The GeoCommunity fanclub


It seemed that a lot of the early comment on the GeoCommunity conference focussed on the delegates choice to vote Mark Bishop’s slightly toungue in cheek presentation “The hype of Web 2.0” as their favourite. Some commentators lamented the lack of awareness amongst the delegates, I think they just enjoyed the presentation and probably appreciated getting an overview of the evolution of Web 2.0 after all not every delegate is ultra cool and up to date.

It’s a shame that James Brayshaw’s paper on the Atlantis Initiative, which was voted the best paper by the conference team, got less attention. I thought it was an excellent paper on an important topic given the extent of the flooods that we experienced last year and the scary prognosis that we received from Charlie Pattinson of the Environment Agency in his keynote on the second morning. If you missed it you can come along to the AGI Awards Dinnner in November and hear it before the bar opens.
Here are some other views on the conference:
Geoff Zeiss of Autodesk

….made this conference one of the most interesting I have been to in the last year..

My overall thought was that the AGI got it right with this event. I went into it with some reservations, partly because I was talking about open source at a conference full of software vendors, and partly  because I am pretty new to the AGI and didn’t know what to expect.

From talking to people throughout the event, as well as the entertainment that they put on, I really did feel that they were trying to get a sense of community, breaking down barriers between vendors and users.

Every time I fly into the UK I come with a outsider view, neutral to the events happening within the country. And what I saw and heard this year, as compared to last year, is that the audience has shifted. It is attempting to merge the ‘neogeography’ folks with traditional GI folks. It is striving to understand how new approaches and old approaches can possibly work together. It is wanting to move beyond ‘neo’ and ‘Web 2.0? and is struggling to understand how to integrate highly complex geo-technologies with crowd sourcing, mass market contributor’s and how to interact with the rest of the geo-world.

It was interesting to hear comments about the need to inform people and help them to understand data – and is a responsibility of everyone in the GI community. It was interesting to hear people indicate that ‘professionalism matters’  and it was interesting to hear how people are combining user generated and traditionally generated geoinformation together.

And that was the point. I think the geocommunity reached the point this year where it realises that reference to the paleo or the neogeography community is passe, that it hinders the forward momentuum that seeks to integrate the traditional GI with what previously called neogeography and move the whole issue forward one more step.

I think AGI made a big leap. A leap that others in the world have yet to discuss and think on – as much. Not perfect, nor finished. But a real good start.

Now that I think was the point of the event. 

Thanks for coming along, participating and spreading the word