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Location-Based Web Tools Enhance Mobile Device Experience

Connecting to the internet on a small screen mobile device is only fun when you can interact with useful information without extensive typing or squinting.  Things get even better when web tools provide useful ways to interact with a place using a mobile device’s camera and GPS.   There are dozens of location-sharing tools out there, but I recently explored some interesting ones you might not have heard about yet.

Intersect. A Seattle start-up company has created an interesting approach to creating and discovering stories, like blog posts, but with time and place components. Although Intersect looks like a lot like a blog, it’s really more sophisticated. Intersect, which is still in the invitation-only private Beta stage (request an invite – betarequest@intersect.com), lets users create, find, and share stories not primarily based on topic, but on people, places and time.  Search Places to discover other’s personal experiences, complete with photos, text, and a handy map to orient you.  Imagine finding stories about that place, complete with photos, for the past 50 years or more.  If you like to keep your stories private, you can chronicle your life and share only with family members.

To enhance the ability for posting content in real-time, Intersect just announced its iPhone App.  The App. lets you easily post photos and location info. to Intersect with your iPhone.  With this real-time component, Intersect might just become a new way to share and discover breaking news around the world in a way Twitter can only dream about!

Panoramio. Panoramio is a place-based photo sharing site created by a team from the South Eastern part of Spain.  Like many cool web tools, Google  acquired Panoramio.  Panoramio is distinct from other photo sharing sites in that it’s designed specifically for photos of places ( I didn’t find any goofy I Can Haz Cheezburgrz pics on it).  Panoramio makes it easy to explore places on Earth through keyword searches and returns a google map with relevant thumbnail pictures superimposed on the map.  Another neat feature on Panoramio is how easily it creates a KML file of your photos so you can add them to Google Earth.  In fact, there are several  Google Earth layers you can download and add to your Google Earth experience.

There are several Panoramio iPhone apps available in the Apple app. store, but they mostly get mixed reviews.  There ‘s currently only one app. that allows you to add photos to Panoramio, but users comment that its easier just to go through the Panoramio website.  Panoramio Viewer is a promising Panoramio location discovery app, newly updated, by Two Oaks Software that costs just .99 cents.  It boasts the ability to find Panoramio pictures using your current location, if you have that featured enabled on your iPhone.

These types of tools are ready for what’s next for the intersection of the internet and mobile devices.  What’s your favorite location-based mobile-enhanced web tool that we may not have heard about yet?

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