Where2.0 is close to wrapping up. One of the most confusing aspects of this event is no doubt the selection of presenters / speakers (ie. who gets selected to present) and how long they get on stage. Some presenters get 5 minute “lightning” slots and others get 15 minute blocks of time. As we wind down is seems apparent that many people are wondering how the final speaker manages to score a marathon 30 minute block of time. Nothing against the presenter or the topic “Where is “here” and what’s mapping got to do with it” but how is it that she gets 30 minutes and Michael Jones gets only 15 minutes, Christian Dwyer (Mapquest) a mere 5 minutes.. what the hey… that’s where2.0 for ya! Nice job Brady et al. FYI, Brady Forrest, conference chair informed me that there were some 200+ submissions by people wanting to present at this year’s event. Keep this in mind if you plan on showing your stuff next year – it better be good!
Michael Jones, Google CTO took to the stage of Where2.0 today carrying of all things… a triquarter. Why? Well, if you thought it would be impossible to be in possession of such a device Michael would like you to know that it is indeed possible… as is much more – like perhaps the 3D web! We all know by now that Google’s mission is organizing all of the World’s information. The Challenge though… there’s a second web, a geospatial web and Jones notes that it’s underserved… perhaps it’s a little less underserved after the Where 2.0 event! We were reminded about spatial modality and that what makes it great is the connectedness – think “The 3D spatial web”… Google is indeed working hard at not only organizing the World’s information but is also aggressively building out the 3D web. This week we’ve heard about Google’s high-res street-side imagery, the addition of mapplets, and recall SketchUp coming into the fold and being given away to the user community… today Jones confirmed that the company has indeed acquired Panoramio… all pieces of the puzzle in developing the 3D Web. I’m sure we’ll hear more about all of this tomorrow at the Google Developer day. Finally, in addition to the triquarter, Jones also brought with him an Apple iPhone (which also was sporting what else… maps!) – see video below from my youtube:
NearbyNow makes a shopping mall searchable – fromm the developers… search before you shop with your mobile device. Find anything you need near you…signs in a mall prompt users to txt in to win, search etc… a unique mall code is provided for each mall. The service also offers sweepstakes like daily prizes, spotlight specials. Currently live in 50 malls, 110 by December. They offer “reserve this product” service enabling users to hold items at a retail outlet. Driving the uptake:
Thanks American idol
Sweepstakes are helpful
Has more “sale” interest than the web
The right offer can create stampedes
See more info on this innovative LBS app at http://www.nearbynow.com
Dash Navigation is building a community of drivers & providing in car search – Eric Klein and Mark Williamson took to the stage to describe the first connected navigation device for the US – standard navigation + GPRS and WiFi connectivity enabling send and receive data. They ask… “What happens when you leave your computer and hop in your car?” Simple… Dash enables you to bring information into your vehicle. The device has a real-time traffic model, each device gathers information as they drive… think of a community of drivers gathering data and reporting / sharing with others… community-based traffic probes. Drivers are also gathering updated basemap information. Sample – search yahoo!, locate address of interest, right-click and send to car.
