Foreword

The amount of publicly available geo-referenced data has seen a dramatic explosion over the past few years. Human activities generate data and traces that are now often transparently annotated with location and contextual information. At the same time, it has become easier than ever to collect and combine rich and diverse information about locations. For instance, in the context of geo-advertising, the use of geosocial data for targeted marketing are receiving significant interest from a wide spectrum of companies and organizations. With the advent of smartphones and online social networks, a multi-billion dollar industry that utilizes geosocial data for advertising and marketing has emerged. For example, geospatial data about people such as geotagged social media posts, GPS traces, data from cellular antennas and WiFi access points are used on a wide scale to directly access people for advertising, recommendations, marketing, and group purchases. Exploiting this torrent of geo-referenced data provides a tremendous potential to materially improve existing recommendation services and offer novel ones, with clear benefits in many domains, including social networks, marketing, and tourism. This requires new technologies to collect, store, analyze and use the data. It also raises issues in the area of responsibility, accountability, transparency, fairness, adequacy (e.g. avoiding ads in improper places) and preventing misconduct.

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