This Week’s Hangout with Marc Prioleau

We’ve got a great one this week, Marc Prioleau joins me to talk about the mobile location space and how quickly it continues to evolve. Just last week Apple bought WiFiSLAM which aims to improve indoor location for mobile devices. The mobile space is full of hype and failed products but Marc has a knack of pushing through all that for great insight. You can watch live right here on this blog tomorrow at 11am MST/PDT.

OSM PLUS Conference Set for June 10th

You can now register for the OSM Plus Conference which will happen in San Francisco on June 10th, 2013. Steve Coast has been talking about getting a professional OSM conference going and it’s great to see that it is finally going to happen. Professional OSM you say?

OSM PLUS is new and focused on professional users of OSM data and toolchains commercially, academically, in government and elsewhere. It is a paid-for event and we expect it to be more of a conversation than a traditional presentation. Many professional users have similar concerns and expectations for OSM. We want to explore these in an environment focused on coming up with solutions.

If your business uses OSM or you consult on it, you totally should be registering for this conference. Where else are you going to interact with people who are not only using OSM data, but building companies around it. So right after SOTM US, stick around for OSM Plus. I’ve already registered.

MAPPS Proposes Geospatial User Fee

MAPPS proposes a user fee with this teaser:

A user’s fee could provide sustained funding for national geospatial data, but how?

This is a huge problem in any country, not just the old red, white and blue. In this crowd we all know how important public domain national geospatial data is. But how to fund it?

working group of the Management Association of Private Photogrammetric Surveyors (MAPPS). The trust fund will, theoretically, provide an additional source of revenue to supplement federal appropriations for geospatial contracts for national-scale, national-scope, national-coverage geospatial data sets. In a time of perceived or real public suspicion about anything that appears to be a new tax, why even consider this geospatial user fee?

I encourage you to read the whole article. Now I don’t agree with a user fee one bit, but MAPPS does bring up some a sobering fact, our geospatial infrastructure is crumbling. Maybe it’s because I live in Arizona, but I just don’t see taking users and then giving the money to another broken government agency as a solution. Especially one that has made suspect decisions with their geospatial dollar (, GeoPDF). But clearly we as an industry should propose something.

I’m of the mindset to just open public domain geospatial data for crowdsouring. That in my mind is the only sustainable way to grow geospatial data that the public can use. Taking me and then using that money to build another GIS silo is throwing good money after bad. I’d like to see MAPPS get behind the crowdsouring model but I’m not exactly hopeful.

I’ll be giving a talk in April at the APLS Conference as to why the surveying community needs to embrace crowdsouring and why the crowdsouring community would greatly benefit from their participation. I expect rotten vegetables to be thrown at me, but hey, it’s a start! Hey, it gets a thumbs up from me!

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