66 posts

That Crystal Ball Thing Again – 2024

We published the Christmas Chaos edition of the Geomob Podcast just after Christmas. It has become a tradition that the participants make some lighthearted predictions of what might happen in the coming year. Usually they prove to be completely wrong but it is fun to look back on them a year later. Ed Freyfogle and I have just started to use a new podcast recording platform that provided quite decent transcriptions so that has ensured […]

“Using” Open Source

At a recent tech conference hosted by a proprietary software company one of the presenters said “We’re serious about open source, and we use it to build our software“ I guess he thought that this was a virtuous statement of coolness and openness. The speaker then went on to talk about the ways that the company was giving back to the open source community. It prompted me to think about the absorption of open source […]

Crystal Ball Gazing 2023

So we did our Christmas thing again, Denise, Alex, Ed, Jeremy, Ken, Mark and I sat down for our review of the year with a glass or two of wine and a microphone. You can listen to the Geomob podcast Christmas Chaos edition here. This year there were justifiable claims that some of last year’s predictions were at least partly correct, or they had happened but slower than anticipated, but some were just plain wrong. […]

Another.Red.Year w3w

Today is the day that geo-geeks around the world have been waiting for, a little later than expected, What3Words have published their 2021 accounts. I have expressed some doubt about the usefulness of what3words and I may have also commented unfavourably on their business model even doubted that investors could ever get a decent return on their investment. Well I was wrong! Yes, I said that – I was mistaken in my assessment about what3words. […]

Looking Back

Leaving Death Valley by me This week the team at Astun got together for their Spring Event in Richmond, it was the first time that we had all been together since December 2019 so there was a lot of laughing, hugging and catching up to do with friends and colleagues, old and new. Mike Saunt asked me if I would talk about some of the changes in Astun since I have been working with them […]

Predictions 2022

Another year passes with a record low of blog posts. My excuse/explanation is that Ed Freyfogle and I have put a lot of time into the Geomob Podcast – over 50 conversations this year including OpenStreetMap, Earth Observation, the Locus Charter, cartography and map based art, marketing, open source, interviewing several book authors, drones, neogeography (remember that?), hobby projects, products and politics – phew that really is a lot isn’t it? In December 2020 we […]

The Locus Charter

Yesterday I sat in on the launch of the Locus Charter by the Benchmark Initiative. I was more than a little sceptical about yet another initiative in the location space, I have listened to national strategy launches, addressing initiatives, new community/organisational launches and open data policies and commitments. Most of these have over promised and under delivered or fizzled out – I think the Locus Charter may be the exact opposite. The Locus Charter is […]

Free is great but time is money

I’ve been thinking about this post for a while now and I finally wanted to write something about gaming freemium. What do I mean by “gaming freemium”? How much effort will you go to in order to avoid paying for something? Most free services place a limit on the usage that you can get for nothing, the clever ones give you enough to make the service really useful and make their money from a small […]

Podcasting as therapy in troubled times

At the end of last year Ed Freyfogle and I started talking about doing a Geomob podcast as a way of sharing Geomob with a bigger audience. Ed had done a couple of podcasts with another friend and had learnt the basics. It seemed like a fun idea, two friends who share a passion for geo chatting each week and interviewing past Geomob speakers. We recorded our first podcast at the end of January and […]

The UK Location Market Survey 2020

On Monday the Exec Summary of ConsultingWhere’s Location Market Study landed in my inbox as a reward for my tiny contribution to the study. ConsultingWhere have been producing these studies for 12 years (2008, 2012, 2017 and 2020) and they also have produced foresight reports for the AGI, so they know quite a lot about the UK market. Unlike most sector studies this one is produced by real experts in the domain who have the […]

Sales & Marketing 101 – a year on

It’s a year since Marc and I ran the first S&M101 workshop at FOSS4G Boston, since then I have run two more workshops at FOSS4G Europe in Guimaraes and FOSS4G 2018 in Dar es Salaam. In total 36 people have now attended the workshop which is amazing to me. The two most recent workshops were fitted into a 4.5 hour slot rather than a whole day and that forced me to focus on the elements […]

Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde consider a new Geospatial Commission

It’s November, it’s budget time, it’s that moment when geo-geeks and OpenData enthusiasts scour the hundreds of pages of budget pronouncements searching for phrases like “Ordnance Survey”, “Land Registry” and “Open Data”. It’s amazing how often we have got a mention in the budget or spending review publications over the past decade, you’d think that with all of the challenges that the country has faced since the crash of 2008 that the Chancellor would have […]