Where 2.0 Day 1 – Sleeping with the bear..

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When I worked in the software industry the term “sleeping with the bear” was often used to describe the relationship between the company I worked for and the partners and independent software vendors who all together provided solutions based on my companies core technology. The analogy follows that it is all very pleasant sleeping with the bear while it is asleep, you get its warmth and its implicit protection.. however when the bear wakes up you need to be very careful as it does not necessary want to share its bed…

I was reminded on this today at the first day of the where 2.0 conference in terms of the number of innovative companies which have based their business propositions on building on the Google Maps API. Many of these applications seem to be totally reliant on the continued availability of a mapping platform which abstracts all the complexity of managing constantly changing geospatial databases of hundreds of Gigabytes of information to a simple javascript API. While this continues to be the case everybody is happy – the bear is asleep… but I got the distinct impression that things may be beginning to change.

As mentioned earlier Google have now announced a paid for service with a clearer service definition under more strict change control, although denied, does this mean the free API is about to start the much anticipated introduction of map advertising ?

The development of services such as mapstraction and openlayers.org both announced at the conference are examples of web mapping API’s that are attempting to develop independently to the functionality of a single GYM interface.

Overall I must admit I am still taken aback by the energy and pace of development of the new application areas spotlighted at Where 2.0, in contrast to more pedestrian GIS events, these are numerious enough to need a separate post.

However in saying that, in many ways what is represented here is only the top 10% of an application stack, in effect the mash-up community is standing on the shoulders of the established GI industry, who behind the scenes, do all the difficult work to collect and integrate the data which is made available through the new accessible API’s

This is actually just as is should be, you don’t need to be a mechanic to drive a modern car, so you also don’t need to be a GIS expert to produce a pushpin map – the world however still needs mechanics and GIS experts.

More thoughts on todays presentation highlights tomorrow – I’m off to bed !!

Written and submitted from the Fairmont Hotel, San Jose, using the hotels broadband network.

One comment

  1. mike gould

    Mash-ups do not stand on GIS industry shoulders, rather on those of data providers who do not charge for view. SDI as economic engine, not friction.

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