Nice write up from my friend, Florent, about Foursquare API being used to create location heatmaps. This is precisely the location behavior data I was talking about in my post the other day.
You see in his heatmap I know where he works, where he hangs out and where he lives… and when he goes between all that. What’s great is you don’t actually need a lot of check ins and you don’t need someone to use one app or another. There’s enough location data flowing around through facebook, twitter, myspace, flickr, foursquare, yelp, email accounts, etc. etc. for ad networks and ad providers like Apple, Google, Microsoft to build the location mapping for you.
Once you have a users location map it’s pretty obvious how you want to target ads to them by day part, ad type, etc.
This isn’t all that surprising, is it? The surprising part to me is that we didn’t really need every user in the world to be tracked by some big brother entity, some central GPS tracker. The way of the Internet (loosely coupled/linked services) provides all the information, perhaps more, than we need to build better targeting algos.
I suspect more and more user will opt in to ambient location pinging if it means they get more relevant, less distracting content and advertising.
The key in making a successful ad network on all this data/targeting is building up the marketplace such that bidding happens based on Latitude/Long and day parting, not keywords. Most of the infrastructure for bidding systems now is largely keyword based.
Oh, and… location based bidding systems won’t be strictly about pushing ads to your mobile device. It will include digital out of home displays like billboards, signage, etc. etc. (My friend Lane was trying to get a bidding system in place for that a couple of years ago!)