What's next in the Web 2.0 wave? Collaborative computing has been booming, and the semantic Web may not go mainstream that soon. Location-based contextual data services seem to be the next wave. Research projects discussed at Microsoft Research Faculty Summit in Redmond, Washington, do suggest that as well.
The Internet is going mobile and the proliferation of feature-rich devices is aiding the process. A link on PC World (Microsoft's Research Projects) and a piece from Tech Consumer suggest that location-based contextual information on mobile devices is the next wave. Think about it, you are standing at a station and you access your PDA or Internet-enabled phone, because there's a high probability that you may want information on train schedules or the nearest bus stop.
These sorts of technologies would operate on top of the integration between services, such as Global Positioning System (GPS) and maps. Looked at that way, it's an extension to mash-ups (the creation of Web content by pulling data from various sources). Also, this is a greater avenue for more targeted, localized advertising (e.g. an ad for booking a cab while you are exiting an airport).
The plus point here is that it's a win-win situation for both advertisers and users. Advertisers need better returns on their ad investments (the reason why user-behavior tracking is not completely shunned by Web-based businesses). Location-based ads can be a panacea to irrelevancy with location-based services, providing advertisers the precise contexts to place ads, and the advantage for users is that the procedure is user-history agnostic.