Goes to show you that these ideas can be created and implemented in a lightweight, fun, playful way and that it doesn’t require a venture investment to try to become the next closed-garden friend finder service. If you think that market is heating up now, just wait.
Playing with Dopplr some more, I see that their most recent enhancements get a lot closer to solving the “Chicago Problem.” It is by no means perfect, as at best an incomplete solution and yet another walled garden, but they are putting in several gateways to other gardens and at least have an API.
In a session about Google’s current Geo features, the following things stood out to me:
Google is doing a lot to advance the geoweb, but not surprisingly they seem primarily motivated to get data into their indexers and not so worried about ways to share data with the rest of the world. Understandable, but it speaks at what the realistic limitations still really are.