We have launched the Call For Participation for Where 2.0 2008, our conference for the geo-enabled internet. After the success of Where 2.0 2007 we decided to add a day of developer workshops. Proposals are due by November 26th — the Monday after Thanksgiving (if that matters to you). The conference is happening May 12-14, 2008 in Burlingame, California at the SF Marriott. Read on for more insight into what we are looking for:
GIS has been taken to heart by neogeographers, a new breed of developers with increasingly powerful tools built on the back of open standards and free APIs from the likes of Google and Microsoft, and application frameworks like Mapstraction and GeoDjango. Increasingly, the open source GIS stack is supporting the Web, adding a new arrow in the neogeographer’s quiver. Geonames, an open-data service, is built from this data web-accessible data. Google has started exposing geo data in a separate index that is growing daily.
At the O’Reilly Where 2.0 Conference, we expose the tools pushing the boundaries of the location frontier, track the emergence of new business models and services, and spend time examining new sources of data and the platforms for collecting them. New to Where 2.0 2008 will be a full day of in-depth tutorials on the best and the latest so that participants can return to their projects with new tools in hand.
Local Search and Advertising: Mappam and Lat49 are competing with Google to be the ad platform of choice for the over 100,000 mash-ups out there. Are companies ready to advertise on maps? Will consumers notice? Is this the business model that will support the huge cost of data acquisition?
Mobile: The carriers are finally allowing new business models that support location-based services. Will this lead to more mobile ads? What are the privacy and social implications? What are you doing with it? What should be done?
GeoIndex: There is geographic information scattered across the Web and has been since its inception. However, now parts of it are being collected together into a geoindex which can be searched via geographic terms. This is opening up a new groundswell in content, which currently is only being used to supplement the yellow pages and to make mash-ups. What else should this content be used for?
Permissions: Your location used to be private. Now it can be acquired via a subpoena. This same technology can also be used for social purposes. Who has the ability to know where you are? What services do you trust to meter this information? What dream service would get you to reveal your location 24-/7?
GeoTagged Life: It is now possible to geotag your life. This opens up new area of applications, but how many are just making sure your cat photos are properly located versus changing the way you live and share?
DIY Data Platforms: It has always been possible to capture geographic data on your own, but without the ability to combine it with others’ it was a novelty. There are now community-built platforms for aggregating this data together. Open Aerial Map takes imagery generated from hobbyists and aggregates it together; Open Street Map has been doing this with GPS traces for a while. Can a smaller company like Everyscape build a business on its users’ work?
Crowd Sourced Data: Tele Atlas and NAVTEQ map the streets in vans equipped with LIDAR, multi-angle, high-resolution cameras, and massive hard drives for storing the data. However, Tomtom GPS owners are going to start contributing to Tele Atlas’ data, potentially making it the most complete and accurate on the market. Nokia handset owners will be updating NAVTEQ’s data in the coming years. Google is sending out GPSs to people in India to generate maps. It’s still undetermined how and if this data will be used. Help us explore this area closely.
Realtime Data: Realtime data is coming to the Web and to mapping applications via an expanding network of sensors and cameras. We’re used to having traffic on our maps—what else will we want and have?
Open Source GeoStack: FOSS4G continues to grow and show the latest in the ever-expanding open source geostack. One excellent addition is a focus on geo-specific web application frameworks. What part of the geostack are you building on your own or getting from Google Code?
Disaster Relief/Environment/NGOs: The new web platforms that many use for finding a restaurant are also used for political purposes. Mapping the locations of prisons, dictator’s excesses, and genocide massacres have put pressures on the offending governments. Accurate maps have also saved lives. How are you changing the world for the better with a geo-application?
Sensorweb: Cheap sensors have become ubiquitous and increasingly web-based. Right now they are being used to track traffic, give out speeding tickets, detect the weather, and turn on the music in our homes. Where else are they going and how will they affect our lives?
Geotargeting: Accurately knowing where your users are is important, as is knowing what locations they care about. How do you do this? IP? Wifi? Search terms? GPS? AGPS? What are the limitations and how are you getting around them?
Space: Space has come to the private sector. Microsoft and Google have both produced products that let us look at the stars. Are these just educational tools/publicity gambits or is this a new business venture that they are both exploring? What else is being done in this area?
Virtual Worlds: Virtual worlds have become simulation playgrounds. Where are they going? Will Google Earth expand beyond their new flight simulator to go after Second Life? Will Metaplace become a platform for geodata?
Games: With the knowledge of location and realtime data comes games. This trend has been emerging for a while, but hasn’t taken off. Perhaps with the release of the PSP GPS and location on the handset it will. But where exactly will it go?
For the first time in 2008, Where 2.0 will have a full day of tutorials where participants can dig deep into a range of issues and leave the conference armed with new tools and skills. Tutorials are a half day (three hours) in length and will be held on Monday, May 12. Topics we’d like to explore include:
Geo Support in Web Application Frameworks: As people design their own mapping applications, there has been a need for built-in geo support. We’re looking for workshops that teach about Mapstraction, Modest Maps, Open Layers, GeoDjango, GeoRuby, MapCruncher, and other tools.
GeoStack: As locations apps are brought in-house, companies need their own geostack. What are the best tools?
Mapping APIs: The location space would not have gotten as far as it has today without all of the innovation in the mapping API space. How can you test the limits of these free resources?
GeoTargeting: Knowing users’ locations has never been more important. Identifying it accurately can be difficult and expensive. What are the best methods?
Privacy Implications: As you are collecting user data, keeping track of your users, or collecting geodata, are you aware of the relevant laws? What would you teach others?
GeoBrowsers: Google Earth and NASA WorldWind are both amazing geobrowsers. How can you get the most out of them?
Data Management: Geo applications work with massive amounts of data. What are the tools, tips, and tricks that can be used to manage it?
Protocols & Formats: GeoRSS, GML, KML, EXIF, Microformats, Geo OpenSearch. Which formats are on the way in and which ones are on the way out?
These are just some of the technologies and transformations we’ve noticed and represent just the starting point for the program. While we’d like you to tap into the theme as your inspiration in writing your proposal, feel free to wander. What are you working on that will change the world, or at least the world you’re in? What project is bringing you pleasure, or teasing your brain? Surprise and delight us; shake us out of our assumptions. We’re angling for shorter talks with longer breaks so you’ll have more time for one-on-one interactions.