The Location Based Services (LBS) industry is entering a new area. It is now expanding beyond navigation and dedicated applications to encapsulate a large range of general consumer and commercial services. The imminent arrival of always-on, ubiquitous location and mapping is enabling new features around local search, retail, proximity social networking, ambient intelligence and advertising. The market is also shifting geographically (BRIC countries), technologically (HTML 5, indoor location) and vertically (Tablets, cameras, etc.), creating new opportunities.
As the market expands in all directions, business models are also now rapidly shifting towards analytics and advertising, to leverage the unique potential of location data. This also raises issues around privacy and control, which will be an increasingly important stimulant for growth.