Last week I attended the AGI (Association for Geographic Information) Scotland Showcase- the first in a series of events designed to jump-start the AGI’s regional and special interest groups. It was extremely well-attended, with approximately 140 delegates, which bodes well for future events! The venue was fantastic too- at the rather lovely Hunter Halls in the University of Glasgow. Not un-surprisingly there was a distinctly Scottish theme to the papers, and my take-away thought is that the Scottish GI industry does seem to be doing things on its own, separate from what’s going on in the rest of the UK.
Last week was the AGI GeoCommunity 2012 event at Nottingham, and as usual, a great time was had by all. In the weeks leading up to the event I’d been a little worried that attendance would be down as many of “the usual suspects” said they weren’t attending. However, in the end attendance was up, with a lot of new faces and new sponsors. I’d love to know the demographic/industry area for these new attendees (hint, hint, AGI).
Earlier this week I did a couple of presentations for the Association for Geographic Information (AGI) Welsh Group, along with my colleague Matt and a couple of people from Dotted Eyes, another company doing a lot of work with Open Source here in the UK. I did an introductory presentation on open source and the OSGeo “stack”, and then one demonstrating the capabilities of Quantum GIS. You can see my slides here and here.
I’ve been attending the AGI GeoCommunity Conference here in the UK for a few years now- and this year the AGI kindly asked me if I would sit on the working group for organising GeoCommunity 2011. Being completely new to conference organisation, and wanting to get some experience for the glorious day when OSGeo:UK holds FOSS4G in the UK, I jumped at the chance. This year’s event takes place from September 20-22nd, in Nottingham (a departure from previous years, where it has been in Stratford-upon-Avon), but the working group has met a couple of times already to get things organised.
Last weekend was the second Wherecamp EU Unconference, this time at the University of Nottingham. A mighty good time was had by all, I think! It attracted a different crowd to the previous event, back in February in London. There were less of the “big names” there, but a lot of new faces, which is encouraging. Again, the Unconference format worked well, with people doing talks on a range of subjects, some only after being persuaded to the night before!
Day Two of AGI Geocommunity kicked off with some heavy-weight (in the nicest possible sense of the word) speakers in the shape of Lai Wah Co from the CBI and Vanessa Lawrence of Ordnance Survey. Lai Wah Co gave us an economic perspective to hang our insecurities onto, focused mainly on the impact on public sector jobs. That kind of thing makes my head all fuzzy, so I’ll bow to the wisdom of the twitter back channel- and say that some people’s mortgages are going to go up, some people’s will stay the same, and we’re looking at about 2 more years of hardship before getting back to the same sort of state we were before.
I’ve been out at a couple of Association for Geographic Information (AGI) events over the last couple of weeks- organised by their Northern Group. Their main function is to organised events in the North of England (hence the name), but the outgoing chairman Rollo, has been really pushing for events with a national attendance and relevance. I spoke briefly at both events, and my talks can be found on slideshare and on my talks page here.
… or there again, there might not! This is just a heads up for a couple of events/workshops that I’m involved in over the next couple of weeks and months. Firstly, next Tuesday is the AGI Northern Group Where2.0Now one-day conference, at GeoPlan in Harrogate. If you want to know what this whole “neogeography” thing is, and what it means to you, then be there or be terribly antiquated. There are some great speakers lined up (and me, but beggars can’t be choosers), and it’s looking like a good day.
To keynote or not to keynote… I chose not, so missed out on the triumvirate of ESRI, Ordnance Survey and Pitney Bowes and instead watched a series of talks ostensibly on “the GeoWeb” instead. By the time Andy Allen from Cloudmade finished his talk I felt like I’d been run over by an unstoppable OpenStreetMap juggernaut (in a nice way, you understand). I had a bit of an epiphany about their flexible data paradigm, after all, how could you tag a road in the West Bank as one-way if you’re Palestinian and two-way if you’re Israeli without it?
The AGI conference last week in Stratford-upon-Avon was well worth attending, with (I thought) a really good vibe and some great presentations. I thought the twitter feed, new for this year, was a real hit, as was the ability to see talks online via slideshare soon after they had been given. The twitter feed in particular gave you a chance to see what other people watching the same presentation were thinking, and occasionally caused some jealousy as people realised they’d picked the less interesting track!