Where 2.0 – Day 3

The final day of Where 2.0 saw a bunch of great keynotes. Here are some of the highlights:
Walter Scott of DigitalGlobe gave us some staggering numbers. In their database, they have over 1 billion square kilometers of imagery, which is more than the surface of the earth a few times over. Some locations have hundreds of different images. Walter’s main point was that while road maps are great, far less than 1% of the earth is covered with roads — raw imagery provides the details.
Ted Morgan of Skyhook Wireless gave some equally impressive numbers. Of note:
• There are 200m wifi access points, 1.9m cell towers in the US.
• The skyhook system receives over 300 million location requests daily.
• They’re releasing “Local Faves” on April 15, which is a very easy way to add location-based actions into your application. This will be a free service for up to 100,000 Faves per month, with minimal cost beyond that.
Next up was Jeremy Stoppelman of Yelp. He provided a lot of background on how Yelp was formed, and gave us some fun numbers as well:
• In the past 30 days, they’ve had 31 million unique web visitors.
• They have 1.3 million active iPhone users
• They have roughly 10 million local reviews, with a million more being added every three months.
• They have a staff of 25 that help moderate content. They also use Amazon’s Mechanical Turk to help with that.
• When they unveiled “Monicle”, mobile traffic rose 40-50%.
• When they added “check-ins” to the iPhone app, “quick tips” increased 6x and photos increased 4x.
Dave Fetterman of Facebook covered a variety of topics, but didn’t have anything groundbreaking to say. He’s quite entertaining, though — if you can picture someone after they’ve had 7 Red Bulls, that’s Dave.
Next we heard from Jeffrey Johnson of the Open Solutions Group, John Crowley of STAR-TIDES and Schuyler Erle from SimpleGeo. They discussed how technology is changing with each major crisis that occurs. Of note is that after the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, it was roughly three weeks before they had aerial imagery available to assist in the relief effort. After the earthquake in Haiti is was only 26 hours! They also spoke at great length at how incredible OpenStreetMap was during the rescue efforts in Haiti.
The last speaker of the morning was Josh Williams of Gowalla. Since SXSW (The “South-by-Southwest” Conference) a few weeks ago, they’ve grown more than 50%. At that conference over 600 people checked-in at @ev‘s (Twitter CEO Evan Williams) keynote address. In addition, they’re now teaming up with various companies to give away more cool stuff.
After lunch, I had a chance to sit down with Mok Oh from EveryScape. They’re doing some cool stuff that is essentially “StreetView Indoors” and it’s quite slick. A good example to check out is the “Cheers” bar in Boston. You can also browse through their site to see other locations.
There is no tie to Google Earth yet, though he’s a fan of the KML format and it’s something they’re considering. Dropping these into Google Earth as a layer would be pretty slick. They’re also working on mobile versions of the site, but details were still fuzzy.

About Mickey Mellen

Mickey has been using Google Earth since it was released in 2005, and has created a variety of geo-related sites including Google Earth Hacks. He runs a web design firm in Marietta, GA, where he lives with his wife and two kids.


  1. Matthew says:

    Nice. Are you also going to write something about the new fetaure in Google Maps? Here you’ll find more details: http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2010/04/google-physicists-discover-extra.html
    Haven’t checked if it works in Google Earth yet.

  2. Paul van Dinther says:

    Aren’t you getting bored to death with all these social network applications? Where are the original ideas?

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