In the mid-90s, at the very starting edge of the dotcom boom, I
was the lead tech guy behind a project, we put a nationwide
yellow pages database on the web, ypol.com.[Read more]
At the time, nobody else had done it, but we were sure that many
other people had had the same idea. And since it's rare for
someone to care about finding a plumber or locksmith in another
state in the middle of the night, of course I had location based
searches from the start.
It was, in fact, my first real encounter with using Oracle,
Sybase, and using Perl to interface to a DB. (This was before
Perl5, so there was no DBI module, so it was all oraperl.)
It looks like someone has actually patented the idea of location
based searches on a online yellow pages database, has put
together an investor-based lawsuit machine, and has fired the
first salvo by suing Verizon.
I'm pretty damn sure my old YPOL project is prior …