Category Archives: Geolocation

“5 Miles” – A futuristic view of Geolocation

The World of the Fivecasts

A fivecast is a digital being in the form of a rich electronic message, whose only goal in life is to forecast important information on a 5 miles radius. A fivecast is born from a FiveMaster’s desire to communicate something to other fivemasters (used to be known as Users). A fivecast lives in a FiveNest (used to be known as Devices) and it looks for other fivenests to leave a copy of its message. Some time apart these fivenests were known as “mobile devices” because fivemasters used to actually carry objects and create fivecasts manually, now there are blurry distinctions between fivenests and fivemasters. As we said earlier, a fivecast’s only purpose of existing is to leave its footprints in as many qualified fivenests as possible. Unfortunately, a fivecast only live for 24 hours, after that, he gets recalled by the FiveQuarter (main quadrant) to be stored in the fivecast archive forever. However, a print of the fivecast is kept at the fivenest until the fivemasters decides to erase it. This print was originally how the fivecast was created the first time. Sometimes, fivemasters decide to create a new fivecast out of these prints. Some other times, the fivemasters even use other fivemasters’ fivecasts to create a new one of their own. A peculiar aspect of a fivecast is that it moves with its fivemaster if the fivemaster so wishes. What this does is to allow a fivecast to constantly find new fivenests as the fivemaster moves within any territory.

This is definitely the World of the Fivecasts. Today there are more than 6 Trillion fivecasts at any given moment. Fivemasters had abandoned many other ways to communicate and depend heavily on fivecasts reliable way to distribute information. Thus, in this relatively new inter-connected world of fivecast it is less important to know a fivemaster profile (or ID or login as it used to be known). It is more important to know the basic attributes of each fivecast: content, location, longevity and fivemaster print. Since fivecast are pervasive and consistent, the world of fivemaster had learned to respect its use and role in this global community. Fivecast used to depend on a technology called GPS, now with this many satellites and new technology they keep providing its good original use: to alert fivemasters on a 5-Mile radius, regardless of their positioning in this planet. Sometimes a fivemaster would take a 30 minutes travel across the globe, the fivecasts know better that when the fivemaster lands it has to continue finding new fivenests in this new area. Also, fivemasters also used to use languages to communicate (before the unification); thus, fivecasts have the property of presenting their information in the language the fivemasters selected.

I have heard good stories about how fivecasts had changed fivemasters circumstances, some times critical. These stories went from generic to unique ones. For example, there was a fivemaster who has lost a pet, a beautiful dog who was part of the family for many years. Apparently something had happened to the dog that make him decided to leave the house that day, perhaps chasing something. When the fivemaster realized he was not there, immediately created a fivecast (back then all fivecasts were only text, and not all dogs had geo-localizers). Another fivemaster was having coffee nearby, she saw the fivecast and the dog, and immediately made the connection and alert the first fivemaster with a quick fivecast update (relevant appends to fivecasts). The first fivemaster was able to go to the nearby location and found his dog 5 minutes later.

Another story was about 3 fivemasters wanting to play a specific sport in a public location. One of them sends a fivecast announcing they needed a few more players. Since fivecasts had a location embedded there were no need to add details, 20 minutes later the entire group was ready to start playing.

Fivecast are also very useful to announce to fivemasters getting into the area about specific events. Fivemasters, who opened their garage to sell their unused items only needed to create a fivecast and then every fivemaster in the vicinity, or driving into it, would get the announcement with location. Knowing that fivecast only last 1 day, fivemasters would rely on the freshness of the information to find the specific location.  This same example applied also to community events and weekend activities.

Through the years, it was interested to see how fivemasters adopted the use of fivecasts. Sometimes they were used to cross communication among fivemasters who relatively knew each other; sometimes they were used amongst total strangers, who later ended up creating new relationships that would’ve not happened otherwise.

