Track yourself!

While I was looking for something interesting on social history I stopped by at Ross Mayfield’s blog (who I got to know when I was researching for my proto::blog). On his site I found a feature called “plazes”.

With the webbased service of plazes you can (among others) pin your current position down to a specific point like a restaurant and have it logged online. As it is not machine driven but your location has to be typed e.g. in by SMS it can be very precise (there are options for automation, though). Very nice: The service comes along with a German based cell number for Europe and an intro taking place in Berlin!
Moreover, you can have looked up your your friends or special institutions (wifi?) by the system. A drawback: You need a compass to make the response-sms work, which is s.th. like

“Felix at bonfini, 250m NW of you”

Well, where is the sun, the polestar? – ah – here must be NW, then…

A word on some consequences: While Ross Mayfield has reasons to publish his coordinates publicly anyone else could be a little bit more aware of his available data – but won’t, probably: With the current hype on social software, myspace and the like we can this way not only exhibit our most private feelings and favors but publish one more personal info.
On the other hand this is method for tracking was existing for long with our mobile phones telling their whereabouts at least to the phone companies but it was not until now that we could obtain access to this (our!) data ourselves…

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