It is always a nice opportunity to speak to people who are not GI Industry experts or mapping mavens but who are “normal” people whose lives are however impacted by Geospatial Technology.
On Monday I has the massive pleasure of meeting some of the business owners located on Shambles which was a winner in one of this years Street View Awards.
Shambles is not your usual shopping street, it looks like a set from the latest Harry Potter film and is populated by various specialist shops including Past Images whose owner Ian I got talking to.
Now you too to can explore this special part of York here virtually , but if you get the chance visit York, make sure you visit yourself !
Ian and his fellow shopkeepers are all enthusiastic users of the web, have websites and appreciate how much difference tools like web search and online mapping have made to their business. Rather than driving trade away, the web is making it easier for potential customers to find their businesses.
Finding is the key point here, I think we in the GI industry often forget just how powerful a simple map showing the location of a business really is. While we talk about the virtues of Foursquare vs Gowalla or debate how to represent disputed boundaries, real people are using the easy access to mapping to improve, in little ways, their lives !