GIS Tech News (#39)

18 Jun, 2007

Can We Work Together in Twitter Town?

Hybrid socio-geospatial network offers glimpses into potential new working paradigms.

At the Where 2.0 Conference in San Jose, California, in late May, sessions were fast and furious. Inside the darkened ballroom of The Fairmont Hotel, Bradley Forest, conference program chair and taskmaster, graciously herded the presenters on and off the stage within a strictly enforced 15-minute time limit. All were in attendance to discuss developing technologies and creating value in the location industry, and the lineup included Electronic Frontier Foundation’s staff attorney Kevin Bankston, who was there to explain the rights and the obligations of business owners tangled in government surveillance programs; Google Earth and Google Maps director John Hanke, who came to discuss what he called “the Web geo ecosystem”; and MapQuest’s senior vice-president James Greiner, who shared “an ethnography study” of MapQuest users. Everyone had to keep their comments equally brief.

Perhaps the speedy entrances and exits were a reflection of the youthful dynamism of Twittervision, a recurring topic at the show. David Troy, from San Francisco-based Twitter, who admits he’s “pathologically compelled to mix disparate technologies,” crossbred the globe-navigation functions in the Google Maps API and his own social networking platform, Twitter, which allows users to announce, via mobile phone, instant messaging or the Web, what they're doing moment-by-moment. The result is Twittervision, a digital map, available in 2D and 3D, where member-volunteered tidbits pop up and fade away in an endless succession in real time. In the self-centered Twittervision universe -- the map automatically rotates to a user’s location when he or she submits a remark -- the disclosures are often personal but not always useful. Seconds apart from one another, Daniel8802 gleefully reports, “I’m getting a Wii tonight”; Alcides laments, “Bad day”; and Katem notes she’s just heard “a false fire alarm.”

It’s tempting to dismiss the whole Twitter phenomenon with a snicker. The slew of terms spawned by the user community -- twitterer, twittering, twitterific, and so on -- practically begs to be condemned. But not so fast. As childish as it looks in its current incarnation, Twittervision’s open API deserves further consideration especially as a prospective business collaboration platform.  Read more>>

Converging on the Market: CAD, Geospatial, 3D, Visualization and BIM

By Sam Bacharach

Software experts are rapidly weaving together a diverse set of technologies, including spatial technologies, to solve a problem that costs the construction industry tens of billions of dollars each year in the United States alone. But market progress is slowed by the inability to easily share building and construction information, primarily due to entrenched legacy systems, business inertia, and, until recently, the lack of standards. Read more>>

Cadalyst's complete list of upcoming events is always available on our Web site. Cadalyst's sister publication, Geospatial Solutions, also offers a full calendar of GIS-related events.

Map Asia 2007
August 14-16, 2007
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
The 6th annual international conference and exhibition on geographical information technology and applications aims to provide a platform for the convergence, sharing and use of geospatial technologies. Founded in 2002, Map Asia is the largest annual Asian conference and exhibition in the field of GIS, GPS, aerial photography and remote sensing. Read more

Location Asia 2007
September 13-14, 2007  
Kowloon, Hong Kong
Location Asia 2007 is the annual international conference and exhibition in the field of positioning, navigation and timing technologies. Technology providers, application developers and users will converge to discuss and deliberate on the potential and usage of these technologies. Attendees will discuss the relevance of positioning and navigation technologies in defense, aviation, surveying, transportation and location-based services. Read more