The New York Times today is reporting on the progress of a project to unwire New York City parks, which was announced three years ago. Reportedly by early August of this year 10 of New York's "most prominent parks" will have Wi-Fi access. The project is being implemented by a small company called WiFi Salon. Mobile handset maker Nokia is now underwriting the project as a sponsor.
Nokia has taken an exceptionally strong interest in mobile-local search and has partnered with yellow pages publishers in several countries to offer local business and entertainment information though its content portal on its handsets.
And though this New York park Wi-Fi offering isn't mobile-local search per se, it does present the possibility of location-based content and advertising. According to the article, "at each hot spot, users will encounter an initial Web portal with information about the park and local history and advertisements for Nokia and other sponsors, which could include retail kiosks that do business in the parks."
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