Digital TV and paper maps

Did a short package with Dutch TV yesterday in Amsterdam talking about the differences between the maps of the great Dutch cartographers of the 17th Century and modern Google Maps.

In some ways there are surprising similarities, both in effect are all about discovery, earlier discoveries of new lands to exploit have been replaced by personal discoveries of places important to the individual a result of yes the democratisation of mapping.   

The 17th century maps of Blaeu et al are currently on display in Amsterdam at an exhibition at the National Maritime Museum, Het Scheepvaartmuseum, which is worth a visit if you get the chance.

As a amateur video geek I was impressed to see that even network TV now make use of digital SLRs for video production, not quite the shift mapping is going through from paper to mobile phones but still a significant step from the last generation of big professional video cameras.

Digital video technology has fundamentally changed TV production, I'm sure nobody on the production team of "Een Vandaag " know how to use cine film… I wonder when we will say the same thing about paper maps ?


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 ?   


A Map inside

We spend about 70% of our lives indoors, a real data capture challenge, as your need a very scalable solution –

ProjectTango may be part of the solution.. 

Early days of course, but there is real potential with this approach, perhaps more than efforts focused on data standards which overlook how the data will be captured..

The project team have 200 prototype dev kits to distribute to Open Source developers working in projects including of course  indoor navigation and mapping.

Visit for details


What’s in the bag Steve

So Happy 30th Birthday Macintosh, this video from the original launch event once again demonstrates Jobs extraordinary ability to demo a product.

Although of course technically a huge step forward from the green screen personal computers of the time, the Mac was a commercial disaster leading to the infamous ousting of Jobs from Apple just a year later..Apple have done a great job celebrating the last 30 years, with Macs and their users from each year, including the awful Macs of the mid 1990’s at

For the record, my personal ownership has been as follows..

1987 – Macintosh SE
1989 – Macintosh IIci
1990 – Macintosh LC (first Mac I actually purchased with my own money)
1992 – Powerbook 170 & Quadra 700
1993 – Cenris 660AV
1995 – Power Macintosh 8500

The Dark Years….

2002 iMac (the luxo lamp)
2004 PowerBook G4
2005 Power Mac G5
2007 Macbook Pro
2008 Macbook (White)
2009 Macbook Air
2010 Mac mini
2011 Macbook Air
2012 iMac
2013 Macbook & Macbook Air

Beat that ?