I believe the perfect storm has been reached for a hacker/maker space phone application. The application HearNear, which the Geoloqi team built at Code For America reminded me of Dale's TED talk a year or two ago about knowing what classes exist in your area. I've begun gathering space lat/longs and ical feed links to this purpose. Getting the word out about the backing structure would help, but I also want to be sure the dev cycles exist. Diggz has offered some of Tropo's cycles (this is what sends the updates), Case and Aaron have indicated interest in making this happen, and James and I have solid access to many spaces in America (and beyond).
First build should have locations near you. Later things should be classes/events, open hours, rates, etc.
Dale also advocates for:
1) Some definition of microformat for publishing courses/workshop info as an event. Like RSS, we'd like to have sites generate this microformat and register the feed so that new events can be sourced directly without manual intervention.
2) Some notion of transaction that allows a person to register for a class. It might be as light as registering interest or as heavy as reserving a space backed by a credit card transaction.
3) Some kind of record of participation in the course, which can be shared. Ideally, this record might include a link to any student portfolio or evidence of what was produced in the class.
So maybe a tie in with Eventbrite or the like?
Case, Aaron, and their crew are working on the app part. I think myself and the coworking kids are working on the dataset part.
We're going towards a sort of "now calendar" concept with the Geoloqi platform as well, so this fits nicely in with what we're working on.
We're interested in building a twitter-like interface for updating content. This would make it very easy for non-technical people to update content in the layers without having to edit the code. What we've learned this week in San Francisco is that in addition to the question "What are you doing", the question "What's happening at ____" will become increasingly important in the future. A silly word for this would be the phrase "now time". On Facebook we see what is going on with people on the web. On this type of system we would be able to see what is going on around us. This is something no one has really touched yet, and a need that occurs again and again.
With that said, we'd love to move forward with this and hope to work with you at the two hackathons to accomplish this goal.
If you care to help with this project, please defer to Jonathan (working on coworking part), me (working on hacker/maker part), and Case (for app building part).