The digital paper divide

Last night my brother asked me “what was that stuff mentioning you in the Guardian the other week?” I explained about the elusive internationally renowned expert and he agreed it couldn’t possibly be me. Sibling humour.

Then the conversation got interesting when he questioned why the Guardian had been banging on about this stuff for over 2 years? I tried to explain the issues and potential importance. Did anyone read this stuff he asked? Apparently he reads the Thursday tech section of the paper but just skips the Free Our Data pieces. Perhaps there is a big difference between the people who read the Guardian online and those who read the printed version?

A couple of weeks ago a survey of UK brand recognition placed Ordnance Survey in the top 20 UK brands. Just a thought but I bet most of the people who recognise the OS brand and relate positively to it associate the company with paper maps, boy scouts and rambling not GPS and online services. Maybe the strong views in the digital world aren’t reflected in the world of paper maps users and lovers.

If there is a digital vs paper divide, what does that mean for discussions about geodata access and use? There are other groups of map users out there that we need to reach whether in the cause of Freeing Our Data or GeoVating.

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