Businesses also adopted the use of fivemasters heavily. The FiveQuarter “trained” a large number of fivecasts to only reproduce their content across an specific set of fivemasters). While fivecasts were opened-by-design, this sort of restriction had to be put in place to secure information pertaining only to specific companies. The adoption was massive and it replaced most of the old ways to broadcast information (there used to be something called Radio for example). Once, a large mining company, with 3000 employees who had implemented the use of fivecasts had problems reaching 5 miners that were lost underground. Scanning the area they were able to run into fivecasts providing their location. They owe their life to one great digital friend: a fivecast.

The World was never the same after the launch of 5 Miles, the original system where fivecast saw their beginning. At first, there was reluctance; fivemasters didn’t see themselves as a second-level role in a communication system. They always though they had to be the core of something like this, their reasoning was mostly around them being responsible for the creation of the fivecasts. But 5 Miles would’ve progressed if it had kept everything bound to actual people, with profiles and complex tools to allow them to configure access to information they felt was important to share. The system renamed the creators of fivecasts as fivemasters because it knew that people wouldn’t necessarily be the only ones creating fivecasts. Today other intelligent systems are creating very useful fivecast by the billions. Sure, at the beginning, people were asked to enter something called Email or social accounts as a way to trace back to them any pertaining information regarding their fivecasts. But that was only a way to get started, later there were much iteration of identifiers till now when there is no need of one.

Back when 5 Miles started, people segmented the areas where they live with geographical boundaries and they grouped themselves to manage their way of living. This approach didn’t work out that good because they found themselves in constant conflict between territories (used to be called Countries) and even within the same territory. Also, they found that the difference in quality of living between some and others were abysmal; their first hint was that they spent most of their lives seeking material reward instead of truly connecting with their existence. Luckily, when 5 Miles started, other companies created similar systems to enhance communication between humans and collectively find solutions to big problems they were having back then. At some point they almost lost the planet they fed from. Before 5 Miles there were large organizations providing quick access to vast amount of information through something called “search engine” (which was later replaced by dynamic data availability). Then there were others providing humans with ways to hold large amount of data about their conversations or others who provide digital places for people to expose their happenings and life changes. When that happened, thousand of communities were built (they used to call them “Social Networks”) for every specific type of segmentation. That was the landscape upon which was built 5 Miles.

5 Miles was the creation of a technologist with aspiration for global peace and inner joy; his name was Jorge Canal and founded a technology company 20 years before 5 Miles was launched.

Ever since there had been much noise about 5 Miles and fivecasts, there was a whole brand created around it, there were hundred of satellite and private 5 Miles systems. There were dozens of games created to entertain, from all of them, my favorite was one where fivemasters became the pieces within a game and they were constantly exchanging challenges to each other with a specific goal. Until then, games were played in screens with “controllers”, but this was one of the first real life games with blurry lines between being a player or a character.

The World now is a better place, not necessarily thanks to 5 Miles, but thanks to the initiatives it created as natural merge of technology and quality of life. There are no countries, no differences between all of us; systems that govern our material needs are more fair and accurate. Specially, we had found that living without having more than others was actually not a good way to live. We’ve found out that “labeling” everything created most of the problems, since the way we think to the way we look and treat each other. The massive awaken of consciousness to wipe out labeling created the space for all of us to directly connect from being to being, and that catapulted many solutions to many other problems.

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Geolocalizacion Empresarial


En nuestro Laboratorio Techno Global, comenzamos a usar Geolocalización desde mediados del año 2009. Dada esta sólida experiencia (20 años) en la creación de soluciones para empresas,  no se podía dejar de pensar en el uso de la Geolocalización para grandes organizaciones. Entendimos que ya había una gran cantidad de información almacenada en los servidores de bases de datos. Webs, aplicaciones móviles e interfaces de integración, por lo general consumen esos datos.  A veces, incluso los aparatos y dispositivos de carga desde y hacia el mismo. Lo principal acerca de la Geolocalización, es qué, no sólo es interesante, sino también útil. En lugar de traer la información en formas planas a los usuarios y hacer que interactúen con ellos de manera individual (algo verdaderamente real) fusionamos datos con  ubicación, de una manera lógica para proporcionar una experiencia más interactiva. Así, partiendo de un lugar específico en el mapa,  podemos dar a conocer un conjunto grande de información de una empresa relacionada, muy valiosa para los usuarios. Pero eso fue sólo el comienzo. No nos detuvimos con conjuntos de datos de codificación geográfica y detalles del mapa de representación, pasamos a hacerlo con personas también.

