Just like in real estate, location plays a huge role in making data relevant. When it comes to computing, we are no longer chained to our office desks and a large Windows machine. The computing device of choice today is an iPhone, or an a new Android based device, not an old and clunky desktop PC. The new generation and the new population uses phones to compute. In India alone, 15 million mobile telephone subscribers were added every months in 2008. That is like getting the entire population of Canada – every man, woman and child – as a subscriber every two months.

Location based data in your pocket

Most smart (and even not so smart) phones now come with GPS built in and an iPhone has a compass. Don’t dis the compass until you try to find a nearest tube station (subway for those of us on this side of the pond) in London NearestTube on an iPhone 3Gs. And now with services like Google Latitude, carrying a phone is like having your own personal beacon on the web guiding your friends and family (be careful what you share) to you. The point is that the data we collect and use today is infused with location information and the expectation is that we use this location data to make everything we do just better. Better service our customers, better respond to emergencies and public safety situations, recommend things that are relevant because of better understanding of the location. We used to call it Location Based Services when we could not really do location based services but in this day and age we don’t really call it anything; we just use location in everything we do just like we other types of data like integers and currency and text and …

OK, maybe we are not yet as universal in using location data as we should be, but I will make a prediction that this day is not very far away; I am talking months not years. if you are a data professional, you will have pay a lot more attention to location data. To help you out with this, DB2 provides some serious location capabilities and these capabilities, we call them “spatial” are included even in our free DB2 Express-C product. Maybe you do something simple like a store locator that helps your customers find your nearest store, or maybe you will get inspired and do some analysis of your customer’s propensity for saving in relation to specific  based on proximity to specific points of interest, say a beer store? What you do with location data is up to you. To paraphrase a popular Home Depot tag line: “You can do it; DB2 can help”. Don’t take my word for it. We have a free webinar on the DB2 spatial capabilities presented by a David Adler who really understands location data. Here is the info to put on your calendar:

Date: Thursday May 27, 2010
Time: 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM Eastern (GMT-04:00)
10:30 AM Central / 8:30 AM Pacific / 16:30 hrs London / 17:30 hrs Frankfurt, Paris / India 9PM
Presented By: Sal Vella (IBM), David Adler (IBM)

You will need to register for this chat.

Oh, the location of this webinar is “the web”.

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