Collaborative Mapping at Emerging Technology 2004

by Schuyler Erle

Next week's Emerging Technology conference promises to be full
of fascinating talks and events. One event that I'm especially
looking forward to - and not just because I'm helping to organize
it - is the Collaborative Mapping Workshop, co-sponsored by the href="">Locative Media Lab.

The workshop sprang out of a series of discussions between various
members of the geowanking list about the best way to
present or explore the burgeoning field of collaborative cartography in
the context of the Emerging Technology conference. We were interested
in weaving together some tools that conference attendees could use to
build up a customized picture of downtown San Diego, as well as foster
discussion about best practices, cool hacks, and so on. A hands-on
workshop seemed like the most effective way to immerse ETCon attendees in
the wonderful world of collaborative geoannotation, as well as generate
new ideas and new directions for further pursuit.

I'm pleased to report that in the intervening months the workshop has
jelled together amazingly well! We'll be having two face-to-face sessions
at the conference, one on Monday evening to kick off the workshop,
and one on Wednesday evening, to review the tools and techniques used
to geoannotate the Gaslamp district during the week. You can find all the details on the conference events page.

Here's a quick preview of some of the projects that will be employed
to map out downtown San Diego next week, in no particular order:

  • Chris Goad will be demonstrating Pointmapper,
    a scriptable web mapping applet written in Flash. Chris is also the author
    of RDFmapper, Blogmapper, and Fabl, an RDF development language.

  • Jason Harlan, who collaborated previously with Chris
    Goad on Blogmapper, will
    be setting up and demonstrating a Moveable Type map plugin that
    exemplifies how some of these mapping tools can be dropped right
    into existing applications.

  • Anselm Hook, a co-founder of the href="">Headmap Project will be showing off Thingster, a web-based geoannotation service.

  • Tom Longson has something super-secret planned that he's
    refused to tell us about yet. We bet it's pretty cool, and, hey, it's
    a surprise!

  • Chris Heathcote has set up a WAP-based geoannotation service that be accessed from your phone. There's an HTML front-end, as well.

  • Karlis Kalnins will be demonstrating and discussing Where-Fi, an 802.11b-based positioning technology.

  • Dav Coleman will be
    providing and demonstrating a geocoding web service, which converts
    street addresses to location coordinates, as well as a service
    for geotagging mobile phone cam photos. Dav is a co-founder of the
    Headmap Project and developer of the Blogosphere web mapping applet.

  • Mikel Maron, who will be attending the workshop remotely, has contributed a San Diego version of his Flash-based worldKit toolset, an interactive web-based mapping system.

  • Joshua Schachter will be presenting his GeoURL geographic search engine.

  • Jo Walsh has set up a
    RDF-driven geodata aggregator, specially built for the workshop, which we hope will tie a lot of these projects together and offer a common source for data exchange. The
    aggregator uses a REST interface to allow submission and querying of
    "locative packets", or small location annotations expressed in RDF. Jo
    spoke at last year's ETCon on "Gonzo Collaborative Mapping on the
    Semantic Web".

  • As a last-minute addition to our unruly mob, Dr. William
    has agreed to come out from the University of California at
    San Diego, to introduce and demonstrate the Wi-Fi-based location service
    being successfully used on campus there!

The workshop's homepage is at href=""> Please
check out the site -- there's resources there to get started building
our custom map of San Diego, plus lots of related information. We hope
you'll use the workshop projects to both find interesting things to see and do
in San Diego, as well as leave notes for your fellow attendees about what's hot and what's not in the Gaslamp and beyond.

As you can see, we've really got a lot on, and a lot of brilliant
people involved, and I really think the workshop is going to flat out
rock. We really hope you'll join us for presentations and discussions
about the digital maps of the future. We also hope you'll join us in
mapping out downtown San Diego. Feel free to drop by our table, which will be located on the second level in the California foyer, any time during the week. Hope to see you in San Diego!