Groundmap: the Social GeoTagging Platform. The Next Big Thing?

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It’s not often (or ever) that I get the “inside” into anything new or cool. So I was delighted when I got to sit down with Eric Bieller, the co-founder of GroundMap,¬†for a demo of their new social media platform and an interview.

While I tend to be very wary of new social media sites. (There’s just so many of them and they all do the same thing!) GroundMap blew my mind. The recent trends in social media have appeared to be caches of information, where you can keep everything on the web in one place. GroundMap does that as well, but they do it better. Add in GeoTagging and you’re on a whole new level in the social media game.

GroundMap was started by Matt Boyd and Eric Bieller. In addition to coming up with the platform idea, Matt takes care of the UI, copy, CSS and research of the site, while Eric is the lead programmer.

They way it works is pretty cool. You can add documents and social media and tag it to a specific location. So far GroundMap integrates with:

  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • Facebook
  • Flickr
  • Scribd
  • Google maps

And they plan to quickly add more. The interface is streamlined and simple, as well as visually appealing. It works in a timeline way, similar to other platforms, with their stream called the “Activity Stream”. They also make use of tag clouds so you can see what’s trending and quickly find your favorite places and topics.

Since the co-founder of the company can definitely tell you about it better than I can, I included my interview with Eric Bieller. Enjoy!

Amber: Can you tell me a little about who is involved with Groundmap (including yourself) and what it is they do?
Eric:
Well Matt Boyd and I are the one’s who conceived the idea. We have one part-time programmer named Kevin Jurkowski (twitter.com/driklyn) and our friend David Carron (avadav.com & twitter.com/davidcc) also helps us out with some of the interface and graphics.

Amber: Sum up Groundmap for me in one sentence.
Eric:
Groundmap is a social geo-tagging platform which integrates your social networks while allowing you to upload content including tweets, documents, photos, videos and much more to various locations that you can specify yourself on an interactive map.

Amber: Can you tell me what led to Groundmap and why you started it?
Eric:
Well Groundmap started off as a service that allowed users to submit and rate locations. We were eventually going to launch a feature that allowed you to tag simple media to the location. After a good long while of pursuing, we realized the idea had to change. We realized that tagging media was the key and that simplicity was also very important. So we revamped our idea as well as the UI and this is what we came up with.

Amber: Who came up with the idea?
Eric:
The initial idea was conceived by Matt Boyd. We then collaborated to come up with the new concept. The initial goal of GroundMap was to help users ‘Find Cool Places’. The goal morphed into ‘GeoTag the World’

With so many social media platforms out there, what do you think sets Groundmap apart and why do you think you guys will be successful?
Eric:
GroundMap takes advantage of an untapped market that is on the brink of exploding. There are already a few platforms out there that offer a location based service, but most of them miss the mark entirely. GroundMap‘s goal at it’s core is very simple. To tag all of the worlds media in an exciting way that is both real-time and archival. Imagine watching the ‘Fort Hood’ location right after the shooting occurred there. The page would be alive with user input, feedback, opinions and media corresponding to both the location and event. this has never been done before.

Amber: When do you plan on launching the beta version and the full version?
Eric:
The private beta, at the latest, will be launched early January, but we are are shooting for mid to late December. The private beta will turn public about 1 month prior to the launch of the private beta. Then we will remain in beta until we feel comfortable launching the full version.

Amber: Most of the bigger social media sites out there have a developer section, so developers can create their own apps that integrate. Do you plan on doing this?
Eric:
Absolutely, that will be a short term goal once the software launches. We want to open GroundMap up to the developer community and give them access to our content via a simple API.

Amber: Do you plan to have advertising on the site like Facebook, or do you plan to go ad-free like Twitter?
Eric:
The service will be integrated with Google Adwords. We may also have a small ad campaign on other websites. We are, however, wary of adding too many advertisements because our philosophy is similar to that of Twitter’s. We are more focused on the actual product and community than the revenue generated from the product and community.

Sign up for a beta account, watch their site demo and follow their blog at www.groundmap.com. Beta accounts are limited!