After being welcomed by the awesome city that is Berlin – coming here again, the first meetup for geobeers happened, where the mass of geo people met to drink the rather excellent schwarz beer.

There hasn’t been a bad presentation at WherecampEU, which for the uninitiated is a un-conference. Basically no agenda exists till when the conference actually starts, started and ran by Gary Gale (Ovi Places/Nokia) and Chris Osbourne (Ito! World) it’s technically free, but donate money, catering and everything is provided, so are some geobeers!

Ed Parsons kicked things off in the main hall on what government data do we want? This kicked off discussions on open/free and derivative datasets, with the room not really coming up with a “good” use of the released open data. The common issues of format were raised and due to the decentralisation of responsibility certain authorities to produce the data seems to slow the process.

This was followed by inteligent indoor tracking from Prof Wagner and a long chat on typography with Chris Osborune and Laurence Penny, including what is wrong with the 2D graphical representation of maps, something text based this way comes!

In my own talk, I spoke on two themes, crisis mapping and trust. While doing a great job of not siloing the subjects enough, it seemed to generate some discussion. Talking to the guys from Rummble and Adam Rae on trust and reports was really useful giving pointers in Bayesian networks and other trust models.

Peter Batty spoke on Ubisense’s indoor tracking chips and software showing the scale of their problem in tracking components in airline manufacturers to people in the military and industry. This was followed up by Martijn van Excel  talking on the importance of history in the OSM dataset in which a hackweekend is taking place in Germany at the LinuxHotel.

Finally Chris Osbourne of Ito! World spoke on the importance of data focusing on transport and where things are raising the issue that businesses have data, but don’t use said data to tell a story, using examples of Haiti and ‘John’ in showing data  finally looking at visualisations of congestion charges and deaths in London. Apparently you’re safer smoking than using the roads!

All in all, it was awesome, looking forward to WherecampEU 2012! Now Bier?


Author: Mark Iliffe

Traveller, Programmer, Geospatialist and Motorcyclist

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