Sometimes I wonder how people used word-of-mouth recommendations for restaurants and stores before the web. Sure we had great newspapers (and with the Washington Post we still do), but when you’re transplanted into a strange town where you don’t know anyone word-of-mouth just doesn’t happen.
I ended up in Glover Park not just for the rent, but probably because Wikipedia gave me the clues that the location was right. Google Maps helped me find an apartment within walking distance to the grocery store. This move would not have worked so well for me only 10 years ago.
Once I moved in, I could use HopStop to find the right Bus/Rail times. Later I found the WMATA’s site worked a little better. I found out the sort of places other locals would like using Brightkite. I traded in for an iPhone with GPS at the end of my contract. I use Brightkite even more. Yelp is still pretty invaluable for me.
And since I know that I could live here for another several years and still not find everything, I’m glad we have the right tools through the Geo-local internet. Wired is right; GPS+internet is changing how we take part in a community.