Today CanWe Studios LLC, of Austin, TX, launched CanWeNetwork, a mobile app for business networking that uses geospatial technology and a powerful matching engine to recommend people nearby who you should meet for professional networking and business opportunities. This is an interesting development in the world of social business networking. Recommendations are based upon location, skillsets, shared interests and personality traits gleaned from LinkedIn profiles. If you are traveling, you might be able to visit people at organizations within close proximity to where you are staying. It would be easier to make those contacts than say, doing a Google search before you left on a trip. This geospatial technology encourages users to develop face-to-face connections that may lead to business connections.
CanWeNetwork is now available and can be downloaded in the Apple App Store and Android Market (Google Play) by visiting www.can.ws/go.
“Social networks have made us more connected than ever but have had the negative result of limiting real life experiences,” said James Sinclair, vice president, CanWe Studios. “We can take a users’ LinkedIn profile and identify, with a high degree of accuracy, people around them they should meet because they are likely to succeed together. The app uses the power of big data and mobile technology to see and capture actionable opportunities that without CanWeNetwork would simply pass you by unknown. We believe that conversations create opportunity and that’s what CanWeNetwork does, it creates conversations.”
CanWeNetwork utilizes the most in-depth proprietary engine available, developed in-house by a team that includes the scientist behind one of the leading online dating services. The engine builds complex models of users through its Open Developer program and other sources and augmenting LinkedIn data. It is then applying statistical analysis to the models to predict the kinds of people users are most likely to succeed with. Strong privacy controls gives users complete control of how and when they are contacted and by whom.
The app will run in the background of your mobile device and seek connections for the user. One might hope that source data other than LinkedIn data might be also used in order to extend the reach of CanWeNetwork, but it is definitely technology to watch.
This application is not affiliated with nor endorsed by LinkedIn Corporation
Yahoo has had a bumpy ride during the past year as far as keeping executives at the helm and boosting revenues. Just last September former Autodesk CEO, Carol Bartz, was ousted from her position as CEO of Yahoo, followed by Scott Thompason who was forced out in May for padding his resume. The interim CEO, Ross Levinsohn, was thought to be next in line for the job.
On Monday Apple introduced a new version of its mobile operating system for iPhones and iPads that will bring a host of new features, including maps that let users soar over a three-dimensional rendering of a city, according to an article in The New York Times.
As was mentioned in this blog of a pre-announcement of Google Earth for mobile “(Pre-announcement of Google Earth for mobile made at Google event”) last week, the new map software replaces Google data with Apple’s own mapping system. This is a big step for a company that has considered Google a close partner up until now. Since Apple introduced the iPhone, it has relied on Google data to drive the mapping software. When Google released its Android platform, however, relationships between the two companies began to disintegrate. Not surprisingly as Android is the top mobile operating system in the world, putting Apple and Google head to head in several different markets.
Pre-announcement of new features for Google Maps and Google Earth for mobile platforms was made yesterday at the “New Dimension of Google Maps” event. These features aren’t available to the public yet, but possibly announced as a precursor to the Apple iOS6 event next week. It is expected that Apple will announce that Google Maps will no longer be the default mapping application on iPhones. Since Apple has been acquiring companies and building their own mapping applications, they will be offering new mapping applications that will compete with what is offered on the Android phone. This may benefit users ultimately.
One of the most audacious projects ever to come out of Google was the plan to photograph and map the inhabited world, one block at a time. But a report over the weekend from federal regulators has rekindled questions over exactly what the company was doing — questions the search giant has spent years trying not to answer.
High resolution imagery of sub-meter – less than 40 inches – is only available from GeoEye, DigitalGlobe, Astrium Geo, and ImageSat. It is what the stuff of Google is made of. GeoEye and DigitalGlobe represent approximately 75% of this market, and 2/3 of their revenue is tied to the U.S. government. There are lots of free, government sources of satellite imagery like Landsat, and weather satellites from NASA and NOAA, but these are not high-resolution satellites that can zoom in on your house, or support 3D modeling for engineering and virtual reality-type applications.
