Sebastopol, CA--Location-aware technologies combined with mapping and other data are poised to create a whole new class of web apps and services. Hackers and researchers are mashing up Google maps with everything from Craigslist to Chicago crime stats. Automakers are incorporating restaurant addresses into their car's navigational screens so drivers can spontaneously find sushi. Maps are becoming an interface, helping us to visualize and access other forms of data. Call centers, insurance agencies, transportation companies, and retailers are finding unconventional internal uses for location technologies too.
But where is location-based technology leading us in the larger sense? And while it's fertile ground for hackers and researchers now, where's the business model beef? Where 2.0, a new O'Reilly conference taking place June 29-30 in San Francisco, brings together the people, projects, and issues at the center of this technological frontier to debate and discuss what's viable now, and what's lurking just below the radar.
"Where 2.0 will make it obvious that web developers are the new market for geospatial tech," observes conference co-chair Nathan Torkington. "Map systems, satellite imagery, and yellow page information are all being made available to web hackers, with major corporate players in a race to offer the best platform to these developers. The GIS industry is watching very closely to see how this plays out."
Microsoft MapPoint general manager Stephen Lawler has joined the Where 2.0 speaker roster and will discuss Microsoft's mapping and location strategies, and tools for businesses, developers, and consumers. "The Where 2.0 conference is an excellent forum for the mapping community to discuss the future of mapping for businesses and consumers. Our goal is to continue to break down the barriers associated with location technology and offer a wide array of products and services that help people and businesses be more effective."
Other notable speakers and topics include:
Microsoft, Google, and Yahoo! have joined Telcontar as conference sponsors, another indication of increased activity and interest in the location and mapping space. The conference's exhibit hall will showcase state-of-the-art systems, tools, and services pouring into the location arena.
Where 2.0 also features the Where Fair, a science fair-style event that gives participants a first-hand look at a few of the intriguing location-aware technologies before they go mainstream. Fair-goers can discuss the ideas behind the demos with the creators, and learn how these unconventional new technologies can be adapted into existing business strategies. Where Fair projects are being drawn from research labs, academia, and yet-to-be-discovered entrepreneurs.
Conference co-chair Nathan Torkington of O'Reilly Media, Inc. and co-chair David Sonnen of iSpatial are building a conference program that allows participants to quickly grasp both the current state of affairs and the far-reaching effects and implications around these transformational location-based technologies and services. Where 2.0 is a ripe opportunity to meet the people behind the innovations and see projects that have the potential to fundamentally transform how location information is viewed, interpreted, and delivered.
The O'Reilly conference line-up also includes ETech, the O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference; the O'Reilly Open Source Convention; Web 2.0, co-hosted by Tim O'Reilly and John Battelle, and co-produced with MediaLive International; the O'Reilly European Open Source Convention; and the MySQL Users Conference, co-presented with MySQL AB. O'Reilly conferences bring together forward-thinking business and technology leaders, shaping ideas and influencing industries around the globe. For over 25 years, O'Reilly has facilitated the adoption of new and important technologies by the enterprise, putting emerging technologies on the map.
O'Reilly Media spreads the knowledge of innovators through its books, online services, magazines, and conferences. Since 1978, O'Reilly Media has been a chronicler and catalyst of cutting-edge development, homing in on the technology trends that really matter and spurring their adoption by amplifying "faint signals" from the alpha geeks who are creating the future. An active participant in the technology community, the company has a long history of advocacy, meme-making, and evangelism.
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