Seero, a new startup, is a “live on location,” geo-broadcasting online app that mixes gps and video streaming by broadcasting and mapping in real-time. With the service, you broadcast live video, geo-tagging the content in real-time as you go. If folks are logged on to the site, they can follow in you in real-time; or if they aren’t online at the moment, the content, including the geo-tag is archived and accessible.
The application highlights exploration. And to date, their most prominent geo-broadcasters are those journeying the world, but as with any broadcast, it’s only as good as the content. I’ve tried to do live “on-the-road, isn’t-this-a-beautiful/interesting/amazing-place pieces”, and geez did mine fall flat. Perhaps a better unique selling proposition might be: See this place I know, right here, right now; it’s videoed, geo-tagged, and online.
The greatest potential lies in the exploration of places that broadcasters know intimately and personally, and their choice of located, pushed content. They can wrap that content around some targeted, but small amount of reflection, born of that specific knowledge, and located in time and place. Then you have a piece of value. Space becomes place when it is imbued with meaningful content, and this is where geo-broadcasters could shine. If not, I’m not sure how it differs from a travelogue, or as we in the PBS world know so well, a Rick Stevens show.
Barb Iverson, a Seero geo-broadcaster and journalism professor in Chicago, noted in her E-Media Tidbits blog entry on Seero noted:
As I worked with this application, my reporter sense tingled. And I noticed something else.
It happens like this: My students and I are walking an area of Chicago’s Loop between Congress and Randolph, State and Lake Michigan on the east. They’re taking photos and videos, and locating interesting geographic places (buildings as well as intersections or what sociologists call “third places”). We’re collecting material to create a Seero info-map focusing on the architectural, historical, political, and public geography of that small slice of territory. Seero then publishes our information and sites, along with whatever their software finds. So when my reporters do livecasts, they’ll have multimedia spatial context available to supplement their video reporting.
Take this further: Imagine linking construction permits, building code reports and violations, lists of tenants, floor plans, and other information with important buildings. Then, when a crime, accident, political scandal, or other breaking news happens in that area, you can quickly produce an info-map or site, enhancing your coverage in real time, and including live broadcasts.
In addition, with the Seero service geo-broadcasters can also push factoids and interesting tidbits about the place to accompany their “page.” There is nice integration with twitter so they can alert their fan-base (this said with only the smallest amount of sarcasm) that they are going online.
The best use of the Seero is as the latest addition to hyper-local content acquisition and distribution. I don’t often start up conversations with strangers, but stuck during an interminable wait at O’Hare, I struck up a conversation with a women who used to live in in my hometown of San Francisco. We got to talking about one intersection on Russian Hill. She knew the intersection well, I knew the intersection well: the shops, the traffic patterns, the change during the day, the sounds – the entire urban ecosphere. This was a hyperlocal, connected conversation, and a pleasure for both of us.
The geo-web space is burgeoning, both online and for mobile devices, due to the distribution options. Wi-Fi and mobile hotspots, a-gps and cellphone triangulation puts you online most of the time. These stories are about connectivity, connections, and the local…and that means location.