Tuesday, 21 September 2010

"The proof of the pudding is in the making"

The FOSS4G conference early this month in Barcelona raised a host of issues as usual. One picked up by James Fee and Jo Cook's blogs among others, is the role of SpatialLite in particular and exchange file formats in general? My main takeway is Jim's point, that while file exchange formats are important, efforts should be focused on internet exchange formats. We all agree that it's usage eventually that will dictate future formats, rather than vendors or standards bodies...

My personal experience using giscloud.com is that while it's great to have so many tools to download and repost data, wouldn't it be better to reach them directly? Dino Ravnic's working on that. Or at oilelefant.com we offer simple tools for operators and agencies to manage data internally - first steps first, before entering the world of interconnected networks and the web - yet using data standards to help us grow.

My hope is that in these early days of the cloud, users will have enough experience and free will to learn from the past, and agree on common-sensical formats at the outset. In the past vendors or standards bodies set out to do that, for lack of better venues or communications. But now that there are on-line and in-person forums on the net, is there really an excuse not to speak up?

It struck me at the hospital yesterday, what a pity that medical, space and earth science hadn't collaborated on imaging techologies, formats and standards to push ahead 3D and tomography! Historically my guess is that vendors had specific remits and vested interests to create their own. We have moved on, however, and OGC for example has started spanning industries.

Jim, Jo, Dino, myself and many, many others are making strides in our own ways and industries to foster and implement knowledge management online. I posted my view on page 27 of DigitalEnergy that standards and metadata are absolutely important for all of us. And many others agree such as SafeSoft's Don Murray or ESRI's Marten Hogeweg to name but two more.

Let me post here the last dozen slides of Ondrejka's Wharton keynote that counts 350 slides over 75 minutes! He refers to a US Navy example that mirrors one I posted here. He sums up in my mind our challenges and opportunities for business on the cloud, with clear ideas on how to show me the money.
businesses need to reach customers
manage and publish information
effectively communicate, etc.

decide on these business needs first,
then choose technology to solve them
(don't pick the technology just 'cause)

recognise the drivers accelerating
change should be helping you

adaptation rate - agility -
will become the
key competitive advantage

so if the US Navy of the mid-19th c.
can leverage viral marketing, metadata and
interfaces to change the world

used standards, openness and sharing to
create increasing value for
everyone in their network

adapted to change and surmounted
institutional incompetence to apply agility

"we can't do that" is
no longer and acceptable answer

how are you going to use institutional tools

buly pulpit
getting out of the way

and institutional hacking

find oxygen
avoid angry dinosaurs
spread the wealth
engage patrons

what are you going to do?

stop talking now