If I were Google
I read about VCs putting money into location based spam. To me this is the wrong approach. I’ll just start turning off my cell phone. It’s an annoyance with no benefit.
When I go into Google Maps and “Get Directions” from one address to another, I would like to see a button at the bottom that says “save my journey”. Pushing this button would save the path described. Google could then offer a broad range of services based on journeys I’ve saved. Any service they offer me that uses my journey could also present an unobtrusive ad for a business somewhere along that path.
Here in San Antonio the service might include alerts from TransGuide. Better yet, Google could track my progress along my saved route to determine traffic conditions via cell phone geolocation, similar to Inrix’s dust network. Of course this would take a critical mass of subscribers, but Google’s good at getting massive. In exchange for letting Google track me, and send me ads, I would get accurate traffic conditions.
Journey based advertising could be very focused. The location of the origin and destination of a journey would provide important demographics so that a business located along a journey could target their ads. Who knows, maybe Starbucks might start building cafes in poor neighborhoods if they knew the demographics of the cars driving past.