Using Location-Based Services to Build a Social Network

GIS Contributor


Avoiding the Google-Apple-Facebook Trap: How Enterprises Can Provide Their Own Mobile Solutions – a whitepaper by Dr. Alexander Koeppen and Michael Heinzel.

Feature rich smartphones with state-of-the-art operating systems have become the dominating access device for the Internet worldwide. This development has opened up a multi billion dollar business – especially for few mobile services and internet giants like Google, Apple and Facebook.

Other players from numerous industries, however, have suffered. If they have survived the emergence of new business models they are in many cases heavily dependent on the leaders mentioned above to market and sell their services. This way they have lost direct access to their customers and large parts of their profit margin.

Most often these companies do have the critical mass of customers or very specific niche customer groups to provide own mobile solutions. But they lack mobile business experience and a technological basis that makes mobile services easily available.

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Building your own social network with Location Based Services at the core

Technologies like the Pocket Life PlatformTM allow companies to offer their services in a seamless way across web and mobile channels while complementing them with relevant social networking features and location based services. Used as a branded white label solution an existing user base can directly be migrated and new users can be approached via established app stores and other channels.

Numerous standard features can be used out of the box or customized to the clients’ needs. Specific business processes can be implemented and integrated including payments and back end integration. This way an surprisingly quick time to market is possible offering services across mobile platforms such as iPhone, Android and others.

Features include messaging (status updates, in app messages, SMS etc.), all kinds of location based services (everything location, rating etc.), contact management (including registration, groups etc.), media, geo-advertizing, calendar & events social network integration (facebook, linkedIn etc.) and many more.

From a technical point of view this platform is based on an open and API enabled Architecture with highest privacy standards. Leveraging a proven cloud hosting approach it is highly scalable across regions and supports multiple languages and time zones.

Some Success Stories…

Volvo Group: CO2 reduction suite “Commute Greener!”

Accessible via web and mobile phone, the Commute Greener! service provides an easy way to measure the carbon dioxide emissions generated during your every day commute.

Whether you are commuting by car, bus, train, or bicycle, Commute Greener! allows you to take active steps to reduce your CO2 footprint – with just a few clicks.

Commute Greener! is ideal for: • Urban city dwellers, who have a range of commuting options available • Companies & organizations, who want to inspire employees & implement CSR activities • Cities & Public Transport Authorities, who would like to increase city efficiencies and boost usage of public transportation.

Vodafone: Location based social network

This platform provides many classic features that other social networks like Facebook provide as well – and then takes it to the next level: and that is back to the actual day to day life. On dynamic maps users can mark favorite places, like restaurants, bars, sites or surf spots, and share them with their friends. The same works with hiking or biking tracks as well as with city tours or travel routes: Mark them on the map, add your best photos and share it with your friends. And the coolest feature: if one chooses to show himself on the map, his friends can see him there as well in real time.

Lasoo: Location based shopping:

Volvo Trucks: Location based social network for truck drivers

About the Authors

Dr. Alexander Koeppen, Managing Director, Pocketweb Ltd.

With more than 10 years experience Alexander has worked as successful entrepreneur and as top management consultant in Europe, the US, Middle East and Australia. He is responsible for Business Development and Marketing and holds a Ph.D. in Business Computing.

Michael Heinzel, Managing Director, Pocketweb Ltd.

Michael has been managing large scale IT and Consulting projects for more than 15 years. With experience in industries like Telecommunications, Travel and Transport Michael knows how to link business and technology. He is responsible for Development and Finance.

For further information please visit


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Guest articles from GIS professionals. Authorship information is listed at the bottom of the articles.