A rapid convergence is taking place between the web and reality. The artificial division between the virtual and the real is starting to dissolve, as various applications and technologies combine to stitch together interfaces and activities that together dissolve the barriers between the web and our material world.
Augmented Reality is a vivid depiction of how this may manifest a few months from now, however in the present, services like Foursquare, Gowalla, and Google Buzz are helping to make it a reality. In contrast to AR, which I suspect most people still find a bit terrifying, the current batch of location based services have basic interfaces, usually connected to maps, which we're all relatively familiar with.
In fact there's something kind of seductive to using maps as an interface to this emerging convergent world where our location and surroundings are rich with information and social ties.
Is it an indication that we're lost and looking to find our way? Or the inverse, that we know where we are, and we wish everyone else to know as well?
The motivations for using social media and sharing one's location are not always as obvious as they may seem. Critics often slip into absolute terms when assessing how location based services can and will be used, however to fully understand their impact and potential, it is important to immerse oneself in the experience.