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Welcome to the Annotated Earth.  We're currently in a early beta of the site and the technology.  If you'd like to be a beta tester, let us know.

UPDATE 2009:  This site was first developed in early 2002.  It is one the earliest (if not the earliest) examples of publically-created location-aware software.  At the time it was written, there were only a handful of research projects around this technology, none of the scope of AE. 

AE released a few applications for location-aware technology, but was mostly about creating a framework and API to allow developers to use location-aware information.  It was to become a central clearing house of spatial information that anyone could access and any developer could leverage for their own use.

Unfortunately, in 2002, while the hardware was around to provide a basis for this technology, it was large, bulky, and not in very many mobile devices that people carried around with them (a key to the vision of AE).  There were also a very limited set of equipment that had both GPS capabilities and a always-on internet connection.  At the start of 2003, the developers of AE guessed that it would be a minimum of 4 years before the devices needed to really use AE became both readily availably and ubiquitous.  So AE was wrapped up, and other projects were pursued. 

Fast forwarding to 2008, almost 6 YEARS after work on AE was stopped, and the technology finally became available, in the form of the iPhone.  The 2nd gen device has both always-on internet and GPS support. It would have been the perfect platform for AE.

Work may not ever restart on AE - in the intervening years, some big players (Microsoft, Yahoo, and Google to name three) entered the field and have developed their own solutions.

This site has remained unchanged (except for some users entering GPS info) since 2003.  Take a look around at what pre-dated all of today's location-aware technology, and what may have driven some of it.

Two windows apps were developed, one web app (a web page that could pass the users location and list things around them), and several Motorola micro-java based apps were created.  While the technology works and is complete, some things may not work, and some of these pages may not render on better, newer browsers like Firefox.

The original blog can be found here.


AnnotatedEarth.com provides a architecture to enable location-aware technology.  Location-aware technology allows a computer based device to figure out what's around it.  Usually "around" translates to "what's directly around me, right now".  As you move, the various things (buildings, places, et al) change - and location-aware technology allows computers to know about that change.  You can think of any given area (say, a town) to be a mass of location information, or annotations.  Buildings, streets, restaurants, houses, stores, interesting art work, a spot to meet your friends every Monday, just about anything.  AnnotatedEarth enables any computer device (laptops, cell phones, and PDA's, to name a few) to understand where you are and what's around you. 

Some things you might want to do: