Sunday, September 6, 2009

Looking forward to the AGI GeoCommunity conference

I'm very much looking forward to the AGI GeoCommunity conference which is coming up in Stratford upon Avon in a couple of weeks. Apart from Stratford being the birthplace of Shakespeare and a great place to visit, it's also very close to Leamington Spa where I used to live when I worked at IBM UK many years ago, so it will be a chance for me to catch up with old friends. It will also be the first time I've presented at a major UK conference since moving to the US 16 years ago, so I'm looking forward to talking in my homeland!

More importantly, from a general rather than a personal perspective it looks as though it will be a really interesting and fun event. I think Steven Feldman has done a great job introducing some new ideas this year, including the addition of a strong neogeography/geoweb element which really hasn't been there in previous years (see Ed Parsons' thoughts on this year and last). There will be a really strong geoweb track organized by Chris Osborne, founder of #geomob. And Andrew Turner and myself are giving the opening keynote talks - I know that mine will include a strong "neo" element, and since Andrew's is titled "How neogeography killed GIS", I'm guessing that his just might too :). I think that some of the most interesting conferences I've been to recently have been those that combine both traditional GIS and "neogeo" elements - like GeoWeb in Vancouver and, on a smaller scale, the WhereCamp5280 event we held recently in Denver. So I'm hoping that we'll get a lot of interesting discussion about how to combine the old and new geo worlds. Chris is also offering discounted day passes on his blog, in case you need any further incentive to attend!

There is going to be a "soapbox" event with lightning "Ignite" style talks on contentious topics, with a beer-fueled crowd, which sounds like a lot of fun. To get in the spirit of things I have submitted a talk called "The grass is always greener ... in defence of the Ordnance Survey" (for those not familiar with the UK national mapping agency, they tend to be a favorite punchbag for everyone in the UK geo industry ...)

Ordnance Survey

So I'm slightly concerned that my talk may look like the famous "Rawhide" scene from the Blues Brothers - I hope they have the wire fence in place to protect the speakers :) !!

The conference party has a "black and white" theme and I think I have a prize-winning outfit lined up for that (actually I'm not sure if there are prizes or not, but I may try to wangle a bottle of Lagavulin out of Mr Feldman).

Ordnance Survey

So all in all I'm looking forward to what should be a really fun and interesting event ... I guess I'd better get working on wrapping those presentations up!


@Osbornec said...

I for one, am very much looking forward to hearing your keynote, Peter.

This should be the year the AGI grasps a bit of neo and moves on.

Isa Paula Kechichian said...

Brilliant as usual!!!

Steven said...

Lagavulin noted Peter

You know that you have to "share" prizes at GeoCommunity?

Extra prize if you can get 3 Shakespeare quotes into your presentation


Peter Batty said...

Curse you Steven, I have wasted far too much time researching Shakespeare quotes this morning :O !! I may have enough material for a second georant on what Shakespeare can teach us about geospatial technology!

Sharing prizes sounds eminently reasonable :).

Steven said...

Gadzooks goodfellow

Tis a far far better thing you do now than .....

To geo or not to geo that is the question

A rose by any other name would be a doughnut

Geo, geo wherefore art thou

Shall i stop now?

Steven said...

Just needed to add that Blues Brothers ranks as my all time funniest movie and is the only old movie I have ever bothered to buy on DVD

Somehow my kids did not fully get it.

Peter Batty said...

How about this description of the 16th century geospatial design and construction process, from King Henry IV, Part 2.

Lord Bardolph:

"... When we mean to build,
We first survey the plot, then draw the model;
And when we see the figure of the house,
Then we must rate the cost of the erection;
Which if we find outweighs ability,
What do we then but draw anew the model
In fewer offices, or at least desist
To build at all? Much more, in this great work,
Which is almost to pluck a kingdom down
And set another up, should we survey
The plot of situation and the model,
Consent upon a sure foundation,
Question surveyors, know our own estate,
How able such a work to undergo,
To weigh against his opposite; or else
We fortify in paper and in figures,
Using the names of men instead of men;
Like one that draws the model of a house
Beyond his power to build it; who, half through,
Gives o'er and leaves his part-created cost
A naked subject to the weeping clouds
And waste for churlish winter's tyranny."

Steven said...

Desist now!

There is work afoot

Jeremy Morley said...

So what's your back up "Rawhide" if things do get rowdy?...

Steven said...

I could say "Get em up, move em out" but that would be so corny.

How about a bardish version

"Arise bovine flock and journeyeth onwards"