Difference between revisions of "Sonar - Project Draft"

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FreeSonar is a mobile free software for real-time location-based socializing, sharing PoI, self-organizing and sharing events, travelling, ride sharing and other features.

FreeSonar helps to link the virtual world of social network users into real world around them, encourageing to interact in real time at real places based on shared interests or shared activities.

FreeSonar is designed to be interoperable with other similar open services and applications carefully considers users freedom, privacy and security providing them maximal control of their visibility, ownership of their personal data and independence from proprietary services.


FreeSonar has a goal to provide federated, secure and free web services using open standards and protocols. In practice, using their mobile phones on the go or desktop PCs, users will be able to do the following:

  • Socialize with people in their near proximity. Find each other by location, interest keyword or by other criteria and safely communicate. The Sonar provides free and secure social networking/microblogging/geo-locating tools via its own free web services or wherever it is possible via decentrilzed and federated web services.
  • self-organize activity or an event. Users can publish real-time information about their current activity in their current location, initiate new activities, organize events or look for real-time events happening around them, or publish a demand for a specific type of event in a given area.
  • ride sharing. If a user is driving somewhere with his personal car and is willing to share available free seats, the Sonar can assist in real time to find other people going in the same direction and offer to share the ride (and the other way around - to assist hitch-hikers to find a ride).
  • travel sharing. Users can finding travellers in their neighborhood, share their ongoing or future travel plans, organize or join to a trip and later share the experiences.
  • couch sharing. Users who have available living space for a short time stay can offer their "couch" to travelers. Travelers can search for places available to stay around them (sharing here is not for money like in guest houses but motivated by cultural exchange. e.g. http://www.couchsurfing.org).


Simple user interface

- Almost invisible user interface, intuitive, minimalistic.
- Visualization of the geo-radar.
- "one-click" for main actions, maximum "three-clicks" for anything else.

Social networking/microblogging

- Decentralized authentication.
- Personal profiles.
- Friends list/groups.
- Private messaging.
- Wall posts, microblogs.
- Profile search by name/location/keyword/etc.

Event/activity sharing

- Organize events or activities: party, training, exhibition, festival, etc.
- Publish event demands.
- Join/subscribe to public events.
- Search events by title/keyword/status/location/time.
- etc.

Travel/transport sharing

- let hitch-hikers know that there are available car sits from location A to B (real-time or at the specified date).
- let drivers know that you need to go from location A to B (real-time or at the specified date).
- share travel plans.
- share travel experiences, read/publish into geocoded wiki articles. The Wikitravel project is of special interest:

  • Wikitravel - Wikitravel is a project to create a free, complete, up-to-date, and reliable worldwide travel guide. So far it has 24,445 destination guides and other articles written and edited by Wikitravellers from around the globe.

Location sharing, real-time map and AR objects

- Display current location on a map (if enabled by user's privacy options).
- Publish/search places of interest: coffee houses, hotels, accommodation rentals, etc.
- Publish geonotes: users can leave a note at a specific location for themselves or other people which they will receive next time being there.
- Manual user checkins into the places and defined areas on the map.

Location triggers

- Automatic location trigger to check-in the user into user's predefined list of areas/places.
- Automatic triggering of a specified callback URL when user enters or leaves a specific location.
- Automatic check-ins on other geo-social platforms using open APIs (Foursquare, Facebook Places, Latitude, etc).

Radar with alerts/proximity notifications

To eliminate the necessity to query for a specific real-time object repeatedly users can place alerts or subscribe to proximity notifications for the following:
- If there are people matching specific search criteria in near proximity.
- If there are places-of-interest matching the given search keyword/tag.
- If there is a car with free space/hitch-hiker going to a given destination.
- If there are other travel plans match the given destinations/activities/interests.
- If there are non-private events matching the given keywords/tags/dates/location/status/etc.

Open APIs

- Provide open access APIs and web services.


P2P social network platform

There are already several protocols and free software implementations for federated/decentralized/P2P social networking and micro-blogging platforms and Sonar intends to integrate the existing best practises.
But there no solutions yet for having distributed/P2P real-time maps and location sharing services without the use of centralized web services. So for the current stage project Sonar will have to provide some non distributable central web services as well.

Real-time geo-map

Proximity areas on a real-time map

Sonar has to provide real-time map of: User locations: GPS-enabled mobile phones which are connected to the internet will send data to the server at regular intervals. If there is no GPS the location data can be calculated from wifi spots and cell towers with sufficient approximation.
Event locations: events happening at a specified time span at a specified location.
Places-of-interest: places named by users not as street addresses but locations like "Home", "Dood's Club" etc.

