Forget the Credit Crunch; it's the Geo Crunch in London
It was a particularly cruel piece of coincidental timing; quite a few of the usual suspects of the London geo scene congregated in Harrogate earlier this week for the one day Where 2.0 Now? conference. I was there representing Yahoo! Geo Technologies as well as Chris Osborne from Ito World, Ed Parsons from Google, John Fagan from MultiMap/Bing Maps, Harry Wood from Cloudmade, John McKerrell from mapme.at, Steven Feldman from knowwhere and a host of others.
At the same time, back in London, the Credit Crunch was biting hard with the news that Cloudmade were to close their London office. While not officially announced by Cloudmade, both Russ Nelson and Richard Fairhurst reported this on Twitter and several other sources have corroborated this.
As if this wasn't enough, news also filtered out that Microsoft acquired MultiMap was also shedding staff, with Chris Darby and Burak Gürsoy providing the unofficial news on Twitter and again, several others have corroborated this.
Bleak times for the geo scene in London; an observation that Steven Feldman, chair of this year's AGI GeoCommunity conference noted wryly, whilst in Harrogate.
It's an oft touted aphorism that a recession is the best time to found a startup; there's certainly a cadre of very talented, passionate engineers in and around London. Here's hoping that this is not the end of the story but the beginning of one or more geo startups that were founded in the depths of the Credit Crunch.