Goodbye #W3G, hallo #GeoCom

So the W3G conference is over, finished, gone.

What an amazing day, it started with Henk Hoff and I leaving north London way before 7 to head up to Stratford geobabbling OpenStreetMap, navigation, maps, and stuff all the way there.

When we arrived AGI’s very own unconference was already warming up and the room was full of people and to my delight this was not the same old same old who frequent the geoconference circuit. Of course there were several old friends but there were also a load of new faces who, I presume, had been attracted to the event by Gary Gale’s humorous and relentless publicity and slow drip marketing.

W3G t-shirt by Gary Gale

Why W3G? The W’s of geo the Who, What and When.

This was a fantastic event with some great pre-prepared presentations (I am not referring to my own of which more in another post), some excellent impromptu ones and most importantly a massive amount of time for chatting and meeting new people concluding of course with some geobeers. Big respect must go to Gary Gale who in my not humble opinion is an awesomely good geogeezer (gizza a job gazzza) and big thanks to the AGI for funding this and providing logistical support, oh and respect also to Rollo Home who was Gary’s coconspirator and organiser.

I am too knackered to run through the wide ranging and thought provoking content but I can say that in true unconference style the award for the most outrageous title has to go to Richard Rombouts for “Tulips, porn, cheese and standards”

Tulips, porn, cheese & standards by Paul Clarke

The final panel session ended with a question from the audience “what do you think are the dead end technologies of geo?” The panelists paused for a second, well maybe half a second, before offering their carefully considered responses – Foursqare, SDI’s, OGC standards and geoconferences. I agree with at least two of those (your guesses on a postcard please)

The geobeers were winding down by 6.30 and after a quick change of t-shirt it is time for the GeoCommunity icebreaker, a ridiculously difficult geoquiz by the AGI CFO Alan Wilkes and of course dinner and time to catch up with more old friends and GeoCommunity regulars. Much talk of “austerity” “new strategies” and “opportunities”. Of course we ended up back in the bar and thanks to a very tall Dutchman my efforts at getting a reasonably early night were thwarted. All in that was about 20 hours of non stop geo!

I’d echo Mr Gale and call that a geotastic day.

Paul Clarke’s lovely photos of the day can be found here

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