where camp 2008 – kicked off

Where camp has kicked off. Discussing Time as the added dimension to visualize geo-spatial data in. Some interesting ideas being presented and discussed by the crowd.

Discussion is along the line off what Google has done with the time slider in Google Earth where you can view aerial imagery (??) changes thru time.

Assembly time line is not very intuitive but very powerful. How best to present visualization of data on map over a time scale.

Lots of thoughts around users are not that dumb and they will learn once we show them how. For example people learned about the dragging of maps with advent of ajax maps, they got used to smooth zooming, the growth of Mac’s market share is also another example of UI paradigm changes being possible and doable.

Counter thought that no people are not that open. How long did it to take for people to move from VCR’s to DVD players etc ?? First mover advantage is also counter argument to introduce radically new controls or expecting teaching people.

How do we capture lat,lon values with their metadata and its delta over time? Things like Harare, Zimbabwe used to XYZ,Rhodesia. I was born in place X but as time has passed X has grown due to urban sprawl, about 100 years ago the place that is called ABC today was DEF. Genealogists and family tree tracking folk are very interesting in this dimension of capturing location information.

So I think Freebase will provide a great way to capture as data about a place and metdata about a place changes over time. It’s very easy (already, and Freebase is very very new) to add records to Freebase about place’s, poi’s etc with a historical context. Just like people have birth and death dates, place records have opening date and closing date and geo location. So we, the users, can add such records and someone can come along and say “i know that there use to be this other restaurant in this place 10 years ago” etc.

I know thats a trivial example, but i think it’s easy to see how that be expanded to apply to other records.

One question I have (which I do not think I will have time to ask) is what type of geo data are we interested in really modeling over time. I mean sure bounding boxes change over time, but at the end of the day these are superficial. Are we interesting in such things or more the metadata around it. Things like population demographic changes, city growth rates, crime heat maps over time.

For example census data visualization would really be about the metadata about location and not really the location itself….


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