Friday, December 02, 2005

Local Search Conference

[Sorry, can't include a conference Sidekick still can't send image e-mails]

I got to attend the Kelsey Group Local Search Conference yesterday evening and watch the big guns (AOL, Yahoo, MS, Google, etc.) talk about Local Search, and more specifically, maps. The title of one of the more impressive sessions was Maps, Mashups and Monetization.

There were some very educational points in this session, but the main take away is that the map isn't being used in advanced applications for just getting from place A to place B. Instead it's being used as a visualization technology - a new form of UI canvas.

In other words, say you have some data such as where movies are playing. You plop it on a map to simply help the user to visualize the data. An interesting and powerful notion. One that I could use in apps, but also a reminder that visualization metaphors can be powerful. It doesn't have to be a map per se, but next time I have a result set I'll be thinking of other ways to display the data rather than in rows and columns.

One speaker also made an interesting comment about where mapping is going. At this point they, and other companies are focusing, on APIs simply because having an army of creative third party developers is much more likely to produce the next big thing rather simply having a product developed internally.

Of all the companies, the google spokes person seemed the most like his company image. Relaxed and not out to prove anything. His slides were all white with a simple google logo in the upper corner. And he spent quite some time explaining why the google search API is and will remain free - even to commercial sites.

Lots of fun.


No comments:

Post a Comment