Facebook's Chris Cox explains why Places is 'dope'

Facebook concluded the unveiling of its new Places location check-in feature today with a speech from vice president of product Chris Cox (pictured here at another event) that was either inspiring or cheesy, depending on how charitable you were. Either way, it hinted at the bigger vision that company executives have for the product.

Mashery gains momentum with location-based services customers

If you look at a bunch of cool location-based apps, you’re likely to find Mashery under the hood. Mashery has a software platform that companies (in this case, location-service companies) can use to market, distribute and keep track of their application programming interfaces (APIs), which allow third-party developers to build apps on their services.

What do we know about Facebook's location service?

It has been clear for months now that Facebook on features that allow users to share their location with friends. All that discussion could come to a head tomorrow afternoon, when Facebook holds a press event at its Palo Alto headquarters where the company is expected to finally unveil its location service.

Activity-tracking service The Hotlist launches iPhone app

Location-based service The Hotlist aggregates Facebook and Twitter feeds to tell its users where the hottest spots in town are – as defined by where their friends are going. The service was solely available online for the past year. But now it’s launching an iPhone app and plans to deliver Blackberry and Android apps shortly.

CardStar connects loyalty cards to Foursquare check-ins

The check-in game as popularized by location-based services Foursquare, Gowalla, Loopt and others, desperately needs something more tangible than just the mere exclamation of a user’s location. One way to bring more value – and thus more interest – to the check-in is tying it to a real-world deal, like getting a cheaper beverage at a coffee shop in return for frequent check-ins. Now, a company specializing in digitizing the loyalty cards people carry in their wallets, CardStar, is integrating its service with Foursquare check-ins in an effort to make checking in more relevant.

$4.6M of Foursquare's latest funding to go into executives' pockets

After the popular check-in service Foursquare finally closed its second round of funding in June after much speculation in the press, the company announced it had secured $20 million from Andreessen Horowitz and others. According to a recent SEC filing, the company’s top executives are taking a $4,636,688 cut out of the total – which, to be exact, is four dollars shy of $20 million.

ScatterTree discovers apps based on your location

With over 225,000 apps available in Apple’s App Store and 65,000 apps on Android Market, it’s no wonder some smartphone users feel overwhelmed by the numbers. For now, the different marketplaces for apps offer recommendations, list the most popular downloads and categorize the existing hordes of apps. But there’s a cool new app called ScatterTree that filters apps by location.

Foursquare lets brands push tips to users

The popular location-based check-in service Foursquare today added a feature called “location layers”. In essence, it means that established brands –- at first, the Independent Film Channel and the Huffington Post – can use Foursquare’s “tips” feature to push the information they want to users. The bigger picture here is that this a step in Foursquare moving from a mere game to a location platform.

One million singles sign up for Skout dating app

Feel like there are no singles out there? Have no fear. Skout, the location-based dating app, now boasts one million registered users in its service. Summer seems to be the time when people are looking for love, as Skout says more than 200,000 users signed up in the month of June, breaking the one-million mark.

3D maps: you'll be able to walk around in them like in a virtual world

Online maps are extremely useful, but not very innovative in their present form, as most maps we use today merely mirror paper maps. The road map serves most of our everyday needs, but as more and more data with a location component to it is accumulated – geo-tagged photos, videos, or information from social networks like Facebook and Twitter – we’ll need to represent that data in a way that adds value without overwhelming users.

WaveMarket relaunches as Location Labs, considers an IPO

Goodbye WaveMarket, hello Location Labs! WaveMarket, a company that has built a platform for location-based services, is changing its name today to Location Labs and releasing new features for developers, even as its existing business is propelling revenues to heights where an initial public offering is plausible, according to the startup’s CEO, Tasso Roumeliotis.

Elite check-in service Topguest has "don of the PayPal mafia" on board

A new company is making blips on the location-based services radar. New York-based Topguest is moving into the market with an idea to bridge location-based services with the travel industry. Working in “sneak-preview” mode — meaning it’s aching to make announcements but isn’t ready yet — the company is backed up by an experienced venture capitalist, Peter Thiel, the co-founder and ex-CEO of PayPal.

TeleNav shares spike in IPO and remain high — a big win for Menlo Ventures

TeleNav (TNAV), provider of mobile-phone navigation services, had an incredibly strong first day on the market, with its share price rising 23 percent — even though it slashed its price from the forecasted $11 to $13 range to $8 upon its debut. The turnaround, closing at $9.80 for each of 7 million shares (totaling $56 million), is a pleasant surprise for its investors.

Biking to work in SF? Don't forget your CycleTracks app

It’s Bike To Work Day 2010 in San Francisco, a city where people take their biking seriously. As famous as San Francisco is for its bicycle-friendly attitude, transportation planning for the city remains a highly contested issue. Bicyclists always want more bike lanes, while the opposition will go to court to prevent painting new “sharrows” on the streets. For city policymakers, proving things like the demand for new bike routes is not as simple as it sounds, which is where mobile location-based technology comes in handy.