GIS Thoughts

LBS when ?

I was part of a panel today at the The Mobility Summit an event organised by the European Technology Forum and Cnet Networks. The panel discussed the emergence of more precisely the lack of emergence of Location Based Services as a section of the mobile data industry.

The point I argued, as I have before, is that as long as LBS applications are more difficult to access, and provide no more information, than asking a passer-by in the street they will fail to become mainstream. This is really disappointing as all the necessary components are in place to deliver really useful mobile portals customised to met the needs of the use based on their location.

Imagine switching on your mobile phone and been presented with, the local weather, traffic conditions, train departures from the closest station and your nearest ATM etc, all without having to click through many complex menus, pressing keys multiple times etc.

From the users perspective, the complexity of currently using LBS is a real issue, although as Sean Phelan from pointed out, cost is a big problem… would multimap, streetmap, google maps etc have had the success they have had so far, if they users had been charged 25p a go !

Written and submitted from home, using my home 802.11 network.


London can take it..

Following today’s bombings,commenting on Geodata and technology does not seem too relevant today.

However these words spoken over 60 years ago seem just right today.

“These cruel, wanton, indiscriminate bombings of London are, of course, a part of Hitler’s invasion plans. He hopes, by killing large numbers of civilians, and women and children, that he will terrorise and cow the people of this mighty imperial city, and make them a burden and anxiety to the Government…Little does he know the spirit of the British nation, or the tough fibre of the Londoners…who have been bred to value freedom far above their lives. ”

Winston S Chruchill, September 1940

As a Londoner I’m proud to say give us a day or two and we will be back to nomal, we have dealt with terrorists before and a whole lot worse. Next Saturday I and the family will attend a Re-enactment of Monty Python’s Fish Slapping Dance down at Teddington lock.. how can any terrorist hope to defeat people like us!!

GIS Thoughts

Not your grandfathers GIS textbook!!

Spent the weekend flicking through a very cool new book on GI and GIS technologies, “Mapping Hacks” a product of the people behind the mapping hacks website.

This is great stuff, it bites off all the basic principles of GeoData in small chunks, from the perspective of someone actually trying to build practical solutions. This would be a great alternative text book to the more academic standard texts used to teach on GIS Masters courses, at least it should develop some enthusiasm in students, I will certainly recommend this to the students on the Masters programme I’m external examiner for !

It’s just a shame it missed the google map hack phenomenon , but hey thats for the second edition !!

The movement towards Open Source geodata continues – there is still someway to go until we need to think about co-existence strategies with commerical geodata but that time will come.

Written and submitted from home, using my home 802.11 network.