In terms of location data, few get more than Skyhook Wireless. The positioning technology is in use in tens of millions of devices around the globe, including, notably, on every iPhone. And now the company has a simple way for third-parties to tap into that data in a useful way.
SpotRank gives developers access to hundreds of million of anonymous location entry points put into the Skyhook system. In fact, there are some 500 million points (100 meter “spots”) at the service’s launch. With this massive amount of data, developers can do things such as predict what locations will be hot on which nights, or predict traffic patterns. They have so much data because it’s not based around things like check-ins, which are hot right now on the consumer side of location, but rather everytime a device needs location for anything.
The first partner signing up to use SpotRank is SimpleGeo. It seems like a perfect partnership. SimpleGeo provides back-end location services for many startups, so the more data, the better. And Skyhook’s data goes back several years, a nice addition for the young SimpleGeo.
One thing SimpleGeo co-founder Matt Galligan is particularly excited about is that the SpotRank data is all time-coded. This will allow users of its service to do trending data. And SimpleGeo is working on making the data realtime.
Other partners interested in signing up for SpotRank include the hot location startup Gowalla, and ShopKick, the soon-to-launch retail location check-in service (makers of the CauseWorld app that we’ve covered a few times).
At some point tomorrow, the SpotRank data should be live on Skyhook’s site showing some SXSW data — which will no doubt be huge with the Location War going on.