Emerging Tech SIG: The Geospatial Web



  • The Monthly Meeting of the Emerging Technology SIG


    Presentation Overview

    The Geospatial Web

    Beyond a growing commercial interest in mobile GIS and location services, there's a geek fascination with web mapping technologies and location hacking. After several years of early experiments by a first generation of geohackers, locative media artists, and psychogeographers, a second, larger wave of hackers are demonstrating some amazing tricks with Google Maps, Flickr, and del.icio.us. Meanwhile, a growing international cadre of open source digital geographers and frontier semantic hackers have been building first-generation working versions of powerful new open source web mapping service tools based on open standards.

    Out of this teeming ecosystem, we can see the beginning shapes of a true geospatial web, inhabited by spatially tagged hypermedia as well as digital map geodata. Google Maps is just one more layer among all the invisible cartographic attributes and user annotations on every centimeter of a place and attached to every physical thing, visible and useful, in context, on low-cost, easy-to-use mobile devices.

    The first-generation internet and Web generated a huge amount of creative and economic energy, and so will a geospatial web. However, while it is interesting to entertain ideas of early financial returns from geospatial web services, we all need to take a deep breath and perform a sober and unhyped assessment. In my talk, I'll review where we are, and what we still need to do to enjoy the social, creative and economic benefits of a geospatial web.



    Mike Liebhold

    Mike Liebhold is a Senior Researcher for the IFTF focusing on pro-active, context-aware and ubiquitous computing, as well as social implications and technical evolution of a geospatial web. Most recently, Mike was a producer and program leader for the Technology Horizons "New Geography" Conference at the Presidio of San Francisco. At the two day workshop was aimed at helping technologists and strategic planners from top tier companies and the public to better understand the emerging geospatial information infrastructure. The event included The Fort Scott Locative Experience, a hands-on field exercise for conference attendees exploring a prototype geospatial web combining digital geodata and modern web hypermedia. Previously, Mike was a Visiting Researcher, Intel Labs, working on a pattern language based on semantic web frameworks for ubiquitious computing., and co-author of 'Proactive Computing through Patterns of Activity and Place', [publication pending].

    In the 1980s and early 1990's at Apple, Advanced Technology Labs, Mike lead the Terraform project--an investigation of cartographic and location-based hypermedia and the launch of strategic partnerships with the National Geographic, Lucasfilm, Disney, MIT, AT&T Bell Labs, and others, and then as Chief Technology Officer for Times Mirror Publishing helped launch over 20 professional and consumer web content services, lead very early large scale Intranet designs, and then worked for two years as a senior consulting architect at Netscape.

    During the late 1990s Mike worked on startups building large scale international public IT services and IP networks for rural and remote regions in China, India, Europe, and Latin America. Most recently Mike has been helping to design and stage collaborative mapping workshops with the Locative Media Lab, a loosely affiliated network of geospatial hackers and artists. Mike publishes his occasional thoughts about microlocal and geospatial computing on his web log at http://www.starhill.us.


    Event Logistics


    Cubberley Community Center
    4000 Middlefield Road, Room H-1
    Palo Alto, CA



    7:00 - 7:20 p.m. Registration / Networking / Refreshments / Pizza
    7:20 - 9:00 p.m. Presentation


    $15 at the door for non-SDForum members
    No charge for SDForum members
    No registration required

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