Back on deck after a huge week at what must have been the largest national spatial conference ever held in Australia (FIG was bigger but that was international). The government 2.0 sessions threw up some very interesting papers. Check out Maurits vd Vlugt’s presentation and blog I got some very positive feedback on Mashup Competitions and Data Portals, especially from those who found it refreshingly untechnical. Memorable things for me were playing with the Microsoft Surface on the Geomatic Technologies stand, Neat Streets (a production equivalent of itsbuggeredmate) and Colin McDonald, the head of Land information New Zealand on the aftermath of the New Zealand earthquake (3 metre land shifts in all directions).
While in past years, we have bemoaned the fact that “outsiders” didn’t understand the power of spatial, they are now throwing down the gauntlet, telling us clearly what they want.
Michael Haines of Westgate Ports wants a Virtual Australia, starting with the Port of Melbourne (shades of James Bangay and his SIM city model of the power network). Barry Sandison of Centrelink has phenomenal amounts of data that his staff only use a tiny part of. He said “Tell me something I didn’t know” rather than confirming what policy advisers and case workers already know. Sounds like the serendipity of mashups to me. “Data snobs” are inhibiting the flow of information.