Card Location: Generally refers to any card trick where the effect is to locate the chosen card (Also referred to as Card Discovery or revelation). A card location could be an astounding feat of magic, unsurpassed skill, a demonstration of psychic abilities, or equally a mere stunt, or bar bet.
Methods, of course, can vary between a gimmicked deck, sleight of hand, mathematical principles etc.
In it's simplest form, a card is chosen, returned to the pack, the performer then looks through the cards to find the card. Potentially a puzzling trick, but seldom magical or memorable. The best card locations are when the card is discovered in an unusual, surprising or impossible way -- the difference between a Card Trick and Card magic is presentation and showmanship
The single concept of finding a selected card has endless applications to the creative and talented performer.
Presently, one of the most widely seen (and very surprising) Card Locations was performed by David Blaine where, upon throwing the deck against a glass window, the card is found it be stuck to the other side of the glass.
The card through glass effect was probably inspired by the card on ceiling, another surprising and unusual reputation maker where the deck would be thrown into the air, hitting the ceiling. The signed selection would remain stuck to the ceiling, while the other cards fluttered down to the floor. The magically immortal Matt Schulien popularised this effect during his work as a restaurant magician in Chicago (then later popularised by Michael Ammar). During his life he created a whole host of other fine card locations (many published in Matt Schulien's Fabulous Card Discoveries).
A wonderful performer during the first half of the 20th Century, Max Malini, was famous for his Blindfold Card Stabbing. He would have three cards selected and returned to the pack which was then spread on the table. While blindfolded the cards would be scattered on the table, he located each card by stabbing it with a knife. Many, including Dai Vernon, said it was his greatest trick. Incidentally, Malini probably upset a few characters performing this effect on very expensive tables.
One of the most magical card locations is the rising cards, where the chosen card magically rises from pack (which is usually placed in a wine glass or in the spectators hand, away from the magician, to prove no manipulation is involved). Expert Card Technique, the seminal work on 20th Century card sleight-of-hand, devoted a whole section to this effect and there are hundreds of methods in print today.
Al Baker invented another highly magical card discovery , the haunted or self-cutting pack. Undoubtedly inspired by the rising cards, the chosen card would be lost in the centre. The deck would be placed on the performers outstretched hand (or in total isolation). On command, the deck eerily begins to cut itself to a card in the centre then squares up again, leaving the selected card sticking out.
These are just a few fine examples from a nearly endless list. Although they are each potentially amazing, sadly their true potential is realised by very few magicians who perform them.