GeoCommunity '09 - Bridging the Gap between the GIS and Neogeo Worlds?
It's probably an oversimplification of a complex issue but geographic conferences or events can be somewhat polarised towards one of two extremes. On the one hand you have the solid, slightly reassuring and established GIS world whilst on the other we have the upstart, slightly shouty, web-centric neogeography community. These two worlds don't always co-exist particularly well and each can be equally distrustful of the other. Where 2.0 in the US tries valiantly to get these two worlds to talk to one another and to share a stage but it doesn't always work well; the GIS community brandish their desktop GIS system while the neogeo hackers point to their PHP based web mashups.
But this year in Stratford-upon-Avon something brave, intriguing and altogether worthwhile is happening; both communities are being represented at the AGI's GeoCommunity '09 conference, which takes place in a little over two and half weeks time. Yes, there's GIS practitioners and yes, there's neogeo developers but there's also speakers covering all points inbetween; just take a look at the PDF of programme for this year. Even the tag line for the conference, Realising the Value of Place, places emphasis on the meeting of the geo-worlds.
AGI GeoCommunity '09 - 'Realising the Value of Place'
September 23rd - 24th 2009, Holiday Inn, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK
True, the big names and the big players of the overall geo community are well represented; Yahoo!, Google, Microsoft, ESRI, Pitney Bowes MapInfo, Ordnance Survey and I'm fortunate enough to be representing Yahoo! Geo Technologies on the second day but take a closer look. John McKerrell of mapme.at is speaking, so's Andy Allan on OpenCycleMap, Tom Taylor is talking about neighbourhood boundaries and Terry Jones will be making us all location aware by using FluidDB, plus keynotes from Andrew Turner and from Peter Batty.
This is a staggering and diverse cross section of the entire geo-community and Steven Feldman, this year's conference chair and Chris Osborne, from London's #geomob, is behind the geoweb track of sessions, deserve recognition for being able to bring this all together; you can find out more at Steven's and Chris's respective blogs.
It's going to be a geo-tastic conference and I'm looking forward to seeing the usual geo-suspects as well as meeting new friends and colleagues; see you all there.