28% of all American adults use mobile or social location. Can government use these tools?

by admin on September 14, 2011


Pew reports (see below) that 28 percent of Americans are using location-based services. Is there a way that Government, associations and nonprofits can take advantage of these services?

Businesses seem to be the obvious beneficiaries. My wife and I were traveling recently and looking for a restaurant. She searched her iPhone and found a nearby and highly recommended place to eat.

Providing directions to facilities via mobile devices seems to be a no-brainer. As America moves from desktop computers to mobile devices (the majority of searching will come through mobile devices in the near future) the questions remains as to how our organizations will take advantage of location-based services.

Emergency and disaster response seems to be an obvious place to start by providing the locations of shelters. The provision of services beyond our fixed locations is another. Associations and nonprofits can use coupons and locations to get people involved (i.e., discounts on adopting pets at a shelter).

I and others are interested in how people within government, associations and nonprofits can use these services. If you have additional ideas, we would love to hear them.

Best, Len.

Pew Report:

More than a quarter (28%) of all American adults use mobile or social location-based services of some kind. This includes anyone who takes part in one or more of the following activities:

  • 28% of cell owners use phones to get directions or recommendations based on their current location—that works out to 23% of all adults.
  • A much smaller number (5% of cell owners, equaling 4% of all adults) use their phones to check in to locations using geosocial services such as Foursquare or Gowalla. Smartphone owners are especially likely to use these services on their phones.
  • 9% of internet users set up social media services such as Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn so that their location is automatically included in their posts on those services. That works out to 7% of all adults.

Taken together, 28% of U.S. adults do at least one of these activities either on a computer or using their mobile phones—and many users do several of them. These figures come from a new national survey by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project and represent Project’s most expansive study of location services to date.

“Americans are not currently all that eager to share explicitly their location on social media sites, but they are taking advantage of their phones’ geolocation capabilities in other ways,” said Kathryn Zickuhr, Pew Internet Project research specialist and co-author of the report. “Smartphone owners are using their phones to get fast access to location-relevant information on-the-go.

Source: http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2011/Location.aspx?utm_source=Mailing+List&utm_campaign=83644cd1a2-Location_Alert9_6_2011&utm_medium=email


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