Home > Method, Observations, Software > Location aware search service – the Traveling Businessman use case

Location aware search service – the Traveling Businessman use case

Its time for putting the pieces together!

Using the combination of location aware social networks, recommendation and search engines a new service can contribute to successful, pleasant and safe business trip. Most of the pieces exists today and some implementations are closer than others. In this case again what that is available to the consumers is ahead of what that is available for the business.

The objective is getting the relevant information to someone on a business trip when it is most useful. The success factors are relevance, timing and quality.

Systems that are built around location detection technology should be capable of supporting both “off-location” setting and “at-the-location” configuration. Having the option to prepare for a trip ahead of time can help in providing a great travel experience once there and after. The richer the options to pre-configure the traveler preferences the easier to meet each of the above success factors.

The benefits using  location based system over manually entering zip code is twofold.

  • The first is accuracy – hybrid systems today using multiple ways to locate a mobile device (and you) can do way better job than the zip code scheme. In emergency try to find somebody in an area size defined by a zip code. Another case is providing traffic or even crime information near you. On a less dramatic case maybe you have no rental in this trip and the only option is walking so few mile range could be useless.
  • The second benefit is asynchronous communication – if the system knows where you are the service can push information to you and not wait till you pool the data (after entering the zip code).

It is not about pushing “quality” spam at you. It is about eliminating the noise.

Success factors

Relevance and timing

  • I’m here now- what options are both possible and available for me?
  • These are my needs and objectives – how can you help me here and now? 
  • Share my location and find who’s near me 
  • Here is my agenda – I can consume information during these times.
  • I’m in one of these possible trip states: planning, soon to go, arrival, following agenda, still there, leave (back home or another destination), not my first visit here. There are probably more options.
  • Communication preferences:
    • Immediacy – alert me: small pop-up windows for notification like the ones used by Instant Massaging client tools or Twhirl are a better option. And SMS.
    • RSS feeds,
    • Email is not so great but still an option for detailed information.
  • Events –  what is happening around me with enough time to plan for.
  • Maps and directions
  • Emergency holler


  • Filter by my preferences – exclude or include words/tags something like filtrbox
  • Filter by others – recommendations, rating, bookmarking
  • Add my own recommendations and annotations
  • Stared(bookmark)/rated information
  • No fluff – give me the bottom line first. I can’t read a page long information in the first scan.


Additional ideas

Things to do for a trip preparation

  • Itinerary – accommodation, sport, weather (gallery?)  food, entertainment, shopping.
  • Agenda – blackout periods (meetings)
  • Using past information or the “wisdom of the crowed” – other people that went there.
  • Arrival – traffic, news (what local sports team won/lost)
  • Lunch Break – allow some information flow – alerts
  • End of business day – shuttle, near by connections (social), events.
  • Next day (few days trip to the same spot case) – show me something new please.
  • Next destination – something changed that I should be aware of?
  • Recurrent trip (save settings  – rating, more of this)
  • I can go on here…


  • Other travelers shares their favorites bits of information.


Are we there yet? …. Are we there yet?


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