SXSWi 07 Notes: Mapping: Where the F#*% Are We Now?

The following are my panel notes from SXSW. As I am not the fastest typer I have paraphrased what was said. Should you notice any mistakes please do point them out in the comments for corrections.

Daniel Catt Maker, Yahoo!
Tom Carden Stamen Design
Aaron Cope hackr, Flickr
Ian White CEO, Urban Mapping Inc
Jerry Paffendorf Electric Sheep Company

WTF Is On First?

Aaron Cope

Douglas Coupland Shampoo PLanet

I don't care where Starbucks is, but if I'm at a place I would love to see what came before it. To get a sense of history.

Units of Ambiance.

Ambient intimacy. Nothing says "it's my birthday" like going for a massage still smelling of Gin


Mobiles are a really small computer with a data connection. Hardware and software manufacturers have to control the experience it can only be one thing. This is just irritating.

Medium Term *nix will Rule Mobile.

OLPC - runs linux
OpenMoko - open source open hardware platform
Symbia... whatever (symbian people will tell you they're moving to linux. But right now they're part of the problem)

inter Process Scribble-ability

Learn Python

It's going to be Python, it already is.
Not java.
It's easy it's quick.
GIS all have python scripting engines.
DBUS in the unix world. Lets processors talk to each other. Python has bindings for all of this stuff.
HTTP uploading stuff is good. Python has a great http stack.

Created a app that scanned for blue tooth devices in relation to cells.

Long term: Learn javascript again.

Security nightmare. Bindings from the client side to the OS.

Track logs
GPS broadcasting
machine tags and magic words

Tom Carden:

OpenStreetMap Project.

Couriers were recording GPS traces. Couriers were paying lots for mapping yet they were in a sense making their own.

GPS devices are hideous to work with. GPS trace of friends holiday to NZ showed him going to the moon and back several times. Can't always trust the data.
30 years in the evolution of the music players to get them to something that we love. !20 years of evolution of cameras to digital.

Google maps rendering quality. Creative commons licensed, Data from open streetmap. People and residents. A lot of mapping for tourist areas in London.

Copenhagen has good data. Streets of Baghdad created from traces of Yahoo's aerial photos, which they gave permission for.

OSM needs:

Mappers - people who are willing to share where they've been.

Take GPS data from a device and plot it on Gmaps. Mapstraction abstracts all of the various mapping APIS.

visualisation of stress related to location.

Stamen Design, Mappr shows photos from location. Since then maps are on Flickr itself. Route 66.

Cabspotting. Takes GPS data from yellow cabs in SF and plots them on a map. going on way on the Golden Gate bridge there's a strong signal the other way the signal is not strong and it looks like the cabs have jumped across the bay.

Cabspotting broke. Due to the data we relied on.

Stamen are hiring SF is fantastic.

Jerry Paffendorf - The electric sheep company.

We ususally work inside of second life. I'm really interested in when you merge second life with google earth. I am futurist at Electric sheep.

Metaverse - Virtual worlds, second life WoW
Mirror worlds - we're going to have to assimilate the worlds and condense it down to a softball that you have on your desktop. Like Google earth.

The next step is to make a mirror of the real world as a virtual world. Second life + google earth.

Community Walk. Map of employees of Electric sheep.

The happening. We recreated a coffe shop in high-res detail. We brought projections of the virtual world into the real world. You would walk around the real world and at the same time you're be moving in the virtual worlds as an avatar.

We recreated the Rockerfeller Center in Second life. Build models in Sketchup.

Let's turn the planet into a video game.

Ian White:

We work with spatial data. We're data guys not application guys.
I'm on the inside wondering how do people want to work with data.


Where we are lat and lon.

On the data side there's more doom and gloom. If you have this geo-spatial awareness about you, you may have access to more information than without it.

GPs tells you where you are within a range of uncertainty.

triangualtion from cells
GPS etc.

The embeddedness is how connected to certain people you want to be, Are you on or are you off. Twitter.

The input device is one way that we can understand data.
What if I walk into an area where the level of crime spikes. Forget about heatmaps how about a heat pad. Suddenly I'm hot and sticky.

You need to have some greater context for where you are.

Dan Catt:

We're looking into the future. The important things are the open source architecture.
Thanks for being here.

Q: When is OpenId coming to the metaverse.
DC: September (laughter)

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