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robertogreco : geocoding   29

Mapping with Bias · Mapzen
"Places change. The physical boundaries of the USA changed 141 times between the years 1789 and 1959. The entire notion of what Yugoslavia meant changed three times in the 20th century before finally atomizing in to seven countries, by 2008.

Ultimately there is a much larger question about how an individual, or worse a community, decides whether an event constitutes a simple update versus a fundamental change. This is the realm of hard philosophical questions and those are things we are not going to try to answer.

We can provide breadcrumbs, though. Every record in Who’s On First has both a superseded_by and supersedes property that are used to signal that a change has occurred but not necessarily why. That part is left up to you.

These properties act as a kind of linked-list for places indicating, for example, that the Kingdom of Yugloslavia was superseded by the Federal People’s Republic of Yugoslavia in 1946, and so on.

This decision means two things:

1. That there might be multiple entries for the “same” place in Who’s On First and consumers of the data need to account for this fact.

2. That if you have been using the the first iteration of a place in Who’s On First its meaning and semantics won’t suddenly change when there is a legimate reason to create a second iteration.

We do this as a way to foster confidence in the robustness and durability of Who’s On First identifiers. The past is complicated territory and though it is not the focus of our daily work we want to try and make sure that it is always welcome.

It’s probably obviously by now but it bears repeating: The world is full of complex and contradictory opinions. We do not want to try and settle those debates. We can not settle those debates.

For almost as long as we’ve had the notion of place itself people have had the benefit of complete sentences and entire paragraphs and even book-length arguments to make sense of the nature and meaning and value of place.

And still we don’t agree so I don’t know why anyone can imagine that a bag of key/value pairs will do better at answering any of these questions.

Obviously there are a few instances where Who’s On First needs to assert some degree of editorial opinion about but as a rule we try to do this as infrequently and as transparently as possible.

When there is genuine debate about something we leave it to the consumers of the data to interpret. We want to signal that there is debate about something rather than try to gloss over the awkward bits.

I mentioned at the beginning that Who’s On First was designed to “outlast people’s reluctance”.

What this means is that Who’s On First is not optimized for any one application including Mapzen, which makes for some awkward conversations around the office from time to time.

What this means, in concrete terms, is that at its core Who’s On First is a gigantic bag of plain-text files. The failure scenario for updating a Who’s On First record should always be the ability to edit it using nothing more than a text editor. You shouldn’t have to do that but when everything else breaks you still can do that.

The point is not that Who’s On First doesn’t play with databases but that it should be able to play nicely with all the databases. The point is that the demands Who’s On First places on its users should be as universal as possible across platforms and concerns.

Sometimes this makes getting things set up a little harder than we’d like but it’s 2016 and we’ve all gotten pretty good at processing text files at scale and feeding them in to databases.

Despite all the advances we’ve made over the years it turns out that the simplest, most universal and accessible thing is still plain-old, plain-vanilla, plain-text files on disk.

They have the added benefit of being (still) the most reliable way to archive things as the technological landscape shifts, year over year. We can print them out, if necessary.

This focus – of demanding a high degree of portability and durability in our work - is very much influenced by the early systems designs for the Unix, and Multics before it, operating system and more recently the Unicode project.

These are subjects that could occupy many, many more nights of presentations all on their own and it remains to be seen whether we can accomplish our work as well as they did theirs.

