Helpful. Or Creepy?


What if you could look at your cell phone and see a heat map of where everybody in the city was at that very moment? The more people at any given location, the redder it would appear on the map. That’s what Citysense does. It is a mobile application that is supposed to help you figure out where the hottest clubs and night spots are so you can go there (or avoid them, depending on your preference).

It senses where the most popular places are based on the location information emitted by everyone’s cell phones, shows the places with the most activity, and then links into Yelp or Google to help you find out what is at that location. Over time, it learns about where you like to go (fancy restaurants or punk rock clubs) and shows you other people like you, and where they are—right now. And it does all of this anonymously. (You can’t see your where your actual friends are). Citysense only works in San Francisco right now. It is available as a mobile download for the Blackberry and soon for the iPhone as well.

The application is essentially a demonstration for a startup called Sense Networks that is emerging from stealth mode today. Citysense is built on top of the company’s main technology platform, Macrosense. The company ingests billions of data points about people’s location from cell phones, GPS devices, WiFi, and even taxis. The company also collects geo-location data from everyone who downloads Citysense, or any future app (although, the company considers the data to be yours, and you can delete it from the database at any time).

Location-Tracking Startup Sense Networks Emerges from Stealth To Answer the Question: Where Is Everybody?

The question is, Is this an advertising medium? Because you can't advertise ON it. But if you're an advertiser with a product that can benefit from the buzz of being "hot spotted" in real time, then this is thrilling. From TechCrunch. Thanks to Mike Brooks for the tip.
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