Less Map, More Apps

I was able to make a flying visit to the State of the Map US conference yesterday in Washington DC. As usual it had the higher than average GIS conference energy levels, but it felt really different to previous events to me..

Firstly the conference was a step up in terms of the professionalism of organisation, congratulations to the local organising team even if they owe me a T-Shirt !

The real difference I guess compared to SOTM events in Europe was more focus on the opportunities that the map as a dataset provides to other organisations and companies to build additional products and services many of which are commercial.  The large investments made by Map Box and those announced by Digital Globe in developing the ecosystem around OSM are evidence of this..

Perhaps as a result  of this perspective the big topic of the weekend was the ongoing debate around the ODbL licence and it's impact on the use of OSM within third party products.

Is it more than a cliche then to say that the US is more entrepreneurial than Europe ?   


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