Visual.ly launched publicly just a few days ago, and it’s completely awesome. Rob Young over at Search Engine Watch has a nice writeup. There are a few infographics on location, including the one below from Mashable (perhaps a year old? I don’t remember seeing it before). The summary at the end is amusing (spelling corrected): “Everyone and their mom is building one. With the tech already in the hands of millions of consumers, the cost to build a location-based application that pinpoints the user’s precise location on Planet Earth is… well, $0, if you have the patience to take a few programming tutorials. Come to think of it, the math required is probably pretty similar to that the early sailors used. Only you have a calculator…”
Chalk it up to hyperbole, but I wonder if the author may actually believe that building an LBS is easy. While it’s trivial to setup an iOS app, for example, that grabs the latitude and longitude from a CLLocationManager or MKMapView instance, doing anything with that information of any interest to anyone requires a ton of skill. A few programming tutorials would help you implement a cool LBS like reading a few pamphlets in the doctor’s office would help you perform surgery. And the cost to build — well, surgery’s a lot cheaper.