Monday, February 20, 2006

LBS and Zipcodes

When I was in my early 20s I spent a chunk of time as a studio dispatcher managing a fleet of cars running all over Los Angeles. I have to admit that trying to keep track of 40 cars running all over town with film, scripts, checks, and assorted envelopes was a hell of a mental exercise that helped me to hone my juggling skills and to focus my ADD in a positive way.

One of the by products of that is that I know every zip code on Los Angeles. By heart. I also know the address of any studio related business in Los Angeles. Cold. I was having dinner the other night with a friend who's wife worked for McCann Ericson in Los Angeles. 6100 Wilshire. Los Angeles 90036. I had to stop myself from saying that. I do that lot. I am not that good with New York, but I usually stay in 10019. Mid Town, West 50s. Sigh.

As LBS becomes a technical reality, apart from the privacy issues, I have to wonder what coordinates will mean to people. For example. Let's say for arguments sake that I am driving around Bird Rock or Pacific Beach in San Diego. 92169. It seems like a pretty big area that is encompassed by coordinates such as 32.79682, -117.25575 or 32.80830, -117.259114 or 32.798493, -117.246784. But the thing I have to ask myself is how do these finer slices of data help me? Especially in a place like Southern California where we drive.

Rather than the data being important in and of itself, I think that the relative measures of my specific location to things or people around me will be what's valuable. I don't know what this new world will look like, but it will certainly be interesting.

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