De acuerdo a Wikipedia, cada organización se define como un grupo de personas tras los mismos objetivos. Para nosotros, en Techno Global, sólo tenía sentido utilizar la tecnología de Geolocalización para ayudar mejor al logro de estos objetivos, añadiendo esta vez, el factor humano. En el año 2010 empezamos a crear nuestras primeras aplicaciones móviles (iOS y Android) para permitir que las personas puedan comunicarse mediante Geolocalización. Nos dimos cuenta que teníamos que hacer una codificación innovadora y las interfaces inteligentes para ayudar al usuario a comprender cómo funciona esto. (El concepto es relativamente nuevo en el tiempo). Para la comunicación de personas, el Microblogging ha demostrado ser un vehículo de comunicación valioso, por lo que decidimos crear uno propio e insertarlo en el motor.

La pregunta que la mayoría hace es: “¿Por qué iba yo a querer ver mis datos en un mapa?”. A través del tiempo, descubrimos que el verdadero propósito de nuestro motor no era realmente de representar la información (mostrando los datos en un mapa). Se trata de crear procesos automatizados (algoritmos) para ejecutarlos de una forma nunca antes vista (al menos por nosotros). Por ejemplo, una de las primeras industrias donde se utiliza nuestra tecnología fue la industria de servicios. En esta, era importante saber cuándo alguien estaba en algún lugar para realizar algún servicio. Un proceso podría notificar a alguien cuando algo iba mal, porque alguien que se supone debería estar en una dirección específica en un momento determinado no aparece (no olvidar que nuestro motor tiene el control sobre la ubicación del Smartphone , o sea, la persona que presta el servicio) por tanto, un proceso de notificación automática se dispararía. Este proceso de notificación podría desencadenar otros, jerarquizarlos y así sucesivamente. Ahora, en nuestro laboratorio contamos con una biblioteca de algoritmos que pueden ser muy útiles para grandes grupos en el logro de un objetivo mucho más rápido y más eficaz.

Además, no se quiso limitar a los usuarios sólo al intercambio de contenido Microblogging, sino también archivos de medios reales para que sea aún más eficiente. Eso le dio a la gente la visibilidad en tiempo real sobre lo que está pasando en el campo a través del intercambio de fotografías, vídeos y documentos.

En cuanto a la infraestructura, teníamos que asegurarnos de que nuestro motor era lo suficientemente competitivo, por lo que se decidió utilizar AWS. Hoy en día, estamos muy orgullosos de ser un socio tecnológico de AWS. Estamos utilizando un numeroso grupo de EC2s configurados automáticamente con ELB y la Ruta 53. Representamos con Amazon Cloud Front  (Robust CDN) para los medios. Utilizamos Cloud Search, SNS, SES, SQS y por supuesto un gran uso de S3. Debido a AWS, nuestro motor reside en múltiples geografías de todo el mundo y es que es multi-lenguaje, lo cual es muy útil para las organizaciones globales. El primer conjunto de productos que utilizan nuestro motor se puso en marcha a principios de 2013. Estamos haciendo este motor está disponible para todo el mundo para conectar sus bases de datos, prestan sus datos a través de un mapa, microblog dentro de un grupo y ofrecen a todos una mejor experiencia. Esta versión estará disponible en el mercado AWS a mediados de enero como un IAM (servidor configurable autónomo virtualizado)

Ha sido un gran viaje en Techno Global, hemos estado haciendo las dos cosas, la creación de nuevas soluciones y ampliar los ya existentes a través de nuestro motor de Geo-Comunicación.

