For years, I’ve been looking forward to and calling for the development of location based social networking tools. Such tools could in the future be adapted to help coordination and collaboration of actors involved in peacebuilding as well as aid and relief work in sudden onset disasters. Though the underlying technology of 3G and the high-end iPhone 2.0 make Brightkite.com inaccessible to most in developing countries, and especially when telecoms are fragile after a disaster, this video is extremely compelling. For me it shows off once again the beauty and simplicity of the iPhone’s UI leveraged here to provide location based information and interaction.
But I wonder if this, coupled emergent technologies with huge potential such as InSTEDD’s Mesh4X can be combined to create interoperable, SMS based location aware services that may not look as good, but are good enough for the field?
It would be such a pity for these tools and services to be limited only to the US to find corner-side coffee stores and invite friends, who are around the block, for a latte.