Friday, 12 August 2016

A question of business models in webmap offerings

Eighteen months ago, Google quietly deprecated its Maps API, and ESRI offered and alternative with ArcGIS Earth, then Mapbox and Carto in quick succession: I blogged then Esri, Google and if the shoe fits... Part 1 and Part 2, mirrored on LinkedIn here and here, respectively. Safe Software, LINQ Ltd. and I basically saw it as the next phase in the battle for The Internet of Things (IoT), which has been gaining traction of late.



Did you know that the original title of the above was in fact Esri & Google: all may not be as it seems? Well that ties into the recent posts Massive online activity - all is not as it appears, Continued and Final around the spatial geo issues  Pokémon Go raised, wittingly or not... Contrast the Google deprecation that raised hardly a murmur, to the Pokémon Go phenomenon that's taken over the internet it seems, the geo sphere at least! The rub is what happens to geospatial data we share online, wittingly or not.



Far be it from me to deny the excitement this generated in geo circles from, say, Niall Conway's geobreadbox.com series, or Paul Synnott's IoT view, even the discussion on ESRI's GeoNet. In my posts early last year, I said something Pokémon Go addressed via crowd-sourcing of location data:
My comment ended with "there lies the battleground – immersive consumer environments – for which of course there must be a sound data and location base"... And as it happens Steve Grise just wrote here on "Data we need to construct information". He argues that for all the buzz Big Data creates, how much of it is locationally aware? Ouch! you say, why mention the B word, but AGI's Geo Big5 in London last year addressed its geospatial aspects I blogged on here.
I see the problem today succinctly is as follows:
Neither is Pokémon Go a mapping system heralding the future: yes it uses all that cool kit everyone has written about already; but no it's neither open data nor anything you can do work with. In Esri's Geonet was asked the question, why isn't buffering used ot help keep folks out of areas they're not welcome in (such as homes and cemeteries also written up elsewhere). That would presume access by geo-tools to do that, but it appears not to be the case right now.
Michael Gould tweeted so further comments on this topic

So we loop the loop here with Google Maps and Pokémon Go pushing the spatial agenda one way or another.  But both Google and Niantic have a different online business models than older geo-businesses such as Esri, or as newer geo-businesses such as MapBox and Carto. They based their revenue, respectively, on online traffic and adverts, on site licensing and maintenance, and on internet usage and traffic.



As my title says, it's a question of business models, posted above as a Ben Franklin as previously. Does a little perspective and background not help in sorting out the promises and potential for the future? The geospatial arena is progressing at a furious pace and in many directions, so as was said exactly a week ago in Rio:

Let the games begin! (source)



Sunday, 7 August 2016

Massive online activity - all is not as it appears - Fin

[Update: interesting tweet exchange w @0mgould at bottom]

I wrote over the past weeks why Pokémon Go is not what it seems:
  • from being hailed as the next big thing in geospatial (neither open nor intended to be)
  • to hiding the access / marketing in&outs its hosts indulge in (internet privacy anyone?)

Monday, 1 August 2016

Massive online activity - all is not as it appears - Cont.

[Update: Caveat emptor, lawsuits already started on Pokémon Go trespassing - BBC
Update 2: follow-on bloggage here  on the geo-ramification of vistural reality mapping]

I posted last week re: spatial ownership issues Pokémon Go raised, from the personal (visiting family the weekend it was released in France)

Friday, 15 July 2016

Twenty years... and five generations on the web!

Hard to believe I started my first website in hand-written HTML code in Dallas 20 yrs ago! The original impetus was that at Landmark I had an intranet page using a hand-crafted index bar along the top, not unlike this glossary or my life and work pages thru 2000 and 2004 respectively.

Saturday, 4 June 2016

When is a map not a map, Part II

I just posted on LinkedIn Pulse Opinions are free, but Facts are sacred, taking off from Simon Rogers ex of Guardian Data now at Google Data by way of Twitter. This was spurred by the EU Referendum, and setting aside debates raging around it, this is my contribution in my field of petroleum geology in general and mapping / GIS in particular. UN Comtrade has a fabulous collection of statistics, which are so easy to search & discover, that I simply copy&pasted screenshots into this video.

Monday, 30 May 2016

When is a map not a map

Friends of mine lived in London, then LA and now in Wellington, NZ. I wondered where their peripatetic moves might take them, in a purely geographic destination sense?

Friday, 20 May 2016

Andrew's GIS Platforms reloaded

A GIS group discussion prompted me to update this list of selected desktop & web platforms by delivery and cost - note that it excludes commercially serviced FOSS, as well as web & mobile apps - and the usual caveats apply, see details on last page.

Saturday, 14 May 2016

CoDE Conference 2016: Creative Communication

Just attended a conference crossing over art and science at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge Culture of Digital Economies CoDE. It ranged from the impact of video games, through a master class in drone cinematography and video exhibit The Crossing, to interactive demos and lightning talks. Two items stood out for me: Sonic Pi freeware to help introduce school children to digital music, and Lichen Beacons a Raspberry Pi and beacon interactive display of imagery and poetry:

Saturday, 7 May 2016

Fort McMurray (Canada) Wildfires Social Map

[20/05/2016 update: noticed the dearth of social feeds? People are busy fleeing the area!
Also come back often as, sadly, fires that receded last week were returning this week...
]

The wildfires around Fort Mc Murray in NE Alberta of W Canada were well covered in the press. Their origin is introduced in the splash screen below, which includes a broader context in the NASA brief. A modified pre-existing DIY Weathermap for Kuwait, especially the wind information, added info for Fort McMurray and MODIS data, whose hotspots are indicative of fires. Features inspired by Esri Disaster Response maps were finally styled with social feeds below. Twitter feeds for #YMM (airport code), #YMMfire and #YMMhelps were added to Flickr, Instagram and Youtube for the previous 5 days.

Saturday, 30 April 2016

Gulf of Mexico Wells Reloaded

Story map to wrap a complex technical dataset into easy-to-follow steps. Opening video helps reach out to board rooms or town halls alike.