Augmented reality layers

Sonar has to provide map layers of AR objects, and aggregate other 3-th party AR layers into the map (Google Maps and Layar provide web services and open APIs to access their user contributed database of places-of-interest on different layers).

Promotion Plan

- Build testbeds to demonstrate the software on one or more usage areas.
- For the start find one specific niche, a community and offer the new networking opportunity to them creating their unique social graph.
- Offer collaboration to mobile operator companies. If possible use the contact list of user's mobile phone, identify the numbers via the mobile service provider and use the social graph of the mobile users as a kick-start for our social network.
- Offer solutions to universities and start networking the students.


The mobile phone will soon become the most powerful channel for persuasion, more influential than TV, radio, print, or the Internet. Mobile devices can be designed to motivate and influence people, this emerging trend will change the way we live, work, communicate and play.

GIA announces the release of a comprehensive global report on Mobile Software market. The global market for mobile software is projected to reach $79.7 billion by 2017, primarily driven by rapid proliferation of mobile computing devices, and waxing popularity of location-based services. Source: San Jose, CA (Vocus/PRWEB) April 18, 2011

Quid multi-dimensional industry map

Quid software creates multi-dimensional industry maps (like the one the right) which represents 4,000 technology enterprises from venture-backed start-ups to established public companies that received media coverage and showed capital growth last year. Such maps expose relationships between and across sectors and, even more tantalizing, the white spaces among them. They reveal not only which sectors are thick with competition but where in the market white spaces are open for the innovation with new products and services no one has even dreamed up yet. Here in this capture on the right we can notice the apparent white space in between the sectors NETWORKS, TRAVEL, EDUCATION, SOCIAL MEDIA, E-COMMERCE where the new sector GEOLOCATION is starting to form.

Report from Juniper Research says that the number of subscribers using mobile Internet services will rise from 577 million currently, to top 1.7 billion by 2013, spurred by demand for collaborative applications known collectively as 'web 2.0,' and greater 2.5/3G penetration. Putting that figure into some context, a report from Gartner had said that the worldwide PC base would reach 2 billion by 2014 - so internet access by mobile phones will represent at around 50% of the total internet usage. Source: Cellular News.

Related Endeavours

Here we have collected information about groups and projects dealing with innovative and open technologies similar or related to OMPlanet initiative.


Federated/Decentralized/Peer-to-Peer Networks

  • StatusNet - Free Software Federated Microblogging Platform (e.g. Twitter). ["http://gitorious.org/StatusNet source codes].
  • GNU Social - A free software that runs decentralized social networks. source codes.
  • Diaspora - A free personal web server that implements a distributed social networking service.
  • PeerSon - Privacy-Preserving P2P Social Networks. Academic project.
  • OneSocialWeb - free, open, and decentralized social networking platform.
  • Appleseed The Appleseed Project is an effort to create open source Social Networking software that is based on a distributed model.
  • Friendika - P2P Social Network.
  • NoseRub - P2P Social Network.
  • DiSo - An initiative to facilitate the creation of open, non-proprietary and interoperable building blocks for the decentralized social web. Building Wordpress plugins
  • PeerBook - P2P Social Network. Decentralized alternative to Facebook. Student project.
  • daisychain
  • Pace Project, Diki

Interoperable ICT Platforms

  • Lorea - Lorea is a project to create secure social cybernetic systems, in which human networks will become simultaneusly represented on a virtual shared world. Mycelia.
  • EIF - European Interoperability Framework for pan-European eGovernment services
  • SEMIC.EU - Semantic Interoperability Centre Europe is an eGovernment service initiated by the European Commission and managed by the Interoperable Delivery of European eGovernment Services to public Administrations, Businesses and Citizens (IDABC) Unit.

Location Based Social Networks

  • Facebook Places - Facebook's new mobile application that allows users to - "Share Where You Are", "Connect With Friends Nearby", "Find Local Deals".
  • Google Latitude - A location-aware mobile application developed by Google. Via user's Google Account, the mobile phone location is mapped on Google Maps. Users can share their own location or see nearby friends and meet up.
  • FourSquare - location-based social networking service.
  • Gowalla - location-based social networking service.
  • Geoloqi - Geoloqi is a private, real-time mobile and web platform for securely sharing location data, with features such as Geonotes, proximal notification, and sharing real-time GPS maps with friends. The API.
  • BuddyCloud - A distributed social network and a location based microblogging service. Buddycloud is mainly about two things: user generated channels and places.
  • BuddyCloud - Open Standards Federated Social Network with Channels
  • LoKast - A mobile app for Instant Social Networking Right Where You Are.
  • Badoo - Multi-lingual location based social networking site mostly popular in Europe and Latin America.

