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After much teasing and tantalising, one of the long rumoured Facebook location features is out in the wild in the form of place community pages. They vary in scale from a hamlet in Spain

… through to New York City.

It’s clever though not particularly sophisticated at this stage; a simple exposure of Wikia’s underlying geo metadata and it probably took very little effort to implement. Facebook appear to treat places as people, hence the exhortation to connect with the place.

For now there’s very little additional geo element present though what is there is probably enough to get people to connect with and like local community places or places they already feel a connection with, their home town, neighbourhood, honeymoon spot and so on. That alone should yield valuable demographic and (geo)targetable information.

This is pretty much a classic case of ¬†picking low hanging fruit for Facebook and a far better exemplar of a place than the somewhat clumsy rebranding of Google’s small business listings as places, though the browse places page seems to suggest otherwise as it’s very POI heavy.

It will be facinating to track how this feature of Facebook develops and matures.

Written and posted from home (51.427051, -0.333344)
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Gary

A self-professed map addict, Gary has worked in the mapping and location space for over 20 years through a combination of luck and occasional good judgement. Gary is co-founder of Malstow Geospatial, which provides handmade, professional geospatial consulting. A Fellow of the RGS, he tweets about maps, writes about them and even makes them.


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Tim said ...

Great find! I don't seem to be able to access the "browse places" page though. (Re: treating places as people). they treat people and places and everything else simply as connected 'objects'. I added Open Graph geolocation meta data to http://hereis.eu I can't wait to see if these 'objects' show up!

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Tim said ...

scratch that - I can access it. you've got a ")" at the end of your link.

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Gary said ...

Ack. Simple schoolboy HTML editing error. I've just corrected it and repushed the post.

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Ben Nolan said ...

It'll be cool if they let you add sub places and build a hierachy of places.

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Tim said ...

I agree with Ben. and the notion of a place in this sense is rather literal. (my kitchen is a place). The Open Graph protocol does define a "landmark" type, but it's still a very limited way of categorizing things. I'm sure this will widen in time.

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