Jon Udell, lead analyst at Infoworld, spoke on Annotating the Planet. He tells stories as he speaks so it was hard to capture all the nuances of his talk because I found myself listening more than typing notes!
Synopsis: With services such as Google Maps, the physical world becomes a canvas. He gives varied examples of Gmaps applications and muses about the location-aware future and how memory is tied intimately to place. He contrasts Amazon's A9 use of professional photographers to provide images of city and town block views with where the future is going: the do-it-yourself creation, annotating, tagging collective. "We're turning the world into a wiki -- if it's wrong, go log in and correct it yourself."
Jon Udell, Annotating the Planet
Intro: Lead analyst at InfoWorld. Wrote Internet groupware book for O'Reilly in 1999. ("Groupware" is basically forerunner to social software now.) Even was at Lotus back when.
Jon starts by telling us a story by referring to a Google Map of Keene, NH (his hometown). He tells us that at Greenlawn Cemetary, there is a nest that a squirrel made out of flags. He's told friends about this this nest before but never been able to adequately describe it to people or where it is at. When you've lived in a place all your life, a lamp post has all sorts of memories - for you - but necessary for a newcomer. [I envision that locals' annotations can help make newcomers or visitors feel welcome and part of the history and memories.]
The physical world becomes a canvas.
He refers to chicagocrime.org [also referenced by Scott Rafer in his talk.] [Bonus link: Jon describes why Google Maps along with other Web technologies are powerful in terms of leverage.]
Some runners took the Google Maps API and built this Gmaps Pedometer (at sueandpaul.com/gmapPedometer). It measures the distance of a route and saves the route. Jon started using it to track his bike routes. And he tags his rides at del.icio.us/judell/bicycleroute. [All del.icio.us users bicycleroutes here.]
He maps his bike rides and notes how memory is tied to place - at mile 23 he was listening to podcast and thinking of Jim Gray's research. Now the two are intimately linked. [I think Jon was also implying it reinforces the learning and absorption. When he passes that mile 23 again, he recalls.]
In rural New Hampshire there aren't many surveillance cameras. When he was lightly grazed by car, would it be possible to find the driver [someday with use of cameras tied to maps]?
Reference to www.cellreception.com/towers
How will we follow trillions of objects RFID tagged? Location is often an attribute of digital identity: for instance, dodgeball, plazes. Even when we're not tagging or advertising our location, someone else at this conference may make mention of it, or consider that our credit card audit trial leaves traces of where we are.
We like transparency when applied to other people. But not when applied to us. The Transparent Society, by David Brin. Anyone can stand on street corner and watch. So we reason we should be able to access this government surveillance camera feed on TV.
Daniel Greer says access control lists don't scale. Because humans [can't deal with them?] and they are always in flux.
I just read this book Red-Tails in Love. Hawks were on a high ledge of a building on Fifth Avenue. It's really about the bird watchers in Central Park. They keep a [bird register - it's like a wiki [offline] - with maps and annotations. Asks what if the bird register was missing. In general, in this case, a collaborative effort like this doesn't require technology.
Amazon's mapping service (maps.a9.com) has photos of blockview images (done by [pro] photographers). But we're turning the world into a wiki -- if it's wrong, go log in and correct it yourself.
Ward Cunningham found that Coastal Data Information Program feeds information on buoys into Internet.
Can help us engage more deeply with the natural world. DavidRumsey.com has made his antique 18th and 19th map collection available online. David Ramsey ended his talk at Where 2.0: In the future, there will be no unknown spaces. The new geography is we'll know more about those places and our connections there.
I expect to upload my consciousness in the future, but in the meantime I want to know more about this world and connect more intimately to it.