Location-sharing service Foursquare was down most of Monday, apparently due to a database issue. No Foursquare website or apps were available. And with the API also down, third party applications were helpless. Yet, it's a good reminder to developers to plan for downtime and to providers to have communications in place to let others know about your service's issues when they arise.
When Google first launched its location-sharing service, Latitude, developers were left wondering how to access their users' data. Now, over a year later, we finally have a Latitude API. But we also have a number of other similar services that have better traction and are arguably more fully featured.
New updates to the UK Police API extend the possibility of using crime data to create innovative products and services. While many of the new mashups and services that could be created from using an extended, anonymized dataset of all crimes in the UK could have benefits for local citizens and businesses, there is also the risk that the data could be used to infringe on civil liberties.