Posts tagged as "bcs"

Crowdsourcing Cartography Critiquing

Even if you're not a cartographer, when you first see a map there's almost always a gut feel for whether you like a map or whether you don't. Critiquing a map is a deeply subjective thing. You may not know why you like a map but you can tell whether the map's cartography works or it doesn't work, for you at least.

The image at the top of this post is a great example of what I mean by this. It's a map of Berlin on the inside of an umbrella. Which is a great idea and this map is one I'm very fond of, both because of the time I spent in Berlin and because it was a present from one of my old HERE Maps team. But as a map, it's far from pleasing to me; I love what's being mapped, I just think it needs a better cartographer.

So much of what appears on today's digital maps is crowdsourced. Whether it's a totally crowdsourced map such as OpenStreetMaps' or a more focused effort such as HERE's Map Creator or Google's Map Maker, the so called wisdom of the crowd is an integral part of so many maps. But what would happen if you tried to crowdsource the critiquing of maps rather than the map itself?

Risking Location Predictions at Mashup*'s Digital Trends 2011

Making predictions is not an easy thing. There are very few opportunities to get predictions right and a myriad of ways to get them wrong. At least if you make predictions in private then you're able to keep the horrible realisation of just how wrong you were to yourself. But making predictions in public just increases the scope for public humiliation.

Bearing this in mind, it was with a not insignificant amount of trepidation that I set out to predict some location trends for 2011. The mashup* team had asked me to talk and be part of a panel on Digital Trends and there was really no way I could extricate myself from some public location prognostications. So along with Dan Howe, Steve Kennedy, Laurence John, Andrew Gerrard and James Poulter I threw caution to the wind and came up with how I see location panning out over the forthcoming 12 months.

Finding Inspiration And Teaching Myself Location History At The BCS Geospatial SG

With GeoBabel firmly put to rest, I was looking for inspiration when Andrew Larcombe asked me back to the British Computer Society's Geospatial Specialist Group to speak. After a week of drawing a blank, with Andrew sending gentle messages of encouragement via Twitter Direct Message (OI - GALE. TITLE. NOW!!) inspiration finally arrived from a variety of sources. Firstly there was Mashable's History of Location Technology infographic. Then there the brief history of location slides I'd used in a few of my previous talks. There was the rather fine 3D visualisation of geolocation history that Chris Osborne used at W3G and at GeoCom 2010. And then there were two questions that kept cropping up when speaking to people at conferences ... "this location stuff's only recent isn't it?" and "I can't keep up with this geo stuff, it's all moving too fast, where's it going?".

So I started to research this. I knew that location had a long history but I was taken aback to find out just how long that history was. I'd tended to think of the human race using longitude and latitude to work out their location sometime in the 1700's, about the same time as the race to make a working, reliable marine chronometer. It came as a bit of a shock to find out that longitude and latitude were first proposed in 300 BC and were first used to locate a position on the surface of the Earth in 200 BC. Focussing on use of location, on location sharing and on LBS/LBMS and putting GIS to one side I came up with A (Mostly) Complete & (Mostly) Accurate History Of Location (Abridged).