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  • Lasoo
  • Wireless Location-Based Searching with Lasoo

    By: WDN Staff

    As far as "location-based" searching goes, Lasoo seems to have a winner on their hands. When it comes to "map driven" or spatial searching, I tend to agree with a recent article about the search portal titled "The best of the spatial searches". The site doesn't simply relate a database of urls to zip codes, it provides true spatial indexing and generates spatially accurate and relevant hits. As an added bonus, the site offers users a very simple user interface, nice design/layout, excellent maps, and best of all, wireless search capability (to WAP enabled devices).

    Lasoo's directory of businesses, services and websites is more than 25 million strong, and growing. The technology, showcased at www.lasoo.com, finally brings the ‘where’ factor to the Internet search experience [according to Lasoo], allowing users to focus their search on a self-selected area of the world. Searching the site is straight forward. Users are promted to commence a search by entering a city, address, zip code, or "lasoo" a map over a selected area. Zooming in results in greater map detail as well as a category search listing being displayed. Chosing a category results in a "hit" box or results being presented.

    I "lasooed" Niceville Florida and selected the Bars/Pubs category. The database resulted in 6 hits (not bad considering Niceville is pretty small and likely doesn't have many more than 6 bars!).



    Note, adjusting the "lasoo" range causes the colored radius region surrounding the centroid to change accordingly


    1 km lasoo



    5 km lasoo


    Positioning my cursor over the Bitburger Pub causes the symbol representing the feature to change color, making it obvious where on the map the pub is located. Clicking on the Bitburger label or the icon causes a "QuikPage" to pop up, revealing a more detailed road map and related information including address and phone number. The only thing missing is a menu and price list!


    The Quikpage reveals more detailed information

    Users of wireless PDAs and handhelds will find Mobile Lasoo to be a nice find. Lasoo mobile provides WAP enabled devices with the functionality to perform a number of functions, including:
    - find nearest
    - directions
    - call nearest location

    No downloading of static directories are necessary. Searching options provide 3 data entry fields - city (State/ZIP), address, or find what? (keyword search). Lasoo rounds up the closest results for your search and delivers them to your handheld device.


    Enter location and search criteria into Data Entry fields


    Search results and map a seen on WAP emulator

    The WAP emulator is available for testing at http://www.lasoo.com/corporate/wireless/emulator.htm

    In The News
    Finally, Lasoo has licensed their technology, enabling users to provide geo-targetted searching, localized content, and global map data to visitors of their website. The company recently announced that Excite has licensed their technology.

    One of the first to deploy Lasoo’s technology is Canadian broadband leader, Excite Canada. “We are looking forward to giving our Excite@Home high-speed Internet users the chance to trial Lasoo,” said Hugh Stuart, President, Excite Canada. “Local content is important, and we believe our users are going to like Lasoo’s unique blend of maps and information.”

    Lasoo is a spatial ASP with proprietary software specializing in the delivery and creation of local content on the Internet. It combines the power of a geo-targeted search engine, a content-rich database and high-speed mapping capabilities accessible on wired and wireless devices. Founded in 1999, LASOO is a privately held company with offices in Canada, Switzerland and Germany. Principal investors in Lasoo include Rogers Communications Inc. of Toronto and Shaw Ventures of Calgary. Press release available Here


    Excite@home uses the Lasoo ASP solution


    For further information about Lasoo contact:
    John Stewart
    (416) 628-6803
    jstewart@lasoo.com
    Catherine Komlodi
    (416) 628-6806
    ckomlodi@lasoo.com

    Visit Lasoo’s search portal at www.lasoo.com and business website at www.lasoo.com/corporate.

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