[uf-discuss] [pf] Ideas and initial efforts

Andrew Turner ajturner at highearthorbit.com
Sat Jul 29 08:35:58 PDT 2006

Hi everyone (interested in picoformats), I wanted to introduce myself
and some of my thoughts/ideas on picoformats.

I'm a freelance developer for geolocation software/sites as well as
home automation. Specific to picoformats, I'm working on several
projects for mobile geolocation services, and am also a writer of
GeoRSS.org blog, and developed a Calendar appointment routing
application, when2where.com.

I'd like to use picoformats to:
1) send messages to user mobiles - via SMS, or a small application,
that contains information like appointment times, locations,
directions, and contact info. For example, when2where.com reminds
users when they need to leave to get to their appointment, so the
message may be like:
  leave @ 4:35PM ~Dentist Office -> Detroit, MI
where the text itself is simple and readable, but there *may* be an
small utility that would parse the @ symbol to add the event to the
calendar, the ~ to allow the person to quickly call that contact, or
the -> to pull up a Map/directions to the location

2) allow users to write messages to query an application - this is
similar to what Mozes has started with notes:
  when2where: ?today    --- what appointements to I have today
  new @ 4PM ~Olive Garden -> Novi     --- add an appointment
In addition to the obvious mobile device arena, I think picoformats
are usable in any context where "markup" is too heavy. For example, I
also just put together an IRC bot, whereisbot, that announces user
locations as they sign into a channel, or allows people to do:
.whereami, or .whereis <nick> to geolocate other people in a channel.
I want to 'markup' the information, but putting actual XHTML or XML is
annoying, since IRC doesn't parse the information at all. So right now
the response is:

ajturner: .whereami
whereisbot: ajturner is in Northville, MI, US  [42.4365 x -83.4884]

So then someone could write a Picoformat parser for
X-Chat/Colloquy/other that would parse the [ #### x #### ] and provide
a Map url link.

Sorry for the long email - just a lot of ideas and I wanted to get
them out and start sharing them.

Andrew Turner
ajturner at highearthorbit.com        42.4266N x 83.4931W
http://highearthorbit.com              Northville, Michigan, USA

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