Digital Geography in a Web 2.0 World

I went along today to an excellent showcase of the academic worlds take on Web 2.0 approaches and neogeography. Organised by the team at CASA at UCL the event attracted a large crowd for a one day event to London’s Barbican Centre. Although I was only able to attend the afternoon the presentations I attended were all excellent and I got similar feedback speaking to others who had attended the whole day.

Visually the day was very well produced, it’s amazing how far we have come in just the last few years in our ability to visualise geospatial data, and interact with it both in the lab and in the field.

A key point for me and something that I feel hugely proud of, was the number of times Googles tools were not only mentioned but also demonstrated used in the way we hoped they would be, as a way of people communicating their own work to a wider audience.

Google Earth, Maps, Sketchup etc don’t compete with the full functionality professional GIS or Architectural design packages, but they do allow anyone to create new information easily and importantly for this audience, easily communicate results of analysis to a global audience.

I was also pleased to see that the importance of developing a community of users who contribute information and ideas was also highlighted as an important success factor, indeed there was much evidence of collaboration between different universities departments, something that was rare in my day as an academic.

Andy Hudson-Smith has produced an excellent full colour booklet in parallel with the event which I recommend taking a look at, I’m sure he will is due course make it available via his blog.

Overall I was very impressed by the work presented, not quite a Scoble cry inducing event, but very motivating!

BTW If anybody find a pair of Nike trainers in Second Life, Andy is looking for them !

Written and Submitted from the Holiday Inn, Nottingham using my 3 3G usb modem.

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