We are live and in attendance at Where 2.0, O’Reilly’s conference focusing on the latest in geo-based information and application services. "Location is everywhere" according to O’Reilly and map / location based applications are rapidly making their way into popular social networking services and consumer electronics products.
The 2 1/2 day conference kicked off last night with the official and un-official launchings of new consumer and content developer offerings and a lightning round of "Ignite Where," where companies have 5 minutes to present 20 slides as part of a competition (15 seconds per slide, max) for a future speaking appearance during the conference.
Some highlights from the Monday evening session:
- The launch of Fatdoor, a neighborhood based social networking service still in its alpha phase.
- An introduction to Hipoqih
- a GPS based social tracking service that allows web users to track
GPS mobile phone users in real time via the web or mobile.
- A terrific presentation by Bruce Daniel of Cartifact Labs
on the current state of map design. His presentation highlighted the
fact how map design hasn’t evolved at the pace of today’s mapping
technology and application services.
- David Troy’s first hand presentation of "Twittervision" and "Flickrvision"
while emphasizing the capabilities of twitter location defining
services. David won the "Ignite Where" competition and will present
again (and have more than 5 minutes) later during the conference.
- Swivel launched mapping services as "Swivel Geography
- aka "Swivel G" to go along with their social data sharing services.
In addition, all maps generated in swivel can be exported as .kml for
- The "official" launch of Dopplr
which bills itself as a simple travel site which allows friends to find
each other while on the road. Dopplr is still in a closed beta phase.
- An introduction to "Upnext"
which provides a 3D, flythrough interface to the New York City
cityscape for urban discovery, entertainment, events and community
tagging. Upnext plans to expand to other cities shortly. Upnext is also
in a closed beta phase.
- Tagzania demonstrated their "del.icio.us-like" service for maps where users can tag locations around the world.
Where 2.0 continued with a stacked lineup of presentations geared towards an audience with a short attention span, Highlights of the day included presentations focused on the art of data collection, data hygiene and mapping standards.
Here are some of the highlights from the day that are worth checking out:
- Topix provides geo-location tools for content sources and providers. Their geography knowledge base parses content to draw conclusions about their source or topic origin and then provides maps for user exploration. Their presentation focused on how to build a knowledge system that can take into consideration non-formal geographical references such as demonyms and resolve them to physical locations.
- Google was on hand to launch their new "Street View" feature and demonstrate their "mapplet" tool which enables consumers to make mini-mashups within minutes and then port them as Google gadgets.
- A demonstration was given by Quakr on their progress on creating to 3D maps via GPS and titled photography.
- Garmin announced an API for their consumer products so users can begin to send map data to the over 16 million Garmin branded devices while also allowing users to move their Garmin data to other geo-based web services.
- Mapquest came out and threw some cold water on the crowd and presented the results of a recent user study. The study found that a majority of their users are lukewarm to next generation services such as map portability, advanced imagery and photo uploading. Instead, their users want core services such as map saving and traffic data. One saving grace, when their users were better informed about the capabilities and relevance of some next generation services, their users interest piqued. However, this is Mapquest – not exactly the home of early adopters.
- Wild Sanctuary demonstrated "soundscapes" for Google Earth. According to Bernie Krause, "if a picture is worth a thousand words, than a sound is worth a thousand pictures." Wild Sanctuary’s vast library of global nature sounds can now be navigated and demoed as a .kml layer on Google Earth.
More updates to follow after Wednesday’s conclusion.