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
At the time it was written,
there were only a handful of
research projects around this
technology, none of the scope of
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
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
Some things you might want to do: