This is our prototype interface - we’re just receiving messages in two formats, “locate” and “message”, and mapping them. Users can currently SMS in “locate 30 Ames St, 02139″, for example, and their number will be assigned to that location. They can then send “message theres a firetruck here” and the words “theres a firetruck here” will appear at 30 Ames st on the map.
Next we’re looking to solve outgoing message problems and to allow users to enter relative movements, i.e. “move 500 meters north”. We’re also thinking of adding placemarks, like “mark as office”, so users can later send “locate office” and will be updated to that personal placemark.
Geocoding of the textual address is done via GeoKit (http://geokit.rubyforge.org/), a Ruby on Rails geocoding plugin. The prototype itself is made in Ruby on Rails and uses the Google Maps API.