Yesterday's demonstration of Loopt's social networking application on the iPhone with Virtual Earth maps has inspired me to write about another mobile effort that Target Corp. launched just a couple weeks ago. The Target WAP mobile store locator using Virtual Earth is now live and allows you to find the nearest Target stores on your mobile device. The simplicity is acute which is a requirement for mobile devices since all you need to do is input your postal code and off you go finding the nearest Target to spend your paycheck at....I know, I do it too. They also have an "Advanced Search" which allows you check box services (Pharmacy, Portrait Studio, Photo Center, Optical, SuperTarget, Wine Available and Clinic) and filter your request in case you're looking for something specific. I'm looking for 24 hour Target, but that's not an option...and probably a good thing for my bank account, or what's left of it.
"But, Microsoft Virtual Earth doesn't have WAP maps!" Oh yeah? Did I not just prove you wrong? Target also uses Virtual Earth for powering the Target store locator, so putting a WAP interface around it made perfect sense. In fact, Target uses both MapPoint Web Service and Virtual Earth for their locator. Actually, a pretty smart idea to keep folks who don't like change happy (MWS) as well as those whose motto is "change or die" (VE).