Read about why U.S. commercial satellite imagery is important:
In October, Apple publicly announced its acquisition of its third mapping company since 2009 when it acquired C3 Technologies. C3 Technologies is a 3D mapping technology, Apple’s second acquisition of 3D mapping, after Poly9 was acquired last year.
Although it has just been announced, the acquisition actually occurred last year and is said to be worth around $240 million. The acquisition is expected to change Apple’s relationship with Google Maps, from which it outsources technology for its GIS mapping technology. This could ultimately really change mapping on the iOS platform.
Some pundits call C3 Technologies’ mapping solutions “Google Maps on steroids,” as the video shows.
Apple said that it is working on a crowdsourced traffic database to improve its traffic mapping service and speculation suggests that they will use their mapping database provided by Placebase, another of their acquisitions. This would mean cutting ties with Google, but that shouldn’t be happening any time soon as Apple recently renewed its partnership with Google.
Last week I read the Wired Cloudline blog Beyond Google’s Reach: Tracking the Global Uprising in Real Time which talked about the search engine Topsy, which is designed to “rank people, not pages,” as Google does. Topsy is an entirely different search engine model than Google, and therefore can pick up and aggregate information from social media in perhaps a different way than Google.
A case was made that suggested that Google did not pick up tweets on the October 15th protest at Occupy Wall Street as efficiently as Topsy.
I decided to look for myself and compare the posts that have been gathered today for both Google and Topsy for Occupy Wall Street. What is interesting is that each are picking up different bits of media –
Topics for Google:
Google is picking up newspaper articles and newscasts, such as “Opinion: Occupy Wall Street is a vigil, not a protest,” New Jersey Star-Ledger, “Occupy Wall Street kitchen slowdown targets squatters,” NYPOST.com, “Occupy Wall Street in the Age of Technology”, Huffington Post, “Most Americans Aren’t Occupy Wall Street’s ’99 Percent’ The Atlantic.
Topsy has picked up the following topics in tweets: “Protesters turn their back on @ericcantor during speech at University of Michigan http://t.co/tyuLvH8b #ows ”
A trustworthy #OWS activist tells me that an influx of homeless and hardened criminals is causing major issues for Zuccotti campers
“Police use bulldozers to break up @OccupyRichmond. http://t.co/nMJW5RJw #ows ”
“#OWS has spread to 87 countries with 1,039+ distinct events. (and counting) http://t.co/wcgGqOks ”
Note that the Google search is producing articles that were published as much as three weeks ago, while the Topsy search is displaying tweets written just 18 minutes ago.
In the realm of tracking events of local or global importance, it would seem that a combination of these two types of searches would be best, so that we have well researched articles side by side with the up-to-the-minute crowdsourced view of the bystander.
On the one hand, in-depth reporting of a body of knowledge on an event is always useful in tracking history and trends, and offering insightful perspectives. What is published in newspapers, magazines and books is thought to have staying power, whereas we are not yet sure how long the impact of a tweet or Facebook post will last.
The veracity of tweets is questionable, and they are posted before anyone has a chance to check whether they come from reliable sources. When several sources convey the same message, however, it can indicate that something is really happening at a given location. Topsy can be important in tracking social movement such as the progress of an uprising or movement of a group of people. There is power in numbers, so the sheer number of people who will protest now using social media may increase because they have more confidence in doing so when they know others are of like mind.
A think tank is usually comprised of a group of people hand selected to solve a particular problem or to do research on a problem. We don’t usually open up the think tank to just anyone.
Crowdsourcing opens up a question or inquiry or research to everyone, or perhaps to a select special interest group, those who can offer authoritative data. People are drawn to contribute knowledge – whether it be of the pothole status in a given neighborhood, crime rates, weather patterns, or crisis intervention. This knowledge has very often not had a home in the past because there was nowhere to put it, or it might have to be vetted first (made into authoritative geodata) before being committed to the total database of knowledge on the given subject.