Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Fantastic upcoming panel at GITA!!

I will be chairing a panel at the GITA conference in Phoenix next week, on Tuesday at 10:30am, and I am excited to have a diverse group of great participants. We will be talking about a broad range of issues relating to data creation and data sharing, and the state of the industry in general.

In alphabetical order the panelists will be :
  • Steve Coast, founder of OpenStreetMap and Cloudmade
  • James Fee, best known for his widely read blog, and an evangelist at WeoGeo
  • Ron Lake, the original author of GML, and Chairman and CEO of Galdos
  • Andrew Turner, CTO at FortiusOne, who generally tries but fails to avoid conference promoters calling him “the father of neogeography”
None of them are known for being shy and retiring, so I may have my work cut out to keep order! We have an hour and 45 minutes, so plenty of chance to get into some interesting and substantive discussion.

I’m planning for the discussion to be very flexible and interactive, and I’ll take questions from the audience, but I do have a few topics and questions lined up. The following are some candidates:
  • Can crowdsourcing give you good enough quality? What are its limitations?
  • What does crowdsourcing do to the notion of “authoritative” data?
  • Many OGC standards are based on a technical approach that is 10 years old and predates newer web standards and approaches. Do they have a future or do we need to start again, or significantly rework them?
  • What are the limitations of the more lightweight data sharing standards like KML and GeoRSS?
  • What are the factors that determine whether a standard becomes widely adopted or not?
  • Will Google become the default way we find spatial data (or has it already)? Would this be a good thing or a bad thing?
  • Do you think that the traditional GIS vendors will still be around in 5-10 years?
In the true spirit of crowdsourcing I would also like to solicit questions from my blog readers – so if you have something you’d like me to ask this distinguished group, please add a comment below or email me.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Thomas the Tank Engine and precision indoor location tracking / RTLS

Apologies for not posting for a while, my new job at Ubisense has been keeping me busy! I spent the last few days at the RFID Journal Live show in Orlando, where we did a fun demo on the Ubisense booth using Thomas the Tank Engine and his sidekick Molly to show how we can do indoor location tracking to six inch (15cm) accuracy in 3D, using just two sensors (most other ultra wideband systems require four sensors to get a 3D location - we can do this because we use Angle of Arrival, AOA, in addition to Time Difference of Arrival, TDOA ... post coming soon to explain more about that).

But in the mean time I thought you might enjoy this rough video from my iPhone showing Thomas and Molly in action (higher quality video to come at some point!).