Sunday, May 25, 2008

GeoWeb, GIS & Neogeography notices

There has been a lot of very interesting "buzz" on the internet about the announcements made last week at the Where 2.0 Conference. Here is a link to the Where 2.0 Web site where you can find links to highlights from the show at the top of the page under the site menu and a very good short description of the conference.

John Henke, head of Google Maps and Google Earth and Jack Dangermond, founder and Chief Executive of ESRI announced the upcoming opportunity to merge GIS Map server information with other neogeographic services that are becoming popular. Here is a link to a video of this presentation.

I found this video on the May 13, Google Earth Blog--here the author Frank Taylor summarized the presentation as follows: "The other interesting thing that happened during John's talk was his strategy to get more GIS data into the Where 2.0 type applications world. John went and spoke to Jack Dangermond, CEO of ESRI, to see if he could convince him to work on ways to better enable access to GIS data. He invited Jack up to the stage and Jack quite enthusiastically described his shared vision with Google to get GIS data more accessible. Apparently ESRI will be intorducing new features in the applications to facilitate KML output of GIS data. Jack said the new features will start rolling out in about 4 weeks. The implication was that it would be possible to create mashups between GIS databases and neogeography databases and tools. They discussed a bit the issues that might crop up between crowdsourced data vs. professional GIS data, but that in the long run it could be for the best. Emergency situations like the California fires was given as an example where both data types proved useful."

Another Blog (GeoScrum) written by Chris Spagnuolo also posted an article titled: "Where 2.0: Overall impressions and a Desparate Plea." Chris notes that "What I am excited about is the rise of numerous crowd sourced data projects. It has always been my contention that local geography and micro/personal geography was missing from most standard"geographies". These localized, micro-geographies can't be built by just anybody, they have to built by the people who live, work, and play in those locales if they are to have any meaning and relevance. So, I'm very psyched to see lots of local crowd sourced projects encouraging exactly this sort of behavior. I think in the past two decades, people have lost their sense of "place" and their connection with their own geographies and these efforts are breathing new life into communities by helping people reconnect with their local geography. I know this sounds very touchy-feelie, but it's important and I'm glad to see it happening.
Finally, I'm really excited about some of the Open Source platforms and frameworks being developed for "GeoWeb" applications. I think that the growth in this area will help fuel serious innovation and advancement in web-based mapping applications."

Another related Where 2.0 article was written on May 13, in the blog was titled "GIS exec works to unlock hidden geographic data." Stephan Shankland wrote this article and noted "The new version 9.3 of the dominant geographic information system (GIS) software, sold by a company called ESRI, now makes it a relatively simple matter to expose that data for easy consumption over the Internet." Jack Dangermond provided example projects in Portland Oregon and the recent San Diego Forest fires. "We are engineering it so it plugs in. It becomes effectively a support mechanism to the geoweb,"