Where Day 1

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This is the third year of Where 2.0, O’Reilly’s two day fest of 800 people pushing the edge of the location world. Here neogeography, OpenStreetMap, GeoSensor networks etc. are brought to stage by Brady Forrest the writer of Radar. Certainly this rivals the When Sacrificial Convention of 2000BC with sundials as the revolutionary device.

Schuyler Erle, (SKYler) of MetaCarta talks while hammering big type word slides (he just shared the automapper picture above). His project is mapping Mumbai, concluding the need to build new maps from the ground up, rather than scan-convert maps and loose all the reference and nuances of the paper map. “Maps are a bounding box for a story.” Schulyer riffs these great lines. His beauty project is BUILDING A MAP of the WORLD. Pure ontological chaos as people try to teach the Internet robot how it should see their, I mean our world.

Rich Skrenta of Co-founder of Topix shows how news companies are building out automatic geo tag systems.

The Evolution of the Geoweb, interesting title.  John Hanke, Director, Google Earth  (ex Keyhole) announces Google Street View (link unknown, example here) that have immersive street views. Pick up the man-cursor and see his photographic viers. But I am sitting next to Everyscape‘s Mok Oh shaking his head – because his company uses a progressive moving map experience that transcends all this. (Somewhat like Microsoft Photosynth, but smarter.) It is becoming clear that pictures are locations.

Mr. Hanke talks about the mainstreaming of GEO and doing two things: building the basemap and adding geotainment – all the moving stuff on top of it – mapping user annotations, images, and  sound. Later in the conference Google Earth, Microsoft Live Maps talk about how they are mapping the planet, then structures, then skins. This reminds me of Donald Ryan’s study of the evolution of architecture in Stuart Brand’s How Buildings Learn.

Bernhard Seefeld, Geo Software Engineer, Google (Endoxin) announces Google Mapplets (link unknown) about the building of geoindexes, geotagging. Just use <Placemark> Links allow discoveries to happen by bringing the edges of the web together.

David Troy of Twitter dave@twittervision.com works on Working on Truphone VOIP in real life, but using Ruby on Rails has built the “Realty TV” of live blogging where people share and care about their location in intimate detail L:Location. To paraphrase: Where is more important, when it is now.

Peter Arbuthnott of Quakr talks of “Building the World One Photo at a Time” – his technology might stitch the 16 billion photos of Flicker. Ah but it is a royal device hack  (gotta go a remap it all) – the 7D tiltometer which does x,y,z, then roll x, y, z, and direction (redundant) – but all for the good of characterizing the viewer and the view of in photostiching GPS. After studying standards of VRML/X3D which has arcane security issues, they use Flash so they can run in a browser without an install.

Andrew Turner of HighEarthOrbit talks about the emerging GeoStack – the plethora of standards to Create, Publish, Aggregate, and Consume the many Internet-based GPS syndications. Mapufacture is one of his creations.

James Greiner, GM,  A Look at MapQuest’s Users based on a May 2007 survey. 75 million unique visitors – MQ has far more visitors than Yahoo Maps, Google.

1. Demonstrate the Value to the User - then make it the standard                        

 	Show benefits to user. 18% use 3D, 47% plan.                        

 	Personalization - 49->68 % usage improvement when explained                        

 2. Give user contorl                        

 	75% want to save address and routs                        

 	68% want point and clikc outing or abiliyt to highlith wour                        

 	23% will add a phohos                        

 	59% would share custom maps , but only 22% with rest of world.                        

 3. Reinforce the founctaion                        

 	59% of usear want POI                        

 		57% plan on increaling usage for busines storefront image                        

 		realtime more important thatn static                        

 4. Don't just provide the data - help make a decidions                        

 	62% want toll roads - but really want cost                        

rerouting aournd traffic is 3rd most demanded features                        

 	50% want vendor ads                        

 5. Evolve with your users - help them wherever and whenever.                        

 41% interested in sending maps and routes to mobile phones                        

 32% want to send map and routes to portablw player                        

 44% in sending nav to PDA

Panel on 3D Geo – 3G Arms race. What is the sweet spot? Everyone defended their company positions, but the realization is that there is no common model for the GeoWeb which has been going on since 2004. The future: People running everywhere around with applications being built around them.

Sean Phelan, founder, Multimap moves from hideous global addresses all in different formats. Hard to read them in a standard way. Paradox is that to know how to interpret an international address, you have to know where the address comes from. Hence his geocoder – databased, oursourced, rulebased, hidden makov model solution.

Audio GPS? Bernie Krause of wildsanctuary shows his 3500 soundscapes places on Google Earth. You listen for three things: biophony – critters, geophoney – weather, antrophony – human sounds. All good. As an alternative compare to the spatial soundtrack projects at Zooatrope studios (Earwax) where engineers created audio maps of San Francisco spaces with foreground, midground and background effects.

Aaron Roller of Garmin announces their developer program, web services and activity player.  His talk, Enabling Web Sites to Communicate with GPS Devices, describes active sports personal GPS from his acquired company – MotionBased used for mountain bikes. Basic equations Biker + GPS = Activity. Acvity + Web = Trail Network. Garmin has produced 19 million devices in 10 years, will make 6 million in 2007. What sports are using GPS personalization? Snowboarding, Biking, Running, and yes, Lawn Mowing to plan efficient cuts.

Rounding out the conference, the UK Ordnance approach, GPS tagged pigeons to detect smog, GeoBliki: A Platform for Emergency Responses, Weogeo’s pyramid scheme for profitability, but then the stunning talk…

Di-Ann Eisnor, CEO, Platial – the people’s atlas who takes on the Economics of Mash-ups aka distributed value creation models. Going quick now. Distribution (viral adopted), embedded in network, diversity, # of paterns, # potential participants factor to a mashup equation. Basemap layer -> APIS, Data / Service + App -> Distribution partners -> Sites. photobukect, Snocap, mymaps, facebook platform with 20 apps, Mapplets – Been There app. Conclusion: we think local advertising will work. Get her white paper: diann@platial.com

Steven Johnson, Co-founder, www.Outside.in speaks of how to mash together local city content, keyed by geocode equivalence filters into the ultimate reality show for locals. Cities are it. May 23, 2007 50% of the planet became urban, while in 1800 3% urban. He used the solution to the English Cholera epidemic to show even Victorians did mashups of amateur investigation and mapping to find the root cause – a fowled water pump. But then, heavy bouts of alcohol kill Cholera bacteria – so the conference turns into night and the medicine is dispensed.

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