Zopto is a unique URL addressing scheme for identifying any physical location in the world down to the level of a house number. A Zopto address is represented as a URL that looks similar to the postal address of the place itself. This URL is human-readable and self-descriptive. For example, a Zopto address for the postal address -- 46, Longfleet Road, Poole, Dorset, United Kingdom -- might be represented as /uk/dorset/poole/longfleet+road/46/.
Projectx Technology - a New Zealand based startup - has developed this service over the nine months leading to the Where2006 conference. At this stage, the service is available in the US with the name Zopto. New Zealand and Australia have their own versions of the service, called Zoomin. The US version currently only covers California, Washington, and New York. Although the New Zealand service was the original, the Australia website has far outstripped New Zealand in terms of traffic.
Because the project was started before map APIs were released from major players such as Google and Yahoo!, Projectx had to build everything from scratch. Their API allows developers to extend a community-based system they've built on top of this service, create new places, explore places, and create mash ups. The data to go into this system will be licensed under a Common Creative License so that other mash up applications can use it, web crawlers can crawl the addresses, and search engines can index it.
In this presentation, Ben Nolan, Director at Projectx and one of the developers on the project, describes the technology, what went into its development, its uses, the export formats they plan to support in the future - GeoRSS, KML etc - and how they plan to take care of places in countries such as Japan and India that do not have street names, or places that cross the political frontiers of one country into another.
Prior to forming Projectx Technology in 2005, Nolan worked for a variety of startups in Australia, New Zealand, and Vancouver, BC.
This free podcast is from our Where Conference series.