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Method and system for providing local information over a network

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Method and system for providing local information over a network


A method and system is provided where a first computer (e.g., a central server) collects information to be presented to one or more users. The information is organized into a plurality of first web-sites where each of these web-sites is addressable by a unique Universal Resource Locator (URL). A physical location is associated with each of the first web-sites. One of the first web-sites may be provided to a user as a user web-site. When the user or other individual seeks to access the user web-site, links to a plurality of the first web-sites are provided based on a relationship between the physical locations associated with the first web-sites and the physical location associated with the user web-site.

Inventors: James McCrossin, Dean Hiller, Richard Kornutik
USPTO Applicaton #: #20120284613 - Class: 715234 (USPTO) - 11/08/12 - Class 715 


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The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20120284613, Method and system for providing local information over a network.

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CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is a continuation of application Ser. No. 12/951,201, filed 22 Nov. 2010, which is a continuation of application Ser. No. 12/222,270 filed 6 Aug. 2008, now U.S. Pat. No. 7,860,758 B2, which is a division of application Ser. No. 09/443,038 filed on 18 Nov. 1999, now patent number 7,418,402 B2, the contents of which are incorporated herein by reference.

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention pertains to a method and system for providing information to a user. More particularly, the present invention pertains to a method and system for providing information to a user based on a location of the user (e.g., the current location of the user).

BACKGROUND

The number of users on the Internet and World Wide Web has grown tremendously in the last five years. As is known in the art, users typically access information that is residing on various computer systems coupled in the Internet system. For example, a user via a personal computer or network server is able to access information, such as a “web-page” from computers that are located throughout the world.

One problem associated with the Internet and World Wide Web is that the search for information tends to be geographically spread out. In other words, though the user may be searching for information on a local marketplace or event, he/she may be given information about marketplaces or events throughout a country or even the world. Accordingly, much of the information that is presented is probably not helpful to the user.

On the other hand, individuals and companies that seek to provide information, products, services, etc. to potential users/customers are often providing information globally to individuals who have no need for the information being provided. In view of the above, there is a need for a method and system that provides information to a user that is more tailored to the user\'s physical location.

SUMMARY

According to an embodiment of the present invention, a method and system is provided where a first computer (e.g., a central server) collects information to be presented to one or more users. The information is organized into a plurality of first web-sites where each of these web-sites is addressable by a unique Universal Resource Locator (URL). A physical location is associated with each of the first web-sites. One of the first web-sites may be provided to a user as a user web-site. When the user or other individual seeks to access the user web-site, links to a plurality of the first web-sites are provided based on a relationship between the physical locations associated with the first web-sites and the physical location associated with the user web-site.

For example, the physical location of a telephone connection (e.g., the address to which a telephone number is assigned) may be the physical location of the first and user web-sites described above. Accordingly, the user web-site may be assigned a location related to the telephone number from which the user\'s computer system accesses the first computer system (e.g., over the Internet). The information provided to the user can thus be limited based on location so that only merchant information, events, news for a local area (e.g., linked to web-sites within a given distance from the location associated with the user\'s web-site) are presented to the user. According to a further embodiment of the present invention, monetary transactions can be based on when information is actually provided to the user. Thus, the merchant or other individual who seeks to provide information to the user is only charged when that information is provided to a user who is local to the merchant or to a user who is actually seeking more information from that merchant.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a block diagram of an Internet system employing an embodiment of the present invention.

FIGS. 2A and B are depictions of a graphical user interface of public pages for a user at his or her personal computer constructed according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 3 is a flow diagram of an embodiment of a method according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 4 is a depiction of a merchant web-site presenting information for a user at his or her personal computer according to an embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

OF ILLUSTRATIVE EMBODIMENTS

Referring to FIG. 1, a simplified representation of a network system (e.g., the Internet system) as is known in the art is shown that may use embodiments of the present invention. In this example a user\'s computer system (e.g., personal computer 11) is coupled to the Internet 30 in a known manner (e.g., through a telephone connection to an Internet Service Provider (ISP)). A plurality of computer systems are coupled to the Internet 30 including servers 12, 13, 23, and 25. As is known in the art, the user (via computer 11) may be able to communicate with any of the other computers coupled to the Internet 30.

According to an embodiment of the present invention, each user\'s location may be identified based upon a telephone number. For example, the user\'s location can be identified based on the telephone number of the user\'s home or office. Also, the user\'s location can be identified based on the telephone number that is being used to access the Internet (e.g., when using a dial-in ISP such as America On-Line or the like).

Determining the appropriate telephone number to assign to a particular user can be performed during a registration operation. For example, the user may call a central server 40 using the telephone that is assigned the desired telephone number to identify the user. If the telephone number called is a toll-free number (e.g., a “1-800” number) in the United States, ANI (Automatic Number Identification) can provide the caller\'s phone number. Other caller-identification systems are available to identify the caller\'s telephone number. During such a telephone call, the user may be provided with a password. In this embodiment, a Universal Resource Locator (URL) for the user is reserved. For example, the user may be provided with a unique URL in the following form, for example:



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Previous Patent Application:
Enabling hypertext elements to work with software applications
Next Patent Application:
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Industry Class:
Data processing: presentation processing of document
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stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20120284613 A1
Publish Date
11/08/2012
Document #
13551267
File Date
07/17/2012
USPTO Class
715234
Other USPTO Classes
International Class
06F17/00
Drawings
6



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