Tyler Bell

Tyler Bell is a geotechnologist with broad interests in open source and place-based information systems. He is currently Director of Product at Factual, a Series A start-up that imposes order on the Internet where none otherwise exists. He previously managed Platform Technologies at LikeList, and led the Geo Technologies product team at Yahoo, where he launched the Placemaker and GeoPlanet geo-enrichment platform. A former archaeologist specializing in landscape analysis and the semantic integration of heterogeneous data, Tyler gained his doctorate at the University of Oxford before founding a technology spin-out company from the University in 2001.

Snap to the graph, not the grid

Snap to the graph, not the grid

Location coordinate data lacks important context.

Coordinate pairs are regular and orderly, but they are entirely ambiguous when used to represent more conceptual places like states, cities, stores and neighborhoods.

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Big Data: An opportunity in search of a metaphor

Big Data: An opportunity in search of a metaphor

Big data as a discipline or a conference topic is still in its formative years.

Big data is a massive opportunity, but the language used to describe it ("goldrush," "data deluge," "firehose," etc.) reveals we're still searching for its identity.

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Where the semantic web stumbled, linked data will succeed

Where the semantic web stumbled, linked data will succeed

Linked data allows for deep and serendipitous consumer experiences.

Linked data can be realized without the purity of semantic annotation, but a focus on consumers gives it a better shot at adoption. It begs the question: Why invest in difficult technologies if consumer outcomes can be realized with current tools and knowledge?

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Toward a local syzygy: aligning deals, check-ins and places

Toward a local syzygy: aligning deals, check-ins and places

Check-ins are only the beginning. Here's what lies ahead for local.

The check-in is hardly the apogee of the local consumer experience. It works, for now, but it won't be the long-term solution for customer/business relationships and physical point of presence. So what will replace it? Here's a look at the local sector's near-term future.

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Why check-ins and like buttons will change the local landscape

Map pins and Yellow Pages aren't as fascinating as valuable connections.

It's time to put the bother of business listings management behind us so we can get on with what's really exciting about local: connecting consumers with businesses they love, and providing genuine value to both.

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APIs launched at Where 2.0: a pocket guide

Where 2.0 has become a launch-pad for new geo products. As a sign of the times, these announcements focus on APIs rather than the usual feature-increments or partnership propaganda (we geo folk always prefer the Walk over the Talk). Here's a handy reference list in no particular order: Placecast Match API The free service "simplifies the process of de-duplicating and…

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Check out C3 cities: your eyes will thank you

Check out C3 cities: your eyes will thank you

The practicality of 3D content is often overstated; I’ve not yet found an example in the geo world where 3D genuinely compliments, rather than hinders, usability. The high-resolution city models produced by C3 attracted significant attention at this year’s Where 2.0, and may in time prove to be the exception to the rule.

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Where's the map?

Guest blogger Tyler Bell is a geotechnologist with broad interests in open source and place-based information systems He is currently managing Platform technologies at AlikeList, a Sunnyvale-based Social/Local start-up, where he designs disambiguation systems, geo technology platforms, and syndication APIs. Until recently Tyler led the Geo Technologies product team at Yahoo!, conceiving and launching the Placemaker and GeoPlanet geo-enrichment platforms….

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