Sketches from Geomob January 2014

Published on 2014年01月16日 星期四

By Vuk Trifkovic at Vuk’s Posthaven Blog

January 16 2014

On Tuesday evening we had another great Geomob session. The room was packed, BCS-donated refreshments were tasty and speaker roster nicely varied. A few impressions follow.

Our libraries have wonderful maps! 

By luck more than design we had not one but two fantastic presentations from national libraries.

The British Library is currently raising funds to provide digital access to King George III’s personal collections of maps (I’m sure His Royal Highness would have enjoyed Geomob too). The project is as ambitious as the collection is astonishing.

More recent but no less ambitious is the Cymru1900Wales project, run by National Library of Wales. If it were on AngelList, the project presented by Owain Roberts would probably get described as “Zooniverse for Wales topography”.

If that sounds your thing – head on over to help collect names of places and features in Wales from the Ordnance Survey’s six-inch to a mile maps of c. 1900.

API-based data aggregation businesses are important. 

As Ed Freyfogle observed after the meeting, transport seems to be a very compelling use case, judging from the number of projects done in this area.

Luckily for those interested in doing more, basic infrastructure is only getting better. TransportAPI is a great example of an API-based business doing a great job of aggregating specialized content and enabling further innovation from there on in.

If you’re doing anything with a transport component in the UK, checking out the TransportAPI Developer Portal should be one of the first ports of call.

Geo is now everywhere, and that will bring up some tough issues

Oh, for the simple days when ‘geo’ was very much macro. You know, trusty old 1:25,000 maps, global map projections and all that. Not anymore.

On the one hand Sensewhere demonstrated the growing momentum around the indoor mapping. On the other, Alexei Poliakov blew my mind with demonstrating how a spatial approach to cell affinity lead to Locomizer – another great attempt to come up with spatially-driven audience discovery and segmentation.

While tackling different issues, both companies are pushing geo technology in new direction – with significant impact on privacy issues.

The audience reaction to these talks was pure Geomob – insightful, incisive but sceptical. It is the credit to both speakers, and Sensewhere in particular, for explaining their position and engaging with the issue.

Sounds interesting? See you in March!

If you liked the sounds of this, make sure to join us for the next Geomob on 18th March 2014 at Google Campus.

Once again, we’ll have two great transit talks, lot of D3 fun, more on mobile marketing and a very special guest speaker that we’re hoping to announce soon!

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