Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Twitter discussion on "neogeography" versus "GIS"

My post yesterday triggered some interesting discussion on Twitter (I guess the cool kids don't comment on blogs any more, that's so 2008!). Here's a quick cut and paste with most of the relevant stuff (the relevance fades towards the end but I figured I would leave some of those bits in!). I will post more thoughts shortly on what I think "neogeography" actually is. If you want to figure out who someone is on twitter, just go to twitter.com/username - for example I'm at twitter.com/pmbatty.

cageyjames: @pmbatty isn't all that stuff still very niche? I'm just not seeing the quick pickup you are I guess.
cageyjames: @pmbatty That said I'm coming off #esriuc and you #sotm so we skew on our last experiences. Reality is probably between us.
cageyjames: Of course Neo and GIS are just labels people put on others to limit their growth.
pmbatty: @cageyjames early days still but my point is more rapid growth of neo in areas like cartography, analysis, etc than many people think
pmbatty: @cageyjames I agree I'm not a big fan of labels like neo, paleo, GIS, it's all the same problem space
cageyjames: @pmbatty but can you call that neo? What Stamen is doing isn't neo in my book. You seem to say innovative is neo. That isn't true at all.
cageyjames: @pmbatty When I was taking carto classes back in college, was I neo because I used Freehand over pen and paper? Not in my book.
pmbatty: @cageyjames Stamen is using OSM, Mapnik, Virtual Earth, etc - would think that was "neo" though we agree the label is a bit pointless
geobabbler: @pmbatty Neo is GIS. Just like "desktop mapping" was.
pmbatty: @geobabbler I agree that Neo is GIS - I think that is what I was trying to say but you were more concise :)
geokaren: @pmbatty @geobabbler I think of neo as less rooted in technology and more the concept of moving it beyond traditional GIS
cageyjames: @pmbatty ESRI uses OSM, Virtual Earth and other "neo" packages. That doesn't make them neo. Tools make not neo.
geobabbler: Neogeography represents the intersection of GIS with the mainstream web. It's the web telling GIS "this is how you do it."
geobabbler: @pmbatty and I was trying to agree with you but not very well. :-)
pmbatty: @cageyjames Not clear on your definition of "neo"?
pmbatty: @geobabbler Good, I think we're agreeing we agree - 140 chars is a limitation sometimes :)
SeanGorman: @cageyjames @pmbatty 1) getting GIS stuff to work in a browser 2) making GIS stuff accessible to non-GIS people = current innovation
pbissett: @geobabbler @pmbatty I sometimes wonder if we shouldn't maintain an Geo-IRC channel for such discussions. Is there interest?
SeanGorman: Tough bit will be doing new things GIS or others have not thought of - handling/analyzing/visualizing big data and mobile data = my bet
geobabbler: @SeanGorman The "new things" will arise from the questions asked by new audiences as GIS continues to diffuse.
cageyjames: @pmbatty neo is a label, nothing more
SeanGorman: Serving tiles for viewing imagery/maps seems the biggest innovation that GIS was not doing at all followed by user generated geo-content
cageyjames: @SeanGorman it is all a moving target isn't it. What was once hacker is now helping me locate coffee shops near crime.
geobabbler: @cageyjames spot on.
geobabbler: @pbissett it has been bandied about before.
geobabbler: it's somewhat ironic that I am engaged in a "neogeography" discussion while waiting for @ajturner.
pbissett: @geobabbler If I remember correctly from "Innovators..", it was the search for new solutions to old problems that caused the disruption.
SeanGorman: @geobabbler tell him has to wear a wig every time he is referred to as the father of neogeography
SeanGorman: @geobabbler possibly some knickers and a waist coat as well
SeanGorman: @cageyjames yes - because I want to be perky when I get mugged. If life was stationary it would be quite dull.
pmbatty: @geobabbler @SeanGorman I was just going to say that @ajturner will explain all this to you, he is our father :)
cageyjames: @SeanGorman classic, now give me the GeoRSS feed!
SeanGorman: @pmbatty hahahaha I think that quote now makes him Darth Vader or possibly Darth Helmet
SeanGorman: Ok I'm going to quit heckling before @ajturner brings up the fact I can't write code and that I'm of dubious use in general
jharpster: @SeanGorman I bet if we brought out some VBA code you'd be all over it. Don't take @ajturner too seriously.
jharpster: Blog by @pmbatty on the influence of neogeography. "people in the traditional GIS space remain largely unaware" http://bit.ly/21QiKC
ajturner: consider this corollary for those asking what 'neogeography' is: is using an iPhone to update Facebook the same as 'Information Technology'?
cageyjames: @ajturner yup, my point exactly. We are all neo and all paleo. Thus labels fail us when applying at a high level.
fantomplanet: @cageyjames I once heard @ajturner used walk to school uphill both ways!
fantomplanet: @ajturner Answer to your corollary: It's an element and activity that is part of secondary orality (http://bit.ly/10SJeQ). Same with carto.
fantomplanet: @SeanGorman Yeah, but I can still code... A little. #fullspectrumgeographers
SeanGorman: @fantomplanet bragger - I programed my VCR last week to tape "the View" while I was at work.
cageyjames: @fantomplanet coding is for sissies, you get hair on your back by managing projects.
pmbatty: Finished beer and interesting conversation with @perryevans, solved world's neogeography problems, now time for dinner :)
fantomplanet: @pmbatty "Solved world's neogeography problems?" #neogeodeathakawherecamps?
pmbatty: @fantomplanet I just hope I can still remember all the solutions tomorrow :)
geomantic: @pmbatty @SeanGorman @geobabbler @cageyjames I'm late to the neo paleo geo GIS discussion, but see you found agreement 140 chars at a time?
pmbatty: Wish I was clever enough to understand @ajturner, the Yoda of neogeography :) (@SeanGorman: gift suggestion http://tinyurl.com/l6z62g)
fantomplanet: @pmbatty All @SeanGorman needs to buy @ajturner is a burlap sack and turn it in-side-out. #neogeoyoda
geomantic: @fantomplanet @pmbatty @SeanGorman ...or buy @ajturner a monk's habit. Oh, and get him an appt for a Friar Tuck haircut, too. #picturethis
fantomplanet: @geomantic I think @ajturner already has the haircut.
geobabbler: @ajturner it looks like @gezjames found your wig.
DruidSmith: With all this #neogeography kum-ba-ya, I'm surprised we haven't yet seen any choice words from @fakeajturner entering the fray...
fakeajturner: What? Have I been summoned? I was too busy showing the neogeo "who's your daddy"


Anonymous said...

Wall of text very hard to read!!

James Fee said...

Great example why we need to have these discussions on IRC and not on Twitter! ;)

by James said...

An effort to collate too! I wonder whether to the wider world the 'discussion' is that helpful.
GI and GI tools may be more commonplace but this continues to happen at a slower than desirable pace for the 'industry'. They will only become embedded (and eventually less visible!) when value is delivered as a result of their adoption, be it in simple visualisation but more likely in intelligent and intelligence systems.
Maybe the wider world isn't watching or listening or is too tired of it to care! Whatever, that's what we all need to focus on changing. Posted here http://locatum.blogspot.com/2009/07/neologism.html (can't seem to get tags to work?) on a similar theme. Or maybe the very fact that the discussion is going on says something about the maturity and confidence in the GI space?

Kirk said...

More echoes here than the Marabar caves.

Jeffrey Johnson said...


@seangorman et al ... 'neo' is about enabling people to do do geographic reasoning who don't know or care what a projection is .. Full stop.