But that is the work."
aaronstraupcope  2016  mapzen  maps  mapping  bias  gazetteers  geocoding  time  data  history  debate 
september 2016 by robertogreco
Cloudmade - Make Maps Differently
"CloudMade help you make the most of map data. We source our maps from OpenStreetMap, the community mapping project which is making a free map of the world. Our aims are to continue the democratization of geo data and to expand access to open geo data through a range of simple yet powerful tools and APIs.
opensource  maps  mapping  cloudmade  openstreetmap  geocoding  crowdsourcing  googlemaps  geography  cartography  gis  geodata  open  osm 
february 2009 by robertogreco
Beyond Latitude: 4 Innovative Location-Based Apps - ReadWriteWeb
"Google's Latitude was not the first location-based service on the market by any means. Here at RWW, we've been fans of other mobile social networking applications like Loopt and Brightkite as well as location-aware Twitter clients like Twinkle among others. So of course when we ran across some other smaller location-based services, we had to take a look. Each of the services listed below are doing something innovative that goes beyond Google's current offering. We just wish more people knew about them." Bliin, Toaí, Parallel Kingdom, and Radar
mobile  iphone  applications  outside.in  latitude  radar  location-based  geolocation  geocoding  google  location  maps  geotagging  mapping  gps  bliin  toaí  parallelkingdom  android  ios 
february 2009 by robertogreco
Code: Flickr Developer Blog » Things I’m Standing Next To
"Nearby starts with a geotagged photo and then queries for other geotagged photos within a one kilometer radius. You can order the results by time and distance and interestingness but the important part is that they are photos, well, nearby to the photo you are looking at. Nearby is a deliberately fuzzy concept. Nearby in St. Peter’s Square in Rome might mean the person directly in front of you. Nearby in the streets of a small town might be the beautiful garden behind the fence and around the corner. Nearby encourages people to poke around and discover their surroundings, as though they were on foot and everything was just a short walk away."
flickr  location  longnow  geocoding  geotagging  dopplr  place  design  history  photography  narrative  bighere  maps  mapping  api  nearby  social  geo  geohash 
february 2009 by robertogreco
Code: Flickr Developer Blog » The Shape of Alpha
"Over time this got us wondering: If we plotted all the geotagged photos associated with a particular WOE ID, would we have enough data to generate a mostly accurate contour of that place? Not a perfect representation, perhaps, but something more fine-grained than a bounding box. It turns out we can."
flickr  geotagging  statistics  crowdsourcing  maps  mapping  geocoding  gps  geodata  photography 
november 2008 by robertogreco
News & Culture in Silicon Valley | Technology News: Geowanking
"a group of high-tech map enthusiasts whose areas of expertise range from making customizable web maps (often built out of polygons) and geolocation software to map-based online storytelling and handheld devices that provide information about your environ
geocoding  geowanking  maps  mapping  location  location-based  humor  neologisms  annaleenewitz  webapps  geolocation  storytelling 
june 2008 by robertogreco
Sense Networks
"Sense Networks, Inc. indexes the real world using real-time and historical location data for predictive analytics across multiple industries."
mobile  phones  geotagging  gps  geocoding  data  location  location-based  location-aware  locative  mapping  datamining  maps  statistics  sensors  sensing  aggregator  realtime  privacy  geolocation  tracking 
june 2008 by robertogreco
Get Started With the Yahoo HTTP Geocoder API - Webmonkey
"Yahoo's HTTP Geocoder API is easy to use, and its output is easy to incorporate into your applications. This article will describe its features and show some examples of how to access the results."
yahoo  geocoding  mapping  maps  location  tutorial  webdev  webdesign  api  howto 
june 2008 by robertogreco
Modest Maps is a BSD-licensed display and interaction library for tile-based maps in Flash (ActionScript 2.0 and ActionScript 3.0) and Python.
"Our intent is to provide a minimal, extensible, customizable, and free display library for discriminating designers and developers who want to use interactive maps in their own projects. Modest Maps provides a core set of features in a tight, clean packa
maps  opensource  actionscript  mapping  geography  geocoding  visualization  development  webdev  webdesign 
may 2008 by robertogreco
Whrrl: Share real-world adventures and discover places, events, and people through the chronicles of others.
"Social discovery for the real world. Your friends and the places and events they "touch" light up so you can pick what's interesting to you. You control your privacy to share what you want with only the people you select."
mobile  phones  location  location-based  locative  geotagging  geocoding  microblogging  maps  mapping  socialmedia  socialnetworking  socialnetworks  search  local  gps  googlemaps  iphone  applications  csiap  ios 
march 2008 by robertogreco
Google Maps API - Google Code
"lets you embed Google Maps in your own web pages with JavaScript. The API provides a number of utilities for manipulating maps (just like on the http://maps.google.com web page) and adding content to the map through a variety of services, allowing you to
api  googlemaps  maps  mapping  webdev  webapps  programming  javascript  geocoding  webdesign 
march 2008 by robertogreco
TUAW Responds: iPhone LoJack - The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW)
"It's a command-line program that returns the location of the cell phone tower nearest to your iPhone. When run, it tells you the tower id, plus its latitude and longitude courtesy of Google Maps."
iphone  security  applications  twitter  geocoding  geolocation  gps  webapps  location  hacking  hacks  lojack  ios 
february 2008 by robertogreco
Orange Cone: Firefox 3 Places: Geotagging Browser History and the Site Diet
"The idea is to use Firefox 3's new Places bookmarking and history service to store the location of where a web page was viewed, and to allow users to sort their history based on location in addition to time and alphabetically (the two current options)."
places  firefox  geocoding  geolocation  location  locative  awareness  bookmarking  via:migurski 
february 2008 by robertogreco
geobloggers » The overdue Places post II - Prototyping Iconicness
"something that we decided was fairly important early on, the photos couldn’t just be the most ‘interesting’ photos, as defined by our interestingness score. When we did that, we didn’t get stuff that we though was iconic enough."
algorithms  api  design  development  flickr  geocoding  geotagging  maps  prototyping  places  interestingness  tagging  tags 
january 2008 by robertogreco
Dynamic Time-Travel Maps From MySociety and Stamen
"innovative time-travel maps. The snapshot of the map that you see above shows where you can live in London with a commute between 30 to 60 minutes where the median house price is over £230, 000."
london  location  geocoding  maps  mapping  urbancomputing  visualization  time  stamendesign  data  homes  commuting  neighborhoods  housing 
january 2008 by robertogreco
Trackstick.com
"With the built in vibration detector and proprietary low power GPS technology, the Super TrackstickTM will run for over a month with average use. The 4Mb of flash memory ensures that it will log weeks or even months of travel histories."
gps  geocoding  tarcking  gadgets  photography 
november 2007 by robertogreco
Semapedia.org: index
"Our goal is to connect the virtual and physical world by bringing the right information from the internet to the relevant place in physical space."
aggregator  location-based  ambient  annotation  taxonomy  folksonomy  semantic  semantics  semanticweb  mobile  phones  locative  location  maps  mapping  local  learning  information  geotagging  interactive  hyperlinks  qrcodes  socialnetworks  socialsoftware  semacode  tagging  geocoding  geography  everyware  ubicomp  ubiquitous 
october 2007 by robertogreco
Loki - You Can Get There From Here
"Combining GPS-like location, local search and one-button access to location-based content, Loki is the first web-based application to make the Internet revolve around you. Literally."
gps  googlemaps  directions  geotagging  location  location-based  locative  mapping  maps  search  firefox  wifi  extensions  browser  spatial  tagging  tags  wireless  networks  navigation  findability  geography  geocoding  interactive  mobile  tracking  browsers 
october 2007 by robertogreco
ZoneTag Photos
"Tagging made easy ZoneTag suggests likely tags for each photo, making it easy to add tags from your phone and even easier for you to find the photos later. The suggestions are based on tags made by you and your Flickr contacts in similar context, e.g. in
flickr  geotagging  gps  images  mapping  tools  nokia  mobile  phones  software  locative  location-based  location  jaiku  local  googlemaps  geocoding  freeware  yahoo  maps 
september 2006 by robertogreco

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