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Where 2.0 Impressions

This week, I’m at the Where2.0 conference in San Jose, California. It’s all about making maps, now enabled by the web and mobile devices.  If you really want to know what’s going on, search #where20 in Twitter.  I’m surprised we’re not a trending topic given the internet-choking number of tweets coming out of here.  What the hell is #woofwednesday and why is it a Top 10 trending topic?

While most everyone is going on about APIs and platforms, I am as always enthralled with novel ways to access and visualize data. In this arena, I’ve been impressed by the presented work of Stamen Design’s Maps From Scratch, Urban Mapping‘s transit trees and animations (GORGEOUS stuff, but I can’t find pictures or videos online – if you do, please provide links in the comments) and Sense Networks’ CitySense 4D heatmaps. Other than being beautiful and innovative mapping techniques (which make you go “Wow, this data makes so much more sense viewed like that!”), they remind you not to be dependent on Google or another major map API to the point where you force your perception into accepting that there are only certain ways to view our world. In other words, let the data and relationships between that data dictate the map, rather than allow a pre-canned map define the data.  Again, I’m all about (Open) standards, but let’s not standardize our way into a small dark box.

Also liked:

– Nokia’s Ovi Maps Beta with 2.5D buildings on faux (shaded) terrain. 3D structures on georeferenced 3D terrain, in my opinion, is the only way to understand built-up spaces in geographic context.

– Greater New Orleans Community Data Center’s Denice Ross and James Fee talk on how junk mail and the geoweb helped a tally of post-Katrina repopulation numbers.  Denice’s advice: Create metadata-rich & usable maps which present correct information that matter to locals.

– Grand vizier Jack Dangermond‘s talk on online mapping enabling the government into transparency, accountability and coughing up data.

– Matthew Ericson, deputy graphics director at The New York Times, showing us how they made some of my favorite 2008 presidential election RedState-BlueState maps.

Dude, Velodyne Lidar demo with Radiohead’s House Of Cards laser!  Gotta go.

3 comments… add one
  • Charlotte May 26, 2009, 8:10 PM

    All my best to you in your time of sorrow. (((hugs)))

  • LiDAR survey hunter October 8, 2009, 11:40 AM

    I have watched Radiohead’s House of Cards and you are right it is awesome. Great video and fantastic effect.

    There lots of laser applications tday such as the LiDAR and I must say that this technology is really beneficial in making 3-D mapping.

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