Last week I was lucky enough to be invited by Sweco to give a talk in Sweden at one of their developer retreats. I’ve never been to Sweden before so I boned up on my Swedish by visiting Ikea and having some meatballs (Didn’t work). Let me first say that Sweden is awesome. It is sort of like the coast of Oregon or maybe upstate New York (the good part, not Utica).

I was also able to spend the day at GIS-Vast where is saw some interesting talks by Microsoft, Google, MapInfo and Sweco. Dinner was at the Stock Exchange in Gothenburg which was completely amazing. Plus the Swedes know how to make coffee. Nice, dark and rich. It was bad when I landed in Philadelphia and grabbed a watered down Dunkin’ Donuts coffee.

The Sweco conference was up at Baldersnas which yet again blew me away. The hotel was beautiful as well and yes there was more great coffee. Getting out of town and into the country was a great way to get focused on location intelligence and development. I talked a bit about trends in our space (location/geo) as well as where I saw technology going in the next couple years. Ted Neward was also there talking about developers and managers as well as architects. Very good stuff! Dinner was great and we played a little table hockey (set up for Finland vs Sweden) but alas I didn’t represent very well for Sweden and got rocked by the Finns.

The last day I was there the Sweco team went to an adventure camp where we did all kinds of outdoor sports. Being from the desert, I wanted to stay on the water (to be fair, I do have a swimming pool). Kayaking was fun but I did fall in the water (Swedish water is as cold as you’d think). Canoeing was much safer and I got to see one of the large lakes in the area.

James in a SWECO Jacket

Looking dry after falling into the river in my Sweco jacket!

I’d like to thank everyone at Sweco for showing me a great time. I learned quite a bit about how western Sweden is using geospatial technology to solve problems similar to what we have in the states as well. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to show some great WeoGeo hospitality to Sweco really soon. Thanks so much for the great time guys!