Location Awareness in Social Apps

 Social apps really changed our life it opened up a gate to get in touch with our friends and meet new and interesting people that we wouldn't have a chance to meet in any other way.

Adding to this magic is location awareness, in a glance you would think that it's just another feature in one big pile of gizmo and gadgets like adding photos or writing your status but its allot more, it actually opens a gate the a new world, your own.

World and national size events and places are off course interesting but for the everyday person and they way we live our lives (fast and hard) its allot more interesting to know what happens in your close surroundings, neighborhood and neighbor's, school or university, favorite grocery shops, local pubs and the list is long.

Nowadays all of that is possible throw smart phones apps and HTML5 web apps.

In a click of a button you check out if there is a good movie in a cinema near you with “ShowTime's”.

Hanging out with your friends, don't know where to go, looking for a good happy hour in one of the local pubs, not a problem just click on “foursquare” and you will find your answer.

Feeling lonely? Looking for love, just click on “4singles” and you'll see of love searches around you.

Development tricks and tips:

Create a multilevel fallback in case GPS data is not available or unauthorized by the user or device, most of the other types of GEO location are less accurate then GPS but it will allow you to handle all user and cases. Cellular triangulation and Wi-Fi location are very accurate but its more difficult to get or receive relevant data, IP location is less accurate but easy (and mostly free) to implement so it's quite cost effective to have as a fallback (only fallback) .

Divide your world / area to small parts (by grid or Lat Long indexes) and search relevant data to the user according to the part he is in, that will make searching and sorting throw the DB easy and quick.

Separate your code behind logic from moving and updating data(people, cars and planes ) from static and permanent data (city's, buildings, business), once done you will be able to search the static data more easily (CPU wise) by creating a relevance point in current area.

Use cached data wisely, try to understand when user data is no longer relevant (time pats or distances change) and how other data around it has changed accordingly.

Location Based made it all relevant to you, combining data from social apps like your age, gender and interest together with location awareness can give you what you want (everything), where you want it (here), and when you want it (now).

I believe that Location Based apps and websites will continue to grow in numbers and quality and we haven't yet seen the best of them.

Ziv Chen

Web Application Developer

CTO at Appliz LTD

Developer of 4singles Location Based Dating Application

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4Singles Location Based Social Network and Dating Application

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