I had a blast with some local GIS users here in Honolulu. Thanks for inviting me out tonight guys, Alan Wong’s was incredible. By far the best meal I’ve eaten in quite some time. We spent a long time talking about issues they have here in Honolulu with data sharing governmental agencies (or specifically getting public data from the City and County of Honolulu). Some of the projects they are working on are really impressive (lots of oceanographic stuff) and it seems like raster analysis is big here in the islands as it seemed everyone was talking about ASCII GRIDs. As I said above, thanks for dinner and if you are ever in Tempe, look me up.
When I got back to the hotel, I stopped at the bar for one last drink before I get on the airplane tomorrow morning. As I was sitting there I noticed someone in the corner georeferencing their photos that they took during their vacation in Panoramio. As a Geographer, I’m always happy to see taking advantage of maps, but these days I can’t but help notice that folks aren’t even thinking about how they use these tools anymore. They just entered the mainstream and that just makes me feel good about Geography. Kids aren’t just learning about identifying the state capitols by reading them on a map these days but are creating KML files for Google Earth with text and pictures to tell a better story than a point on a map. I love that my son is working with Google Earth in his Pre-K class (without me pushing for it) and the teacher says everyone there just loves making maps. (side note: The only thing I can remember from my preschool days was taking naps).
Just today in the hotel lobby I noticed the concierge using Google Transit to help a couple find the best route to a local doctor using Oahu transit system. They were amazed at what was printed out for them and how simple it made everything vs. using a timetable (I can’t wait until we get this Google Transit for Valley Metro in Phoenix). I just smiled and felt good to be in profession where the best is still yet to come.
Anyway, enough rambling as I have to get to bed for my early flight tomorrow back to Phoenix. To everyone I met in Honolulu, Mahalo.