This morning at Under the Radar, former Digg Chief Architect Joe Stump and Social Thing founder Matt Galligan are taking the stage to unveil SimpleGeo, their new infrastructure for location based services. We’ve been following the company over the last few months and uncovered some basic details earlier, but this marks the first time the founders are talking about the company in public.
SimpleGeo is akin to an ‘Amazon Web Services’ for location: developers looking to integrate location based services (LBS) can plug into some simple APIs and SimpleGeo will do most of the legwork for them. The startup originated as a gaming company, but after spending four months building out their location platform, Stump and Galligan realized they had stumbled across an opportunity: location is soon going to become an expected feature in many applications, and there’s no reason developers should have to reinvent the wheel every time they want to include the feature. SimpleGeo is looking to do it for them.
I spoke with Galligan last night, who says that one of the ways SimpleGeo could help spur radical change in location based services has to do with real-time (incidentally, he’ll be speaking at our Real-Time CrunchUp tomorrow). Galligan says that the technologies currently used to process real-time data can’t cope with the rapid read/write operations required as a LBS scales. In other words, these technologies simply weren’t built with real time in mind (he says this is one reason why companies like Foursquare have partitioned their users by city). SimpleGeo, Galligan says, was built from the ground up to support real-time on a much broader scale.
SimpleGeo is currently in a private beta (you can apply to join from a form on their homepage), with plans to roll out broadly early next year. The service will be available for free to apps just getting started, and paid packages will kick in as they hit scale (the more API calls you use the more you’ll pay).
For more details, check out the slides below.