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Geotagging: Where You Are Matters To Social Networks

Location, location, location. It doesn’t just refer to real estate anymore: it’s also central to new kinds of social network apps and sites.

Foursquare, Facebook, and Twitter are the most well-known players in the location-based, geotagging social networking sphere, but there are also a number of startups with unique angles.

Marketers, in particular, are taking note of this new trend in location-based social networking. After all, understanding where customers are goes a long way toward understanding who they are.

Also called “geosocial networking,” the practice of location-based social networking uses geocoding and geotagging to enhance social dynamics.

In some uses of this technology, as in Foursquare, people check in at different locations, letting their network of friends and followers know where they are. With Facebook and Twitter, users can enable tracking so that their posts are location-based. Yelp and Gowalla also use geotagging, letting users post reviews, comments, and notes along with their locations.

In addition to social uses, geotagging can help during emergencies, informing users of hazardous locations or places to find help. There is even a app on Twitter called the Flu Detector, which tracks flu epidemics in real time and place.

Increasingly as well, organizers of political events around the world are using geotagging to get people together.

There are also a number of emerging apps which use geotagging for creative ends, including Blockboard, which lets users get to know their neighborhoods and the people who live right next door.

Bluemapia is geared toward boaters wanting to share geotagged content from the wild blue yonder.

Carticipate uses location-based technology to let ridesharers, carpoolers, and other social drivers communicate and coordinate on the road.

Checkpoints lets users collect points and unlock information by visiting stores and scanning products.

Foodspotting gives food lovers access to the notes, reviews, pictures, recipes, and other tips from fellow foodies.

MyDateorHate lets you find and communicate with people nearby or across the globe.

Situationist helps users create random interactive situations with their friends and contacts. Tell your friends where you are, and then give them a command, like “Hug me for 5 seconds exactly.” It can be all kinds of fun.

These are just a few of the location-based, geosocial apps and services out there. Where we go from here is anyone’s guess—but you can be sure we’ll be going someplace, and letting all our friends know about it on the way.

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