We just wrapped up the final session of the AGI GeoCommunity ‘08 Conference. I’ll be providing more about key papers and ideas over the next few days. But I want to share what just happened because, frankly, it confuses me.
Before lunch Mark Bishop a product manager at MapInfo presented a paper titled “The Hype of Web 2.0.” He did a terrific job of defining the differences between Web 1.0 and Web 2.0 complete with a picture of Tim O’Reilly and lots of examples of (non-map/non-geo) webpages. Toward the end there was a video of a MapInfo implementation of “slippy maps.” AJAX is Web 2.0. The presentation was lively, though Bishop had to encourage audience participation (sort of ironic since Web 2.0 is about that!).
I was a bit antsy since the presentation didn’t address geo (much) nor provide any specific suggestions regarding how geo could/should/would take further advantage of Web 2.0. Further, I thought we were all pretty set with understanding, if not implementing, Web 2.0 ideas, so I wondered how this presentation fit into this geospatial conference.
Apparently I was the only one who thought so. The presentation was selected by the entire attendee group as their favorite presentation. Perhaps Web 2.0 has been bandied about so much attendees needed a refresher course and this was it? Perhaps attendees never felt comfortable with Web 2.0 concepts and this was a first definition for them? Perhaps attendees keep their heads down doing their GIS work and don’t think much about the technology ideas going on around them? Perhaps this is a difference between the US/UK interaction with technology? Perhaps “favorite” was interpreted in a different way than I did? Any other ideas?