SAN JOSE, Calif.--As more and more information becomes available to more and more people, we have a greater need to access and organize the vast amounts of data surrounding us. Increasingly, this means defining the spaces and places around us and finding the relevant information connected to those spaces. At the Where 2.0 conference here this week, programmers, mappers, and designers are taking a look at the newest ideas in location-based information.
Yahoo's Tyler Bell discusses innovation in open location at Where 2.0 Wednesday. Yahoo's idea is to make all online content geo-relevant with tools like GeoPlanet, which is designed group content related to a specific place. Yahoo's Placemaker, an XML API for developers, identifies places, extracts data, and enables developers to organize Web content, e-mails, and documents based on relevant location information. Yahoo is focusing less on displaying information and more on creating location-accessible infrastructure, which developers can use and build on top of.
In recent years, maps have come from a few centralized sources like Google Maps, Yahoo Maps, and MapQuest, but as the information and tools to depict localized information becomes more readily available, maps are going to be created and shared by more and more people. Essentially, at their core, maps are information that is organized, stylized, and designed into functional visualizations. At Where 2.0, designers are discussing the many options available in the design of maps, and how their forms can better help us understand places.
Earthmine's WildStyleCity is a fun virtual graffiti application that demonstrates the layering of data over 3D environments, creating a more detailed and information-rich geo-spatial environment at street level.
User created Ovi Maps, uploaded to the cloud and shared between map builders, Web sites, and mobile devices, are giving Nokia users broad access to design rich, real-time information on places and spaces.
Christof Hellmis, director of Navigation & Context Services Platform in Nokia's Services & Software Business Group, and Michael Halbherr, vice president of Social Location in Nokia's Services business unit, discuss Nokia Maps and the geo-aware mobile Web apps the company has been building on Ovi.