Can the geotagging business work in Turkey?
According to the Wikipedia article “Geotagging” (also written “GeoTagging”) is the process of adding geographical identification metadata to various media, such as a geotagged photograph or video, website, SMS message, QR Code or RSS feed, and is a form of geospatial metadata. This data usually consists of latitude and longitude coordinates, although they can also include altitude, bearings, distance, accuracy data, and place names.
Geotagging can help users find a wide variety of location-specific information. For instance, one can find images made near a given location by entering latitude and longitude coordinates into a suitable image search engine. Geotagging-enabled information services can also potentially be used to find location-based news, websites, or other resources. Geotagging can tell users the location of the content of a given picture or other media, or its point of view, and conversely on some media platforms it can display media relevant to a given location.
The related term “geocoding” refers to the process of taking non-coordinate-based geographical identifiers, such as street addresses, and finding associated geographic coordinates (or vice versa for reverse geocoding). Such techniques can be used together with geotagging to provide alternative search techniques.
The technical definitions of these techniques don’t do justice to the hype around them, though. Going local with a global mind is becoming a reality, thanks to geotagging applications. Therefore, millions of local businesses around the world are trying to capitalize on this hype. You can read thousands of small business success stories, as applications like Foursquare and Mekanist.net allow small business owners to create sales incentives very locally and just in time. For example, the grocery around the corner can offer a last-minute discount on apples that would otherwise go bad in a few days. It is a win-win situation for all. People don’t have to travel to the huge malls to get good prices, and the local shop remains open.
Mekanist.net has received a total of 3 million euros in investment from Pond Ventures in two phases. It has more than 310,000 active users commenting about 130,000 local businesses, and more than 3 million page views. It is the first name in the Turkish geotagging business, but its rivals are coming from more-developed markets. Mekanist.net’s biggest challenge has been to develop a previously non-existent demand. It took time to educate local businesses, and still there are lots of people who are not aware of the opportunities the technology presents.
It is hard for SME’s to adopt rapidly changing business methodologies. It took ages for Turkish SME’s to adapt to the Internet age, and now Mekanist.net has to push them into the mobile era. If it can make its case sound and solid then it can create a viable market and a good position for itself. If it cannot reason well with the owners of SME’s, then that could mean the end of the geotagging business in Turkey for the foreseeable future.