As we check in on Foursquare, Facebook, and Path, share our exact location with our Twitter followers, and generally let the entire world know where we are every minute of the day, there are times you want to share your exact location with a select few. Waytag is a South Africa-based service that aims to make that process much easier.

It also happens to be one of 18 finalists in The Next Web Startup Rally.

Peter McFall and Warren Venter founded Waytag with the aim of making location-sharing simple. Instead of messing with long and complicated GPS coordinates, writing out full addresses on your smartphone, or checking in publicly, you can simply create a !waytag of your location using your iOS or Android device, and share it with whoever you want.

waytag2 Waytag turns addresses and GPS coordinates into tags for easy sharing Waytag1 Waytag turns addresses and GPS coordinates into tags for easy sharing

Waytag compares what it’s doing for GPS coordinates to what domain names do for websites. Instead of typing in an IP address to reach a website, you have a handy and easy-to-remember URL. Waytag works in exactly the same way.

Once you’ve created it, you can share your !waytag with your friends via email, text, or if you want, via Facebook or Twitter. Waytag also gives users the option to make their locations public.

While Waytag has been making it easy for people to find their way for three years, there is more to expect from the service. Peter and Warren explain their new !waytag developer tool kit, which takes Waytag from a service to a platform:

“We are breaking down the ‘walled gardens’ associated with location information and introducing a new location graph that is universally accessible and populated with owner managed and controlled location tags called !waytags.

Developers can access location information from a single source, subject to the !waytag owners privacy settings, and develop solutions across a range of applications, devices and platforms. In addition, developers can include in excess of 21 million business, for free, in more than 100 countries as part of !waytag ‘near me’ search or they may subscribe to specific content.”

That’s not all they’ve been busy doing. Waytag has also secured a four year deal with TomTom, meaning that its content is now powered by TomTom’s maps, complete with its thousands of points of interest.

dev landing page Waytag turns addresses and GPS coordinates into tags for easy sharing

Waytag has a lot of potential to make it easier to share your address or location with just one word – provided that everyone else is using the service. Trying to give someone directions over the phone? Give them your !waytag instead and they can look it up. Just as the ‘@’ symbol has become an identifier on Twitter, or the hashtag has found its way across a few social networks, waytag opts for the bang – ‘!’ – as its identifier.

Opening up the service to developers may well be the first step to beginning to identify ‘the bang’ with addresses - and the potential is limitless if waytags were to find their way (pardon the pun) into the delivery business or into postal and courier services.

Want to find out more about Waytag? Check out the video below:

Curious about the rest of the teams taking part in the TNW Startup Rally? Check them out here.

Waytag