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Geolocation for the Enterprise


At our Techno Global labs, we have started using Geolocation since mid 2009. Given our strong background (20 years) in building Enterprise solutions we couldn’t help thinking about the use of Geolocation for large organizations. We understood that there was already a vast amount of information sitting on many database servers. Web front ends, mobile apps and integration interfaces, usually consume this data. Sometimes, even appliances and devices feed from, and to, it. The thing about Geolocation is that location is not just cool but useful. Instead of bringing information in flat forms to users and have them interact with them in a detached fashion (other than imagining this record is about something actually real) we went for merging data with location in a logical manner to provide a richer experience. Thus, departing from a specific location in the map we were able to unveil a large set or related Enterprise information, very valuable to the users. But that was just the beginning. We didn’t stop with geocoding datasets and map rendering details; we wanted to do it with people as well.

According to Wikipedia, every organization is defined as a group of individuals following the same objectives. To us, at Techno Global, it only made sense to use Geo technology to better assist on the accomplishment of these objectives, adding this time, the human factor. In 2010 we started creating our first mobile applications (iOS and Android) to allow individuals to communicate using Geolocation. We found out that we had to do innovative coding and smarter interfaces to help the user understand how this works. (The concept was relatively new at the time). In order for humans to communicate with we didn’t have to invent anything, by then Microblogging was proven to be a valid communication vehicle, so we decided to create our own and embed it into the engine.

The question that we get asked the most is: “Why would I want to see my data in the Map?” Through evolution, we discovered that the real purpose of our engine wasn’t really about rendering information (showing your data in a map). But it was about creating automated processes (algorithms) to execute smarter automated processes never seen before (at least by us). For example, one of the first industries where our technology was used was the service industry. In this industry is important to know when someone is somewhere to perform the service. A process would notify someone when something was going wrong at that moment because that someone who is supposed to be at a specific address at a certain time is not showing up (don’t forget our engine has control over the smartphone location which happens to be with the person who provides the service), thus an automatic notification process was triggered. This notification process could trigger other nested ones and so on and so forth. Now, in our Lab we have a library of algorithms that could be extremely helpful to large groups in accomplishing an objective much quicker and more effectively. What we did was to arm our engine with applicable algorithms from our library.

Also, we didn’t want to limit users in exchanging just Microblogging content but also actual media files to make it even more efficient. That gave people at the office real time visibility over what’s going on in the field via sharing pictures, videos and documents.

On the infrastructure side, we had to make sure our engine was scalable enough; thus we decided to use AWS. Today, we are very proud of being a AWS Technology Partner. We are using a large group of auto-configured EC2s with ELB and Route 53. We render using Amazon Cloud Front (Robust CDN) for media. We use Cloud Search, SNS, SES, SQS and of course a large use of S3. Because of AWS, our engine resides in multiple geographies across the World and being that is multi-language it is very useful for Global organizations. The first set of products using our engine is being launched early 2013. We are making this engine available for everyone to connect their databases, render their data over a map, microblog within a group and offer everyone a better experience. This release will be available in AWS Marketplace Mid-January as an AMI (Self-contained configurable virtualized server).

It has been a great ride at Techno Global, we have been doing both, creating new solutions and extending existing ones with our Geo-Communication engine.

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Bliss / Negocios sobre Mapas

Bliss es una plataforma de geolocalización que otorga 2 beneficios claves a cualquier organización: buscar y mostrar la data corporativa utilizando un mapa y habilitar a la organización en saber donde (en el mapa) se encuentra cada persona de la compañía en tiempo real (Personal de Ventas, Gerentes, Choferes, Agentes, Trabajadores y cualquiera que esté fuera de la oficina).

Bliss también facilita a miembros de una organización a comunicarse y envíarse importante información de la compañía entre si usando sus Smartphones o Navegadores. Bliss tiene su propio motor de microblogging.

Bliss puede ser configurado para conectarse a cualquier base de datos (MS SQL/MySQL) con el fin de extraer y renderizar la información sobre un mapa (usando Google Maps). Los usuarios móviles también pueden ser configurados con acceso seguro a cada instancia de Bliss.

Es hora de acelerar el proceso de lograr objetivos dentro de su empresa, es hora también de hacer gestión de equipos y activos usando Mapas y Microblogging: Geo-Comunicación!.

Sitio Web: http://www.blissgeoapp.com/es/