Ok, so this is kinda obscure AND it’s like the fourth time we’ve linked to XKCD…. but it’s entirely appropriate! Not to mention darn funny!
For anyone like me who is trying to keep up with what’s going on in the virtual world arena, you know what a pain it is to go to Second Life, Kaneva, HelloKittyOnline, etc., register, create a profile and avatar, enter the virtual world, try to get the feel for navigation, interact with other people, explore different locales…..well, frankly it’s exhausting and I just don’t have enough hours in the day and I can’t keep all of my avatars straight. Well, IBM and Linden Labs, along with about 30 other companies have been working on creating universal, or open, avatars that could move around in different virtual worlds without any trouble. Although the announcement of the collaboration was back in October 2007, I haven’t really heard much since then. Still, messing around with some different things got me thinking about the interoperability thing, especially when you start talking about the increasing interest in virtual environments.
Just as Web 2.0 is all about connectivity, networking, and interoperability, I guess it’s a logical next step to find ways to extend that to a 3D internet, where your open avatar is the same as the OpenID currently being experimented with. I mean who wouldn’t want to log in to Second Life, attend a stimulating virtual lecture, head over to World of Warcraft or your favorite MMO, kill a few orcs or demons, then hit one of MTV’s virtual worlds for some fun and relaxation, all with the same avatar!
THATcamp appears to be less of an unconference than I thought. Apologies if we got anyone excited to attend as our announcement was too late. If you wanted to attend you had to submit a session idea by the middle of March and there is only limited space at the facility. Keep this in mind if you want to attend the next THATcamp. It does explain why it was so hard to find registration information on the site. Of course there will probably be info coming out of the conference via the web and twitter. If you are going, keep us in mind and let us know about any geospatial/humanities goodness that comes out of the sessions. I guess I will use the weekend to finally replace the placeholder we have up at humanitiesgis.com.
So the morning keynote and speakers are done now, and while there were a couple of announcements, like Google’s GeoSearch API going live, and demos of EveryBlock and FortiusOne’s Finder!, the surprise of the morning was Jack Dangermond joining Google’s John Hanke onstage to talk about GIS coming to the Geoweb. The upcoming release of ArcGIS 9.3 will include functionality that will allow users to integrate their GIS data and functions more effectively with geospatial web apps and vice versa. Jack showed a couple of demos from Portland, Oregon and LA area wildfires to demonstrate the integration of user generated content, GIS processing, and web mapping and virtual globe platforms like Google Maps and Google Earth. Nothing earth-shattering, but for those of us GIS old timers, it was kinda symbolic to see the old and new guard coming together.
I am waiting on an email before I can finish Episode 147 so it will not be up until Monday evening. In the episode we are talking to Ron Lake of Galdos Systems, Inc and Bob Samborski of GITA about the upcoming GeoWeb Conference.
If you have a geo-oriented blog or site that isn’t already on our links page please send me an email and I will add your site when I update the links later this month. It has been at least a year since I did a good update and there are a few that I know are missing, but I am (as always) curious to see what sites I haven’t seen yet. The general plan is to get the relevant content on the site updated before we roll out a new blog theme around our 3rd anniversary in July. If you have a favorite WordPress theme you would like to suggest, feel free to send it along since we are still working out which template we are going to start with before the customization begins.
Also, I will be updating our Desktop GIS list in August or September so if you know of any, please send them along. I will be ripping off Free Geography Tools by going through and using software highlighted there to bolster the list as well which is only fitting since he helped so much with the original list before he started the great blog.
This story has been covered in many places. On the Chronicle’s Wired Campus it says that a quick thinking journalism graduate student at Berkeley taking pictures of a protest in Egypt sent out a Twitter that simply said “arrested” . His twitter network were able to get in touch with the U.S. embassy and his university.
The Daily Mail UK always seems to have articles on really funny uses of geospatial mapping. Like this article about a woman who hasn’t taken care of her front lawn and it can be seen from satellite on Google Earth. It redefines being a modern day Gladys Kravitz or Taylor Doose Kidding aside, I wonder how many people are going to look up their own neighborhood after reading this?
If you are thinking about attending Where 2.0 this year (you know you’ve been thinking about it) but you haven’t had a chance to register yet, then you need to hustle. The conference starts in just over a week in the lovely Bay area, just south of the San Francisco airport. If you register don’t forget the great money saving coupon codes for education and government types, but if you don’t fall under one of those umbrellas then you can take advantage of our code ‘whr08vsp’ when you register for the conference. Sue and I will be roaming the halls with camera and microphones in hand, so be sure to say ‘hi’.
Of course, if you’re reading the blog, you’re probably already aware of RSS and its many benefits, but if not, RSS Awareness Day’s website can help you learn what RSS is and how it can help give you a richer Internet experience. So get on out there and spread the magical RSS message!