SimpleGeo Aims To Become The Backbone Of LBS Mobile Apps

SimpleGeo LogoFor all you application developers who have your sights set on the huge buzz around ‘location’ and location-sharing from mobile devices, check out SimpleGeo’s location apps infrastructure service. The startup’s geo-location-based REST API will let developers rapidly develop mobile or web applications that have one or more layers of geodata.

Integration is easy whether data is acquired in real-time from mobile “check-in” apps such as Foursquare, Booyah’s MyTown, or Swiftcover’s Stuck, or based on previously collected geographic data.

A quick look around at online tech news will make it clear that LBS (Location-Based Services) is a buzz topic for this year. The buzz is most likely a reflection of the huge opportunity which exists for mobile apps developers in this space. SimpleGeo’s CTO Joe Stump said in an interview with SocialTimes that their geo-location platform was built with developers in mind, whether for small-scale apps or apps with billions of data points and many millions of queries daily.

The company has received funding from numerous big-name VCs and blogging and tech celebrities, including Digg co-founder Kevin Rose — which is not surprising considering Stump was once Digg’s Lead Architect, up until Jun 2009. Social Thing founder Matt Galligan is a co-founder of SimpleGeo. Both Stump and Galligan are currently based in Boulder, Colorada, but there is a San Francisco office, which Stump said he would be at once in a while.

While the service has been beta for a while, the official launch date is Wed Mar 31st, 2010. The SimpleGeo platform offers developers a number of key features: a means to add and save geodata in cloud storage; a means to sell their own geodata; and a means to access data available from other vendors in a developer’s own app — meaning that you can mix and match data from multiple vendors who are using SimpleGeo. Developer accounts will be based on a freemium model, and be based on how much storage and how many database queries being performed per account. The database system, Giselle DB, is a custom fork of Cassandra, both of which fall into the NoSQL data management tools category that are starting to be used by tech companies that accumulate huge amounts of UGC (User-generated content).

Stump admitted that while there are already well over 4,000 developers large and small using the platform, he’s not aware of any who are directly monetizing their use of SimpleGeo yet. To that end, they’ll be pushing their Geo Marketplace feature. Revenues will be 70/30 split in favor of developers, with SimpleGeo handling the transactional end of things and likely paying out developers quarterly.

Look for more a detailed post in the future, on SocialTimes, on mobile apps development using the SimpleGeo platform. Onsite documentation exists, in case you want to get acquainted with the SimpleGeo REST API, but you’ll have to sign up first. I’ve been told that the SimpleGeo site will be down until the official launch date, which is Wed Mar 31st (i.e., tomorrow, PST zone), when Matt Galligan presents at Where 2.0 in San Jose. Signing up for the service will resume when the site goes back live.

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