Wednesday, September 29, 2010

W3G Conference - like Geography only cooler

(Title of this post ripped and mixed from @DJSoup tweet)

A quick post on yesterday's W3G conference, I had a great time, there was a fantastic mix of NeoGeos, GISers and all kinds of other geo-philes kicking around ideas in a conference/
unconference format.

Highlights for me included:

Steve Feldman's fantastic rant (blogged here and here) about data that shouldn't be mapped. His line was that mapping some data doesn't do it any favours because a] it doesn't tell you anything worth knowing b] its misleading. He identified some twitter maps as culprit, like this map of tweets about the Gulf Oil Spill, I agree with him that this one doesn't pass the 'does mapping this add anything to understanding?' test.

Peter Batty's comments in his unconference slot about usability. As I said in my slot, I have been advocating Krug's 'Don't make me think' book and usability testing to all sorts of groups for years so it was excellent to see someone else making much the same points.

I also met Stuart and colleague from who have a very impressive engine for fast production of bespoke maps. Well worth a look.

I gave a talk on techniques of clustering points mostly and expansion on this post. I think I misjudged the crowd with my approach but and Nick Bicanic made some interesting counter points to my argument so it was worth doing.

This was my first unconference and NeoGeo event, its noticeably a lot less stuffy than more mainstream conferences I go to which is great. Thanks to everyone who put it together.

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