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February 27, 2006

O'Reilly Where 2.0 Conference: The Future of Mapping and Local Search

Sebastopol, CA--There's a new world of technology taking shape, moving the computing ecosystem to higher ground: geospatial. Pioneered by grassroots developers, startup projects, and innovative mash-ups, these new mapping and location-related tools and services are promising both disruptions and opportunities. To explore this technology frontier, O'Reilly Media is planning the second Where 2.0 Conference, happening June 13-14 at the Fairmont Hotel in San Jose, California. The preliminary program has just been unveiled; the rest of the program will be announced in waves in the coming weeks.

Once the domain of military and government departments and their suppliers, geospatial tools and apps have broken into the everyday consumer market. "Between open platforms like Google Maps and open source software like MapServer, any developer can now add location to their applications" observes Where 2.0 program chair Nathan Torkington. "Since Google Maps released their mapping API, thousands of developers have built public applications on top of it, Yahoo! and Microsoft released their own mapping platforms, each with distinguishing features (geocoding from Yahoo!, 45-degree aerial photography from Microsoft), and the race is on.

"Open source has a role to play in the opening up of geospatial," continues Torkington. "By providing a low barrier to entry and a minimum set of features, they draw in new developers as they raise the bar for commercial offerings. At Where 2.0, we'll look at some of the big names and new players in open source geospatial technology such as MapServer and GDAL, and show what they make possible. We'll be unveiling the latest APIs that bring GIS tools to the masses. You'll see startups, art projects, mash-ups, open source, and more on show at our special hands-on evening event, the Where Fair."

The format for Where 2.0 will be similar to last year's--a unique series of rapid-fire plenary presentations laced with ample time for the informal "hallway track" where attendees can engage in serious schmoozing. Presentations will be made by the likes of Mike Liebhold (Institute for the Future), Perry Evans (LocalMatters), Felix Peterson (Plazes), Stewart Butterfield (Yahoo! Inc.), Steve Lombardi (Microsoft), Di-Ann Eisnor (Platial), and Schuyler Erle (MetaCarta), among many others. The conference will also feature intriguing products from Where 2.0 sponsors, including Microsoft, Google, Yahoo!, MapQuest, and Telcontar.

Where 2.0 features:

  • New mash-ups built on the web platforms from Yahoo!, Google, and Microsoft
  • Security issues, from privacy to spam and national security
  • Case studies of businesses built around map mash-ups
  • How to build and nurture a community of people volunteering information that will make a business better
  • Web-based mapping is just the start--what other geospatial barriers need to come down?
  • Use of mash-up technology within businesses to map and analyze location information for fun and profit
  • Startups built on the new geospatial platforms, such as Platial
  • Grassroots location sensors: homebuilt, hobbyist, and hardware hacked
  • O'Reilly conferences are known for bringing together seemingly disparate communities to debate their differences and find common ground to move technology forward. Where 2.0 provides one of the only opportunities for the traditional mapping/geospatial community to meet up face to face with the new generation of developers and alpha geeks who are creating innovative location-aware applications with the potential for widespread adoption. Join the developers, innovators, and business people behind the new era of geospatial software and get your bearings for the future at Where 2.0.

    O'Reilly conferences include: ETech, the O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference; OSCON, the O'Reilly Open Source Convention; the O'Reilly European Open Source Convention (EuroOSCON); the MySQL Users Conference, co-presented with MySQL AB; ETel, the O'Reilly Emerging Telephony Conference; and Web 2.0 (co-hosted by Tim O'Reilly and John Battelle, and co-produced with CMP Media). 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.

    Additional Resources:

    Upcoming O'Reilly Conferences:

    About O'Reilly

    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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