Definition of geolocation

Describes a variety of tools that allow users to record their physical location through social media or apps.

Geolocation can be used in a number of different ways.  One common method is to annotate other social media platforms with location-based data. For example, Twitter allows you to record your location when you write a tweet.

There are also whole platforms or platform components designed entirely around geolocation, including FourSquare and Facebook.  These are platforms based around the idea of users “checking in” when they arrive at various locations to let their friends and contacts know where they are at that moment. Foursquare is a social networking site that encourages people to explore their local area.


With the proliferation of GPS-enabled smartphones, such as Apple’s iPhone and Android mobile phones, companies have increasingly looked toward geolocation technology for marketing purposes. For example, they advertise to consumers who are using their smart phones based on their location.

FourSquare provides the ability for companies to give discounts and promotions to consumers who “check in” at their location, and even advertise to consumers who are just “in the neighborhood.” [1]

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