Five Ways Location-Based Information Creates Value for Montrealers

Posted on April 30, 2012

Mobile devices have opened up a whole new world of local information both for users and companies. Not only have mobile devices access to location based information, but they also generate location information too.

Business can harness this information to better reach customers or help said customers improve their experience with the company. This can help local companies. For example, a Montreal-based company can provide specific data for Montreal in their mobile application that national players wouldn’t, hence driving local competitive advantage.

When designing a mobile application, it has therefore become essential to consider which location-based features can be included in the design to deliver this additional value. Here are five different ideas for location-based features:

1.Location Recording: make your workflows simpler by allowing users to automatically record their location if this makes sense in your workflow.

2.Wayfinding: one of simpliest uses of location based services is to enable users to quickly find directions to where they need to go. This can be valuable if you have several different offices in a neighborhood, or different retail outlets.

3.Occupancy: imagine you’re a cafe owner with several different locations in an area. You could show occupancy information to customers to let them choose the location with the most free space! That helps your occupancy rates and helps the customer have a more comfortable experience.

4.Assistance: imagine being able to provide better assistance to staff and customers by knowing where they are. For example, if you are a breakdown company and you know exactly where a breakdown has happened, you can get the tow truck there quicker, improving utilization rates and customer service.

5.Augmented Reality: increase the fun-factor of the customer experience by providing augmented reality inside your application. This experience uses location-based services to provide information about the location environment a user finds themselves in. For example, you could combine occupancy information with augmented reality to show on the screen the location of your emptiest coffee shop within 1km.

Location-based information is of great value in mobile applications, both that generated by the mobile app and that consumed by it. Indeed, some companies that are generating location-based information, such as Foursquare, also provide access to it through Application Programming Interfaces (API). This means their data can be leveraged by third-party applications to provide extra value.

Another example of the value of this. Montreal’s transit authority, the STM, has just released via API all of its bus and metro scheduling information. That information could be mated together with Foursquare’s information to show venues nearby and how long it would take to get to each one by public transit. 

Equally Montreal business owners could include STM schedule information directly within their application. Montreal mobile developers can provide location-aware schedule information in the same way that Google Maps provides direction information.

That’s real value that locally-oriented mobile applications can bring above and beyond websites and that can provide local value to Montrealers that international or nationally focused companies would not bring.