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Enriching GIS by using social media and open data

2011 October 4
by Jw

Wednesday last I presented on this topic at the GIS Conference, organized by Esri Nederland. The conference is intended for users of Esri technology, but has been open to users of others technologies (and competitors) alike. It is great meet-many-in-two-days event with well over 1,000 participants in the last couple of years. For a small country, that is quite a lot.

This year’s theme: GIS Connects.  And it does. Beyond the technology, the platform, the apps to connecting organisations and, most importantly, people. Highlights for me where the keynote by Prof Boter about Geomarketing and books (!!) and the AppLab, a place at the GC where developers can meet up and work on cool apps. And then there was an impressive preview from the upcoming tv-doc Holland from Above. More about that later.

As bridging science and practice is one of my key areas of interest, I partly attended the Academic Round Table. This meeting, co-organised by the innovationplatform IIPGeo and NCG, part of Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, explored the bounderies of Spatial and IT research for the next years to come. The report of the meeting, which took place in great academic style and atmosphere, will be publicly available.

On my talk: where do social media and open data fit in with your GIS? In short: for whatever model of GIS you choose to use, there is room for both. Social media may be great to reach a wider audience in the publication fase of GIS. Also you may be able to reach a crowd who wants to help you with data. If that crowd does not exist for your topic, you will have to do the great work yourself!

On open data: this is a non-stoppable development. Better get used to it and start a simple and straightforward experiment. E.g. : donate tree data to OpenStreetMap and see what happens. And yes, I said it: in this regards, three is not a crowd, you might end up with the wisdom of the idiot.

Final presentation and mindmap are below. I was great fun to prepare and discuss both!


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