Sebastopol, CA, June 4, 2009—Innovators launched a flood of new geospatial products at the O'Reilly Where 2.0 Conference May 19-21, 2009, in San Jose, making Where 2.0 the place to be for developers and business people working in geolocation. Major companies and start-ups chose Where 2.0 to showcase major offerings in the location realm, giving conference goers an inside look at where the fast-evolving technologies will go next.
At the fifth annual Where 2.0 Conference, the world's foremost event focused on exploring location-based services, more than 700 of the industry's most innovative and interesting trendsetters came together to thrash out the best ideas for geo-enhancing the web experience and staying ahead of the competition. From the practical to the inspirational, the conference answered key questions such as: Where is the next mapping frontier? What have the leading developers built that we can use? What are the opportunities and pitfalls of the new tools?
Among the more than 60 sessions at Where 2.0, keynoter Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Land tackled "Tricky Issues with Local Search," by delving into tough topics like individuals' rights to block their homes from appearing in Street View. Steven Lee and Lior Ron of Google talked about "The Evolving Geoweb," showing how geo-location tools like Google Latitude and map-creation programs like Google Map Maker are turning consumers of location information into local mapping experts. Rebecca Moore, also from Google discussed how indigenous peoples have begun to participate in the Geoweb. Mari Maeda of DARPA and Samuel Earp of Multisensor Sciences told about "Street Patrols in Iraq" that use a map-based application called TIGR (Tactical Ground Reporting System) to collect and share critical information on people, places, and events.
In addition to plenary sessions, Where 2.0 offered a whole day of in-depth workshops on the best and latest technologies. Special events included Ignite Where, Launch Pad, the Geo Meets Pop Trivia Contest, and the fifth annual Where Fair, a science fair-style event that brought forward the location aware tools, apps, and hardware being created in garages, university labs, and other unexpected places.
New product announcements made headlines throughout the conference. Google released the Google Maps Data API in Labs, a Google Data API for viewing, storing, and updating geodata on the web. Google also launched the Maps Ad Unit, which will let geo developers generate advertising revenue from their Google Maps API implementations. Nokia introduced the latest version of Ovi Maps, upon which people will be able to add personal location-based content. Nokia also announced the release of the Ovi Maps Player API, a simple way to embed the Ovi Maps experience into any compatible website. Yahoo! introduced Placemaker, a free web service that gives developers the means to geo-enrich their content. Yahoo! also announced the public release of GeoPlanet Data, a downloadable resource of the geo data that underpins both GeoPlanet and Placemaker. Waze launched a private alpha program that harnesses driver-generated data to build navigable road maps and provide real-time information to commuters. Waze also unveiled a new platform for creating and maintaining live maps in the US. Earthmine unveiled Wild Style City, a free virtual graffiti application that lets users annotate the urban environment with interactive geo-tagging tools.
Sponsors of Where 2.0 2009 included ESRI, Google, Inc., Nokia, Yahoo! Developer Network, Automotive Navigation Data, earthmine, First American Spatial Solutions, NAVTEQ, and Waze.
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