Where 2012 – Day Three

where.pngThe final day of Where 2012 was full of great info. Here’s a rundown:

News Through Data by Jer Thorp of the New York Times. He discussed a new service called openpaths.cc that allows you to share and dig into your personal location data.
The Microwork Revolution by Leila Janah. Leila discussed Samasource, an outsourcing solution for local business verification, product categorization, image tagging, data mining, transcription, etc. Their goal is to provide an avenue for workers in developing nations to earn a decent income, and to date they’ve paid out over $2M in wages to roughly 10,000 workers.

Ambient Location and the Future of the Interface by Amber Case. Amber is the founder of Geoloqi, a great platform that provides location-based notifications. Their main goal is “calm technology”; technology that gets out of your way and dissolves into the background, and they feel that your phone will become a remote control for reality.

Gaming Reality by Will Wright, the creator of SimCity. Will had a lot of big ideas, and sees the idea behind gaming beginning to change — instead of simulating reality, games are starting to parse reality.

Where also introduced the winners of the “startup showcase” from Tuesday, which are apps that were voted on by the conference attendees. All of them have the potential to become quite popular, and they were:

– Tied for Third Place: Placed (Location Analytics) and Goodzer (Local product search)
– Second Place: Discoverful (Mobile app to visually discover nearby stuff)
– First Place: Kullect (Organize and share your interests from real life)

Ultramapping: The New Geospatial Awareness by Adam Greenfield of Urbanscale. Adam made some good points, including this one: “For the first time in human history, our maps tell us where we are on them.”

Insights From Shared Space by Mary Ann de Lares Norris. Mary Ann is with Oblong Industries who make some cool Minority Report-style gestural interfaces.

How LBS (Location Based Services) Are Used to Build Egypt 2.0 by Adel Youssef. Adel showed us some of the tools used in Egypt and Libya as their countries have gone through major changes.

Ingredients of a Modern Mapping Service by Brian McClendon, Google’s VP of Geo. Brian gave us a brief history of Keyhole and Google Earth, then unveiled some impressive stats:

– In 2006, 37% of the world’s population was covered by sub-meter imagery. That number is now up to 75%.
– Each imagery update (roughly every two weeks) is as large as all of the imagery they had in 2006.
– Street View started with five cities in 2007 and how covers 35 countries and millions of miles of roads.
– Google Maps driving directions was available in 22 countries with 13 million miles of road in 2008, and now is in 187 countries with over 26 million miles of roads.
– He also encouraged everyone to view the new Project Glass video, which has some amazing geo-related possibilities in the future.

Google Crisis Response Overview by Pete Giencke. Pete works with the Google.org team and shared some of the lessons they’ve learned while responded to crises over the past year. In all they’ll responded to 30 crises, in 10 languages, working with global Google teams. Some of the tools they’ve built include the Crisis Map and their Person Finder.

All in all, it’s been a great week! You can also check out the pictures I took of the Street View trike and an Android-equipped Mercedes. For more from Where 2012, you can grab many of the presentations and videos on the WhereConf website.

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.

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