Depending on your attendance of the conferences in Stratford your answer to this question would be different. Attendees of the W3G unconference on Tuesday would have experienced considerable energy, lively debate and optimism around the use of open data, free and open software and the potential of “neogeography” ( yes I know is just a label, but you all know what it means) There is huge potential to extend the use of geospatial information in the UK efficiently and cheaply using the web platforms of today, and for people to create businesses around this new ecosystem.
This optimism survived all the way until about 11am today at the AGI Geocommunity conference and included the excellent upbeat presentation by Andy Hudson-Smith one of the few real innovators in the UK GI industry at the moment. ESRI UK’s presentation really turned optimism into despair once again introducing the tired old whinge that GIS should be a strategic necessity and central to how government works, but it is largely ignored by the powers that be…
Rather than learn the lessons of the last five years and concentrate on creating simple technological solutions that mean real user requirements quickly and cheaply, ESRI put the blame squarely on the GIS industry for not communicating the benefits of GIS and concentrating too much on complex technology.
Maybe somebody should buy Richard Waite, ESRI UK’s MD, a mirror ?
Talk about a contrast, the difference between the two days was extraordinary, and why two separate days?
Last year the geomob stream brought much of the energy and frankly new people to the AGI event, this year most of the neogeo’s went home before the AGI conference started. This was a mistake, the future of the GI industry, if it is to have a future, is with the poeple who attended the w3g conference, the sooner the AGI realise this fundamental shift in the industry the better.
BTW when was the last time you attended a conference where you were told to Tweet responsibly and to be careful walking using your mobile device ? seriously..
Written and submitted from the Grand Canal Hotel, Dublin (53.338N, 6.237W)