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bblocal and Other City Guides, Travel Resource, & Local Info Tools for Mobile Users

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I just learned about a new mobile service with info about various cities and maps bbLocal for Blackberry devices. Since I'm a Treo 650 guy, I'm unable to check it out. bbLocal uses Google Maps and currently has info for 30 U.S. and Canadian cities.

Phea Duch from bbLocal tells me that they have plans to have info for all U.S. cities with a professional sports franchise available by the end of the month.

Duch added that listings for businesses will be free, but we do offer other services like creating websites that are compatible with the Blackberry browsers. The company also hopes to partner with other services. For example, the ability to reserve a table at a local restaurant directly from bblocal. Services like this already exist on the web. OpenTable.com is one example that is now available in the U.S. and launched in the UK mid-2005. However, I was unable to spot a mobile version of their web site. OpenTable also has thoughts about adding a mobile version.

Since we're talking about info that might be useful to travellers, many other online and offline tools come to mind. Allow me to mention three. More later.

+ First, the fee-based Vindigo City Guides for (Palm and Pocket PC/Windows Mobile). U.S. data only. Vindigo also offers a bunch of other programs for mobile devices and phones including real-time traffic info (mapped) and a mobile edition of MapQuest.

+ Second, the well-known Metro: The ultimate public transport guide for your PDA or Smartphone. This is a free service that's available in many languages and for more than 300 cities. You'll find maps and routing info. A web-based version of Metro, i-Metro, is also available. Btw, many sites including iPodSubwayMaps.com offer subway maps formatted for iPods.

+ Third, and as I mentioned yesterday, a wireless version of the popular SeatGuru site is now available. This site, either on the web or via a mobile browser is a must for frequent flyers who don't want to get seated in a middle seat at the back of the airplane.

More mobile travel tools soon.

Postscript: Of course Google Local has a new mobile client version (for some phones) and Yahoo's mobile platform also has local listings. The same is true at 4INFO and Synfonic.


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