Baidu makes investment worth $11.5 million in free mass transit Wi-Fi service
Chinese search engine titan Baidu and two private equity firms have invested $11.5 million in a public transport advertising network and free Wi-Fi service on buses and metro systems across China. The funds will go toward an affiliate of VisionChina
Media, a company that provides mass transit wireless Internet access and mobile Internet valueadded services in China. The deal covers around 35,000 buses in major cities across the country, including Shanghai, Shenzhen and Guangzhou.
Baidu and VisionChina’s affiliate, Qianhai Mobile, will jointly develop and monetize mobile app distribution and other mobile passenger services powered by Baidu Map. http://en.yibada.com
Ruckus Wireless, Inc. has unveiled a major expansion of SPoT LBS. The expanded Ruckus LBS solution lets service providers and enterprises improve the ROI and monetization of their wireless infrastructure. Organizations can now actively engage with customers through value-added business services tailored for the user online experience. Fundamental enhancements to the Ruckus LBS solution uniquely combine, for the first time, virtualized SPoT LBS software, calibration-free deployment, user presence and integrated support for Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beaconing to streamline the installation and delivery of location-based wireless services. http://vsr.edgl.com
Facebook Inc. could use LBS to turn messenger into a real business
Facebook built that feature into its most recent update of Facebook Messenger. With two clicks, users can send their location, or they can agree on a meeting place with just an extra swipe.What’s more important is that the new location feature lays a foundation upon which Facebook can build. Getting users to share locations as part of making plans opens the door for Facebook or third parties to build LBS on top of Messenger. www.fool.com
Uber acquires part of Bing’s mapping assets
Uber is absorbing data-collection engineers from Microsoft to bolster its own mapping work. Microsoft handing Uber part of its operating expenses is minor, given the financial scale of the firms. http://techcrunch.com
HERE expands into 50 countries
HERE, a Nokia company is expanding its real-time traffic service to 50 countries, from the current 44. Next month, HERE will add Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar to a growing footprint of live traffic data in the Middle East, giving it the most comprehensive traffic coverage in the Gulf region today. In addition, HERE just expanded its European coverage by adding Bulgaria and Romania. www.here.com
Warrington’s bid for £40 million of Highways Prudential Borrowing
Yotta’s Horizons visualised asset management platform has played a key part in Warrington Borough Council’s successful bid for £40 million of prudential borrowing. The funding will be used to maintain Warrington’s most valuable asset – a network of some 1,137 km of roads.
By investing in preventative maintenance and reducing spend on reactive works such as pothole repairs, Warrington aims to cut the cost to the local economy of road traffic collisions, and therefore show significant savings. Yotta was commissioned to work with Warrington to produce an initial appraisal of the Future Highway Funding Strategies report. The report, created using Horizons software with support from Yotta’s consultants, provided crucial evidence to support the funding bid. It included impact analysis for different investment strategies and the identification of optimum planned maintenance budgets to prevent further deterioration of the network. www.yotta.co.uk
FICCI-PwC report suggests deployment of LBS for smart cities
The proposed National Land Use Policy which seeks to regulate land use efficiently would help in augmenting the use of waste and non-cultivable land and integrating them with LBS would make it easier to update and maintain digitized land records.
This was stated by Ms Vandana Kumari Jena, Secretary, Department of Land Resources, Ministry of Rural Development, at a conference on ‘Location Based Services 2015: Transforming Coordinates to Business’ organized by FICCI in partnership with the Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India.
Speaking about how LBS could transform India’s landscape, Ms. Jena said that the government has been trying to digitize land records of the country and so far 23 states have digitized its records and 24 states have a computerized registration for land. She added that only 10 states have integrated the two systems. Hence, to leverage the true potential of LBS, it was necessary that all states of India have realtime information on land records.
The report recommends that in order to mitigate challenges and ensure effective implementation of LBS along with smart city components across cities, there is a need to use LBS during assessment of city master planning; create a single agency for generating, collecting and utilising location and geospatial data of a city and frame a policy for data security and privacy.
S N Murty, Associate Director and Smart Cities Leader, PwC, said LBS would add a different dimension to the way people work, will become core to providing mass customized products & services, transform the way government provides services to citizens and leverage the mobile penetration and couple that with urban development. www.business-standard.com