Didn’t optimise the dataset so slow to load, but an example of how easy it is to visualise geodata with ArcGIS Online.
Location Based Services were launched a little under a decade ago, since then we have seen the rise of the web, social networking, and mobile. Yet, we are still struggling to turn some of the earliest applications thought up for location enabled devices, into consumer friendly reality. It turns out that moulding technology into a product that is usable for the majority is harder than it looks.
The technology is there, and has been for a long time, this is an issue of design and scale. The smartphone had existed in some form for a decade before Apple successfully merged the touch screen and an elegant interface to pull their greatest ever trick – fooling people that the iPhone was just a phone and not a computer. To achieve their dominance in online retail, Amazon had to build a physical infrastructure of warehouses, staff, supply chains and wait for enough people to change their shopping habits to digital. LBS is no different.
So nearly a decade later, I’m cheering on the EchoEcho team from the sidelines. They have succeeded in taking what was the favourite use case of LBS; the friend finder/tell me where X is/share my location with Y…. and turned into something that is designed for real people.
I don’t need to sign up for another social network, I don’t need to worry about the privacy implications of broadcasting my location, and praise be…I don’t need to check-in.
EchoEcho leverages the social network of people I actually meet in real life, my phone address book. Telling friends and family where I am, or asking where they are is as easy as a few taps on my smartphone. It is the essence of designing a solution for one use case, and making it as simple as possible for the majority of users.
On the scale side of the problem, thanks to Android the market is now full of cheap smartphones rather than feature phones. The other smart thing about EchoEcho is that when I ping (or Echo) someone who doesn’t have the app installed, they get an SMS telling them I would like to share my location with them and a link to download the app. Instant viral marketing, and I’m betting that conversions from SMSs are much higher than email.
Tucked away, on a dusty bookshelf behind more serious tomes on economics and politics I keep a few items with sentimental attachment. Last night I remembered a booklet, part of the ‘Great Interviews of the 20th Century’ series given away by the Guardian in 2007. Its 1994 and Dennis Potter is dying of cancer. He’s interviewed by Melvyn Bragg, and with the fearlessness of a man unburdened (“I can break any rule now”), speaks about life and living without fear.
This year’s Next Conference in Berlin was all about Data Love, and I was thrilled to be taking the ITO World message to such a prestigious event on the international tech circuit. I’ve been in Berlin twice now recently, and there is a great vibe in the tech/web community out here – feels like London a few years back, just as things were starting to crystallise and “silicon roundabout” was only an in-joke.
We added some visualisation love to the ‘Bright Data, Big City: How Data Transforms Metropolitan Life’, a
nd I believe I succeeded in illustrating how important it is to create a narrative, and why our future goal is to create tools that enable communities to collaborate with data and analysis. With so much data and visualisation, the most important part of the process is neglected – storytelling. People don’t talk about data, they talk about stories and you not only communicate analysis, but enrich it by creating conversation and enabling people to collaborate.
(Click HD to increase the quality)
What is WhereCampUK?
What is WhereCamp Europe?
Who Will Be There?
What Happened Last Time?
At the rapidly approaching State of the Map 2010, I will be hosting a potentially controversial panel on the subject “What’s wrong with OpenStreetMap?”
A slightly risque look at the areas we think OSM is getting it wrong, and getting it right too of course. SotM is a big celebration of all things OSM, but there is a need to highlight issues that the community, the OSMF, and local chapters, should address.
geo world now all paying attention to OSM, just look at the sponsor list for this year, there are big challenges coming up – keeping community cohesion as OSM membership growth continues, the ‘IBM Moment’ – is OSM ready for a big commercial donation, how do we secure lasting funding for OSM, what on earth is going on with the licence, do we need paid staff like Wikipedia… etc etc
I’m looking for some questions to put to the panelists, so this is your chance to tell me “What’s wrong with OpenStreetMap?”
As a fan of design and 80s racers, I was thrilled to purchase a Peugeot two years ago that was not only in mint condition but came with the original manual.
Its a time warp back to when the Personal Computer was a brand new phenomenon and lasers were taking the disco by storm. Breathe in the coolness by association:
Way back in October 2009, I contributed to the AGI’s Foresight Study; predicting the shape of geo in 2015. Seeing as the future is rapidly encroaching, and I have yet to see the study be published, I thought I would share.
After presenting our predictions, some of the surrounding discussion was a sad reflection on the shape of the geospatial industry – the constant clinging to the security blanket of “but we are GIS *Professionals* and our skills are essential” was a particular low point. To me, GIS means clunky desktop software with terrible usability, ugly cartography and elitist terminology – wearing that as a badge of honour is an odd concept.
That aside, my five takeaway predictions for 2015 were:
1) OpenStreetMap to have over one million contributors.
2) Large scale investment in OSM from commercial organisations.
3) Widespread crowdsourcing of geodata to utilise excess cognitive capacity.
4) ‘Big data’ – huge, real-time, actively/passively crowdsourced datasets from the sensor
5) Legislation requiring central and local government to release nearly all PSI to the public
Even Gary Gale gave me a strange look when talking about point 4, though in the brief time since then he has admitted I was correct. I stress that many of the big datasets coming from the sensor web will be closed, and that new commerical opportunities for geo lie there – whether it be for the data or services with the data.
Point 5 is practically enshrined in law now. I would add one little caveat to point 2 though, I expect government and commercial investment in OSM.
A very nice write up on WhereCampEU, by Steven Feldman, from the pages of GIS Professional. Also, hearing word that a WhereCampUK is in the offing…
casino internetowe line-height: normal; font-size-adjust: none; font-stretch: normal; -x-system-font: none; display: block; text-decoration: underline;” title=”View Wherecamp EU Report – GIS Professional April 2010 on Scribd” href=”http://www.scribd.com/doc/31248080/Wherecamp-EU-Report-GIS-Professional-April-2010″>Wherecamp EU Report – GIS Professional April 2010
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