Neogeographers, Volunteers and Crowds

In the latest indication that Neogeography is becoming a disruptive technology, All Points quotes MapInfo CEO saying that NeoGeography is not GIS.

This is interesting considering MapInfo’s history of avoiding of the term (GIS) when describing themselves. Take a look at their brochure – lots of flashy eye candy, but no mention of “GIS”. (It’s not searchable, so I can’t say that for sure.)

The lament reminds me of Matt Dillon’s performance in Drugstore Cowboy when describing TV Babies.

Speaking of TV Babies, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised how popular Justin.tv is with voters in the Amazon Web Services challenge. If you haven’t voted yet, please do so.

War is too important to be left to the generals.
-Clemenceau

Maybe geography is too important to be left to geographers? NSGIC Blog points out a new paper by Michael Goodchild, Citizens as Sensors: The World of Volunteered Geography. It’s worth reading. My only disappointment is, while the abstract says he will discuss threats to privacy, I can’t find much discussion on that in the paper.

Nobody goes there anymore – it’s too crowded. – Yogi Berra

Note that Goodchild is not calling it Crowdsourcing, as those following Googles’ activities like to call it. Goodchild’s paper was published before My Location was released, a move which has raised even more privacy issues. CIO Today explains some of the privacy issues. I’d be interested in hearing what Goodchild might say about this.

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3 comments so far

  1. FantomPlanet on

    I’m left to wonder why Goodchild and company feel like they need to finally jump into the whole debate about self-generated data. The likes has been disscussed at length by the likes of Robert Scoble, Stowe Boyd, Clay Shirky, and others way before Goodchild got to it with VGI. I agree, spatial is special, but paleogeographers need to not suddenly become media analysts or communications studies professors to figure out the domain has changed. I just hope that they come to the conclusion that, like today, you take data where you can get it and evaluate it for its fitness for use. Otherwise, they’re just going to be spinning their wheels. (I just hope I don’t see an Andrew Keen reference that they hang on.)

    Geographers are going to keep working on the relationships, the projections, or otherwise what I call the “canvas.” It’s up to neogeos to make the canvas available for all to enjoy as the medium evolves.

  2. Kirk on

    I just now see this is part of a workshop scheduled for next week. Will you be attending?

    If Citizens are Sensors, maybe Geographers will become Censors. Take a look at what’s happening with Wikipedia as editors seem to be in a power struggle. This almost seems like a Darwinian inevitability. http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/12/04/wikipedia_secret_mailing/

  3. […] is starting to get some reactions about this post on APB.  You can read some of the reactions here, here, here, here, and here.  All I can say is wow.  The ‘MapInfo school of […]


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