Skip to main content

Where 2.0 Conference

Posted by jive on July 6, 2005 at 6:45 PM PDT

A bit more about the where 2.0.

So how do you find out location?

Microsoft dropped hints on their last slide - it looked like a flux
equation. My guess is they are going to go live with the location
based on wifi. Other attempts were the usual great cell phone hope (and
associated smack down from the carriers who were present). Apparently
if your product is popular enough they will pick it up and paying per
location request will no longer apply to your app. A very interesting
one was based on TV towers. They cover the known world, and (get this)
they can go through buildings, giving you location when you are

At least one of the GPS providers is hiding and retreating
into the video game model. Cheap GPS and expensive software to use it. Apparently a GPS w/ the same compoenents can be had from asia for
those in the know.

Idea: The charge per location request has hamstrung this industry, I
bet people would trade an add by a local buisness for the location
service. Biz gets something that is on the screen and read by
someone actually near them (way better then web), and the user gets a
location based service.

What does this mean for Java? It means that there is no interest by those selling phones in providing us with a standard API? I know the OGC standards body is up to something - but the earlier this gets done the more cool stuff can get done.

Idea: I wonder if the carrier providers would provide free location pings for us hackers? We are more like to make them cool toys to play with debugging does not involve paying money. Actually I guess we would make an API and test against that, but it is worth a shot.

Do they get Open Standards?

They say yes - Yahoo is taking the "open standards road" by this they
mean RSS. Nobody understand that there are open standards until I drag
and drop a getCapabilities file from a browser into udig.

This actually caused people to run to find their friends and drag them back to see. The bright side is that the web hackers love XML and are not scared off by a get capabilities file, they jump for joy when they see an SLD document ... they like small bits of GML, but cannot handle the idea of a 600 page schema (but really who can?).

In short the hackers show no loyalty to google and can be trained, and made excited about the open stuff as well. Free data is free data, all the better if it looks cool. Still almost made me feel like a librarian when the computer science types divided up the world into
gov, edu, mil, com.

I needed to get DM solutions to give Microsoft a kamap demo before
they understood anything that I was saying. I got challanged on my bi z model, and was accused of giving away information (rather then the
just aiding and abeting with free software). They didn't seem to
understand that that GIS is still in the land of making things
possible at all (compitition on usability is where I want us to get
to). In GIS people make programs and throw them away - the data is what is important.

Google understands what the open standards are, they are however
releasing kmap - basically a format that combines vector and styling
information that google will suck up and show on your GoogleEarth.
Google map may indeed gain this ability in the future.

In short trade your data for the ability to publish it and see it on
the screen. Smart move. James is thinking about supporting the kmap
format from GeoServer Web Map Server.


It was fun seeing ESRI and Microsoft showing the same data, and
micrsoft having a really bad labeling system (blown up to life size
behind them). In fact they Microsoft dressed their lead developer up
in the MSM Butterfly suite.

(Unlike the OOPSLA experience - where people walked out, only the hackers felt the pain for this guy).


In fact the hackers were all on freenode#where2.0 IRC channel during
the conference. This reduced the boring speakers to a "Masterpeice
theater 3000" experience. Where the IRC channel provided venting,
comentary, links to the background of the speaker (and what they were
not telling us), and virtual control of the conference.

Nat was on the channel as well and we asked him to intervene, move bits of furnature around so we could see the stage or pass on a few questions. I am sure orielly is sifting through that log, and will consult it for months to come. It was a priceless slice of community building.


All this and I did not talk about the speakers. They were good, they
were bad, they were on target, they talked down to us, they encouraged us.

The speakers were a greating talking point at what was a high
stakes show down where hopes, dreams and finance are chasing a rather
small number of developers.