular note are the ways that Dash pulls in external data sources from places like Yahoo! Pipes. Any geoRSS feed can be used to identify relevant locations near you or near where you’re going directly from the device. They give the example of using a Surfline.com feed built with Pipes to identify surfing hot spots at any given moment. You can drive to Santa Cruz and then decide which beach to hit once you get there.

There are other neat ways to use the collaborative user data such as the traffic feedback loop so that you can choose the fastest route to a destination in real time. And the integration with the Yahoo! Local and the Upcoming APIs make for great discoveries while you’re out and about.

You can also see an early demo of their product which they showed at Web 2.0 Summit in the fall:

The way they’ve opened up a hardware device to take advantage of both the information on the Internet and the behaviors of its customers is really innovative, not to mention very useful, too. I think Dash is going to be one to watch.

Testing ways to splice my feeds

I started playing around with Pipes a bit more the other day and then found this handy tip via Lifehacker for nicer looking ways to link splice in your blog feed.


You can already splice del.icio.us and flickr directly into any Feedburner feed, but Pipes allows you to do things like isolating the saved bookmarks from tags and groups of tags. You can also prepend each item in your feed with things like “link”, “blog post”, and “photo”. You could also splice in other feeds that Feedburner doesn’t support like your Last.fm tracks, for example. I thought I would try offering foreign language versions of all this, too.

I apologize if my feed here gets squirrely on you as I work this out. Coincidentally, I saw this post yesterday that pointed out the number 1 reason people unsubscribe from a particular feed is information overload. I’m definitely becoming an overload offender here. Sorry.

If you want to be sure you’re only subscribed to my blog posts, then here is the blog-only feed.

UPDATE: As I suspected, it was a snap to create foreign language versions of my feeds. I’ve added several translations using the BabelFish operator. I can’t vouch for the accuracy or quality of the translations, but there are now Spanish, French, German, and Japanese language versions of my feed. More on the way.

A start page on my own domain

With a quick copy and paste job using Kent Brewster’s Pipes Badger and a few widgets from services I use, I now have what is a mostly sufficient start page on my own domain that displays my various forms of online expression. Really interesting stuff here.