Also available via Dash is Search in Car – a fundamental approach to changing consumer behavior. Partnered with Yahoo! users can search in their vehicle for local results… imagine searching for WiFi while driving through San Fran while attending a conference. Or, imagine driving down a road and your searching for a building. Now you can view an image of a desired area (if available) to help you locate your intended destination. Furthermore, you can save photos and even add comments – think community mapping! Dash can partner with content partners to provide access to their data – via std. data formats like GeoRSS and KML or make it available via 2-way API – Note: Dash currently has 2000 units being tested all over the country right now. For more about dash see http://www.dash.net/
I have to share a couple of fun quotes from Where 2.0… just on stage… “Where is free and easy… like Paris Hilton!” and from last night at the Loki beer bash from a guy whol walked up to me… “Hey, are you James Fee?” I don’t know what made him ask that??? later
A reminder if you plan on working with the cool, new Google maps street side maps… if you plan on sharing cool locations with others then try taking advantage of tinyurl (see www.tinyurl.com). As an example, I was walking the streets of New York and want to share this location with my friends http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&q=new+york+time+square&ie=UTF8&view=map&ll=40.757534,-73.985447&spn=0.002401,0.005193&z=18&om=0&layer=c&cbll=40.75657,-73.98614&cbp=1,231.601237942122,0.5,1
http://tinyurl.com/2vcpza – notice its a little long and won’t work well within a webpage. A simple soultion is to grab a “tinyurl”. So now I have http://tinyurl.com/2vcpza or http://preview.tinyurl.com/2vcpza (with a preview). Lastly, if you haven’t tested out mapplets yet – think mashups of mashups you can’t access the functionality from the “regular” google maps home. Anyone can develop a mapplet… try creating a map that shows crime stats along with weather data and perhaps thro w in your own news from a GeoRSS enabled feed. To try mapplets jump to the preview site at http://maps.google.com/preview
Just winding down after taking in the Where fair followed up by a “social event” hosted by Sykhook Wireless – have you tried the Loki toolbar yet? Where fair featured displays from innovative minds that are in the preliminary stage but comfortable enough with their apps to show them off and get some feedback. We saw an application called Plundr – they use the Skyhook wireless WiFi positioning technology to locate places and then use th eplayers location in a treasure hunt style game (try it at plundr.playareacode.com) – they also have a version designed to run on the Nintendo DS. Also of interest at the fair, the Continental divide Trial Project conceived by Backpacker Magazine. Imagine 50 teams mapping and gathering data along 3100 miles of trail that takes them through Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks. The teams (volunteers) will be collecting GPS data, photos, videos, and will be podcasting as the project gets rolling this summer – Let me leave off by urging you to check out the truliahindsight service that i mentioned previously. This latest update to Trulia (the popular real estate mapping service) features some clever animations designed to convey some interesting patterms that emerge when displaying temporal datasets… the change and trends really jump out at you… Check out this Link from Trulia showing the construction of Levittown, New York. From the company… Watch the Trulia Hindsight map light up between 1947 and 1951, when builders Levitt and Sons, Inc. mass-produced 17,447 homes on what had once been potato farms on Long Island. Their most popular model, a ranch built on a concrete slab, measured 32′ by 25′ and sold for $7,990. All a prospective buyer needed was a $90 deposit and payments of $58 per month. another tip… have you tested Geocommons yet? Have you browsed the best places to get KFC in Uganda?? How about maps of the most dangerous tornado alleys in the US? Create an account, upload some data… enjoy! Let me leave you with some weblinks of interest to ponder and explore:
Mapquest, Jim Greiner, Sr VP and GM took the stage to discuss some recent Mapquest research/survey findings. He asks…what benefits users? Research findings recently conducted regarding online map users. Success factors and Mapquest research survey findings – demonstrate value to users, give user the control, reinforce the foundation, don’t just provide data but help them make a decision, evolve with your users. Once users are shown a benefit of use then they will adopt the technology – only 18% of users are using advanced imagery but 47% plan on increasing usage. Interest in personalization increased from 49 – 68% once given examples of usage. Giving the user control – people want to save addresses or planned routes; people want point and click routing, 59% would share their custom maps only with their trusted network but less than 22% would post publicly (blogs)… only 23% want to add photos to a map. Don’t just give data – people want more info like is a road a toll road and if so, how much does it cost. Incident records like accidents and historical records are of interest to the user and help them to make decisions. Evolving with users – 41% want to send maps and routes to a mobile – of note: Greiner did not discuss the new API in his presentation
Have you test driven Google maps street view yet? Try searching on “san francisco, ca fisherman wharf” then zoom into Powel St. as an example. Click on a street that’s outlined in blue then get a popu-up window where you can navigate down the street, viewing high-res,360 degree imagery.. what’s what cool is as you move north, south, east or west down the street the address is updated. the you can pan side-to-side, zoom in, out etc… you can almost make out the car license tags!