Thursday, July 14, 2011

XO at the Mapmakers' Summit

One of the perks of being an ESRI intern is that I get to visit the ESRI UC, the world's largest digital mapping conference. I brought my XO-1.5 and showed off some mapping activities. It was quite the oddity and there were tons of questions. If anyone wants to add ESRI WMS / Community Maps to the activity you're just about guaranteed a spot in their research journal.

I co-presented a light topic (Tweets and photos and video mash-ups!) and we got some positive feedback from Twitter. I also met folks from the Army Corps of Engineers and World Wildlife Foundation who'd enjoyed our demo.

There was an international development session with talks by and USAID. There was a lot of information shared by Ushahidi, too, but surprisingly few questions for their presenter. This community is moving to accept crowdsourcing but it is a few years away from entering the business/donation model. Also there were many pictures of points on an OpenLayers/OpenStreetMap but few making use of their own map additions, advanced GIS mapping, or ESRI's tools. I ought to promote my ESRI/Ushahidi work some more.

Finally, I went to the Africa Special Interest Group. ESRI's head of education is proposing a major new plan to bring mapping to 100 African universities, with licenses for "one-to-one" use of the program by students. No specifics about countries, but West Africa and Kenya were on the list.  Shades of OLPCorps? OpenStreetMap and ESRI's alternate program were both featured. I would like to pursue this further, especially since one of my projects can be repurposed to help us support the many alphabets used in West Africa.

No comments:

Post a Comment