I’ve worked on “local” for a really long time, it’s something that’s got under my skin. Whether it’s creating mapping engines, url hierarchy for places or analyzing aggregate user trends, I just really love it. I started a startup in 2006 doing local. We almost got hire-acquired up by Google, but didn’t, long story.

Are there any early stage local startups out there?

Like one or two technical people that are working on something cool and want another hacker on board? Something part time would be a great start for me, I’m happy to toodle along for a while on a cool idea while we work out to get traction.

Things I’m interested in:

Quora for local

People ask ‘where’s a good place to get a beer in wellington?’ and you reply “[Hashigo Zake] and [The Hop Garden]” and the UI pops up little boxes saying ‘Did you mean Hashigo Zake at 25 Taranaki Streeet’? And you click yes and it turns your square brackets into a link.

Reddit for local

People can click on places in a city (reverse geocode to buildings and natural features using a combination of google local search and openstreetmap gazetter) and each place has a discussion board. Going to a city level shows all the conversations going on in the city, sorted by recentness. Build a url scheme like /paris/la-cite/notre-dame. I’ve written a prototype of this.

Delicious for local

Write a bookmarklet that lets you bookmark a webpage, and it hunts out any geodata in the page and saves it to a map for you. You can use this to plan your trips by saving all the interesting looking webpages and then accessing the list of places offline on your iphone. I’ve written this bookmarklet already.

Greplin for local

The user signs in using oauth to foursquare, google my maps, facebook, gowalla and twitter. Index all the places the user has been and all the places their friends go. Use this to generate a ‘personal black book’ of places to go while travelling the world. So you go to berlin, fire up ‘GeoGreplin’ and it shows you all the places your friends want to visit / have checked in to / have saved to a map.

Twitter local browser

Suck down the twitter geo-firehose and plot all the tweets onto maps. Break the tweets down into cities and suburbs. Aggregate the tweets together (using some kind of 2d histogram) to show where the interesting stuff is in your city. People can discover people nearby and see what’s going on. I’ve built a prototype for this too.

Anyway - that’s the interesting ideas. Anyone working on stuff like this? Or any angel list types want to fund me to find a cofounder and build one of these?