Augmented Reality Networks

  • Layar - Augmented reality browser. Data in the browser comes in the form of layers. Layers are developed and maintained by third-parties using a free API.
  • AlterGeo - Augmented reality browser, social network.

Multi-agent Systems/Mobile Agents

  • MobiSoft Project - A Generic Agent-based Peer-to-Peer Infrastructure for
  • FacebookAgent – An Agent-Enhanced Social(Mobile)Network Application.
  • [1] - A Secure Mobile Agents Platform Based on a Peer-to-Peer Infrastructure
  • Aglets - A Java based mobile agent platform and library for building mobile agents based applications.

Existing Protocols/Technologies

Decentralized/Federated Social Network Protocols/Common APIs

  • OStatus - A protocol suite to be used as a base for new distributed social networks. Our goal is a specification that allows different messaging hubs to route status updates between users in near-real-time.
  • XMPP - Federated messaging protocol. Location Query - XMPP protocol extension for querying a compliant server or service for geographical location of an entity.
  • Buddycloud channels - Tools to build your own federated social network.
  • OpenSocial - A set of common APIs for web-based social network applications (developed by Google, MySpace and a number of other social networks).
  • Elgg - A social networking engine, delivering the building blocks that enable businesses, schools, universities and associations to create their own fully-featured social networks and applications.
  • on Wiki - Comparison of distributed social networks.
  • on W3C - selection of protocols for the federated social web.

Decentralized Identity/Personal Web Discovery

  • OpenID - An open standard that describes how users can be authenticated in a decentralized manner. OpenID allows you to use an existing account to sign in to multiple websites, without needing to create new passwords.
  • Webfinger - Webfinger allows email addresses to be used as identifiers for persons as well letting to attach public metadata to them.

Decentralized Authentication

  • OAuth - An open protocol to allow secure API authorization in a simple and standard method from desktop and web applications.
  • OAuth 2.0 - The next major version of the OAuth protocol.

Location Related APIs

  • W3C Geolocation API - an effort to standardize an interface to retrieve the geographical location information for a client-side device. W3C
  • POI - an effort to develop technical specifications for the representation of "Points of Interest" information on the Web. W3C


  • Microformats - Microformats are simple conventions for embedding semantics in HTML to enable decentralized development. Microformats are small patterns of HTML to represent commonly published things like people, events, blog posts, reviews and tags in web pages. hCalendar, hCard, XOXO, etc.

Decentrilizd Publishing and Subscribing

  • Salmon - Salmon aims to define a standard protocol for comments and annotations to swim upstream to original update sources -- and spawn more commentary in a virtuous cycle. It's open, decentralized, abuse resistant, and user centric.
  • PubSubHubbub Protocol - A simple, open, server-to-server web-hook-based pubsub (publish/subscribe) protocol as an extension to Atom and RSS.

Syndicating Social Activities

Personal Data Stores

  • Project Danube - Open-Source Sofware for Identity & Personal Data Services. Open-source project offering software for identity and personal data services on the Internet.
  • Higgins - Personal Data Stores. Dedicated to giving individuals more control over their personal identity, profile and social network data.
  • Personal Data Ecosystem - The Consortium catalyzes a Personal Data Ecosystem where individuals control their own data by enabling a thriving network of businesses around personal data stores and services.

ICT Platforms

  • OWP - The Open Web Platform is a collection of Web technologies developed by the WWW Consortium and other Web standardization bodies. The primary goal of the OWP is to create advanced, open Web standards.
  • TOGAF - The Open Group Architecture Framework is a framework - a detailed method and a set of supporting tools - for developing an enterprise architecture. It may be used freely by any organization wishing to develop an enterprise architecture for use within that organization.

EU Funded Projects

  • GEANT - GEANT is the pan-European data network dedicated to the research and education community. Together with Europe's national research networks, GEANT connects 40 million users in over 8,000 institutions across 40 countries.
  • Future ICT - The FuturICT Knowledge Accelerator and Crisis-Relief System: Unleashing the Power of Information for a Sustainable Future
  • EFII - The European Future Internet Initiative. Founded by 16 of the leading ICT companies in Europe and their main ambition is that a new approach is taken to addressing the challenges of the Future Internet in Europe.


Federated/Distributed/P2P SNs

  • PeerSon - Privacy-Preserving P2P Social Networks.
  • DFRN - The Distributed Friends & Relations Network Protocol
  • DSNP - Distributed Social Networking Protocol

Location-Based SNs

Mobile Technologies

ICT Platforms

On Future Internet Initiative

Risks and Benefits




Sonar is a free software application developing by the community efforts for the community. It is available under GNU AGPL License.

  • GNU AGPL - The GNU Affero General Public License is a free, copyleft license for software and other kinds of works, specifically designed to ensure cooperation with the community in the case of network server software.