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LBS & tourism through the eyes of a postgrad marketing student in New Zealand.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

More online mapping tools than ever for NZ

vianet.travel is a new community of tourism operators, tourism retailers and travellers. vianet.travel is unique in that we work with both sides of the tourism equation with the single-minded goal of making it easier for travellers to find what they are looking for. To achieve this we provide the latest technology to retailers and operators. vianet.travel was imagined, designed and created by Vianet International.
You can find a map for any street address in New Zealand. ZoomIn also lets you find all sorts of places. Large and small. Malls and theaters. Churches and skate parks. Burger joints and gourmet restaurants. Simply type what you're trying to find into the search bar and click Find.
Vianet is probably the most applicable seeing as it's especially geared towards tourism - I especially like this article on Stuff.co.nz which talks about how it quickly morphed into a more collaborative project with the participation of community groups and smaller businesses.

Of course there's the news (see article here) that Google Maps has finally included detailed street information for New Zealand, but it's disappointing to see that they still haven't included any additional layers of information and thus renders it a lot less useful than the local alternatives - e.g. a search for 'pizza' in Auckland still yields zero results...

And, as I mentioned earlier, there's AA SmartMap (also more tourism-oriented). It's great to see so many new services, but here's the problem - how many of them can be accessed via a truly mobile device (i.e. not including laptops)? I know at least one of these service providers are working on translating these to the small screen - but even after true mobility of the mapping service is achieved, how are we going to get it into the hands of the tourists? Will their current devices be able to handle this sort of map-based LBS? If not (and the majority of them still carry models such as the Nokia 3310), who's going to rent them the device which allows them to use the service in the first place? Somebody has to do it... otherwise they won't even be able to access the service properly, which sort of defeats the whole purpose! We shall see...

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Industry Report!

Sorry about the lack of updates lately, but since I handed my thesis in at the end of last year I've mostly been overseas... Anyway, I have uploaded a copy of an industry report version of my thesis results here for your reading pleasure. Enjoy!

Location-Based Services & Tourism Thesis Industry Report

If you are interested in obtaining a full version of my thesis, let me know via email - clararar@gmail.com. =)