People Suck at Naming Places

Intrigued by that title? So am I! It’s the title of the Where 2.0 Conference Ignite presentation my colleague (and Praized Media co-founder) Sylvain Carle will be performing in front of hundreds of geo-geeks at the end of this month in San Jose, California.

Description from his blog:

The world of precise coordinates is easy to interact with using software. The problem is humans don’t use precise coordinates to represent places. They don’t even agree on place names. They also do it in several different dialects. They use abbreviations, approximations and sometimes even metaphors.

To make things worse, human designing software to represent places don’t even try to make systems that can exchange that information using names instead of numbers. Do we need a PNS (place name system) inspired by DNS to resolve place numbers (latitude/longitude) to names? I will try to give an overview of the current existing services/APIs that you can use to find a precise coordinate with a place name. And then demonstrate why we are not there yet.

I might even propose how we could exchange these names between systems. All this in under 5 minutes. With images of ponies, pandas and unicorns, but no cats.

If you want to see him, it’s March 30 at the [praized subtype=”small” pid=”e6b91fa46df5c7b85857991ad038d9d5e7″ type=”badge” dynamic=”true”] at the end of day one of the Where 2.0 conference organized by O’Reilly. From their Web site, “Now in its sixth year, the Where 2.0 Conference is where the grassroots and leading edge developers building location-aware technology intersect with the businesses and entrepreneurs seeking out location apps, platforms, and hardware to gain a competitive edge. In the O’Reilly conference tradition, Where 2.0 presents leading trends rather than chasing them.” You’ll find the conference agenda here.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s