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June 16, 2006

video social software, podcasting, blah blah blah - now mapping on the other hand...

Regular readers will know my predilection for predictions, so let me indulge in one.

Right now, everyone who is anyone is all over podcasting, social software, and above all video as the new new stuff to be interested in, punditize about, start a company in, or if you have lots of money, buy companies doing (estimates on youtube's sale price? $0 as it follows Napster to the wall for facilitating unauthorized copying? Or $2 billion).

But none of this stuff particularly floats my boat. I think, as I said some while back societies are emergent phenomena, and the history of artificial social networks (Orkut, Friendster et. al.) suggests that after initially wildfire adoption they don't sustain themselves. We'll see if that's the case with MySpace and similar Social Software 2.0 sites.

Podcasting seems to be settling down into a quiet midlife as a valuable extension to traditional broadcast radio.

Video is, well, just video. Reasonably expensive to produce, particularly with any real quality, reasonably expensive to distribute (again, given reasonable quality). It's just not really something particularly new.

But for some reason mapping has really got my interest.
Whether Google and Yahoo! map based mashups, or just checking out the world with google earth, or I think (but have no idea how really) game changing open projects like open street maps, and location based wikis. All these things really excite me.

I'm even planning a cool little project along these lines at snow web (everyone welcome) where we'll grab GPS data as we snowboard, then create open trail maps, mashed up with Google Maps.

If you want to learn more about the truly amazing things people are doing along these lines, a fantastic Mapping related blog is Mike Pegg's Google Maps Mania.

This is genuinely interesting stuff - user created content on top of platforms provided by the likes of google and yahoo maps (and I wouldn't mind betting open projects similar to these before too long).

BTW, if you are in or around Sydney on June 29 then one of the people responsible for Google Maps, Lars Rasmussen is speaking at an event I am organizing. So get along, hear Lars speak about Ajax, web apps, and other cool stuff like that, and maybe even show off some of the stuff he is doing, and also hear the W3C's Dean Jackson talk about what the W3C is doing to standardize Web APIs, as well as meet with a couple of hundred people like you from in and around Sydney. Hey, it's even free, with free food and everything.

Hope to see you there. The more people who come to things like this, the more we'll organize!

June 16, 2006 | Permalink


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I agree, the new mapping is exciting. We are blue-skying a new concept that, for lack of a better term, i'm calling it digital zoom. I'm thinking that there is a very practical way to zoom into history. Take a look at it in it's infancy ... let me know what you think. It seems to me that the database for this could grow just like Wikipedia ... and the user interface ... well some smart fellow will figure that out.

Posted by: Seth Russell | Jun 20, 2006 8:16:57 AM

How about mapping combined with videos? look at http://www.gootube.net , by embedding videos inside google map, the author created a new service for the Real Estate Industry

Posted by: sha | Aug 18, 2006 3:30:05 PM