Saturday, 29 March 2008

1ST DRAFT - Where's the $$$ - OGC moving backward

I’ve spent much of this week along with some of the drones from the 'gol at the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) Technical Committee meeting in St. Louis. KML is at last just a few weeks away from becoming an adopted standard, and the OGC as an community, I’m pleased to say, is increasingly taking interest in geospatial technologies developed outside of its iron curtain.

So amongst the continued detailed work on the WANKS standards we know so well, there was much debate about the potential of RESTful interfaces (note: the freetards have been doing this for eons) and the use of lightweight technologies such as GeoJSON and AtomPub as realistic alternatives to creating transactional web services beyond mash-ups (note: nobody actually uses that stuff).

It becomes really interesting when the new and existing are combined (lambrini and coke for example), one of the slickest demos I saw was using an extension to the existing SLD standard to control the server side creation of KML data from a component WMS service, populating attribute data into KML Extended data tags.

There is also growing recognition that as a reflection of the new paradigm technologies, new approaches to creating standard paradigms may also be needed, after-all the pace at which technologies are introduced and adopted by the mass-market paradigm is much faster than the traditional standards process can keep pace with paradigm.

Perhaps a new approach is needed where paradigm standards are defined at the same time as new applications paradigm and functionality is developed, so that the standards process is driven by individuals and organisations implementing new functionality paradigm which is standardised once demonstrated to be both stable and useful !

This new approach which focuses more on the user need, was nicely summarised in a presentation from NASCAR with a picture of a bank, “I’d like some money.. bit I rather not know how it’s made, so we hit up Google for a grant”.

My release of my libkml open source library should be seen in this context, as it allows developers to quickly get started in creating well formed KML files, and to experiment quickly by actually writing code. Want to write a FDO provider to read and write KML, then libkml is a great paradigm, likewise if you want to write a new iPhoto geo-tagging plug-in, libkml deals with most of the basic requirements you would need. In both cases any extensions or changes that might be needed to KML can be tested and proven in a practial sense before becoming standardised. [note: I hate these product sponsor paragraphs, talk to larry about doing less]

I have been to perhaps half a dozen Technical Committee meetings over the last few years, and almost all have been some of the most boring parts of my life. I leave St. Louis feeling happy to be alive and hope OGC can remain the positive influence on the industry it has been up to now, but that I don't have to give them any more money.

Written and submitted from the Westin Hotel, St. Louis, using its broadband network (hope Terminal 5 is ready for my return !)

Friday, 28 March 2008

Welcome to my latest invention

10 months after a combined Yoser! / Freetard effort to hack my API, I finally pulled my thumb out of my arse, ordered in some pizza and diet coke, rolled up my sleeves and hacked up an 'official' version of the Street View API. To be honest with you, I wasn't going to bother - taking personal responsibility for the design, development, testing, release and promotion of LibKML as well as continuing my tour of BA Lounges of the world has taken its tole. Then one of my drones told me about Map Jack.

"By Jesus!", I thought, "Not only are the images are better than ours, but these guys are offering to sell the technology to anyone who wants it." So I reached into my drawer and pulled out Google Maps Emergency Plan Blue: For use when people figure out that something we do isn't that difficult or expensive to do. Working my way through the emergency flow chart, I came to two conclusions. One, distract attention by pushing out my API, two contact legal and find a way to sue to shit of Map Jack. I really love my job.

Now I'm off to fiddle with the search ranks so that the Freetards stop ranking higher than my API.

Written and submitted from a Segway, taring down hall number 393b on the way to see Dave from legal.

Friday, 21 March 2008

Larry and I had a laugh

We were on Necker Island too. Personally, ol' Ed thinks this global warming stuff is just freetard sandal/museli propoganda... but valleywag ain't far off the truth, check it out.

Sent from a BA lounge, via hillarity

Thursday, 20 March 2008


We've given OSGEO about $270,000 I've been told. I nearly choked on my ice cream. What DO THEY DO? I had Sarah from accounts find me the figure and I'm still trying to find who authorized the budget. So much money sloshing around here right now.

Ol' Ed thinks these guys are just freetards with a sweet tooth. What specifically brought it to my attention a few days ago was this post to my crew at geowanking. I'm going to help you frigtards line-by-line here:

Apologies for cross-posting...

I'm an idiot.

I am proud to finally announce the inaugural
meetup of the nascent UK local chapter of OSGEO

I have too much time on my hands.

on Thursday 1st May, from 4.30 to 7pm (or
later if we can find a suitable hostelry)

Ok, ol' Ed likes a drink.

at the Radisson SAS Hotel

It's not a BA Hotel, but, ol' Ed has flown SAS a few times and the necklines are low.

, Stansted Airport.

Jesus muther frickin' heaven of co-ordinate translation. Yes, let's all get down to STANSTED AIRPORT (I've checked, no decent BA lounge) for the right royal shin dig of a freetard wank-off on a Thursday night. Not sure about you, but ol' Ed has better things to do. For my valley homeboys - this is like being told that the next cream cake isn't on the Embarcadero, not SFO, not even out at OAK (BART and a bus away). No, this sugar requires you to find your way to an obscure hotel outside of Redwood City. That's how ol' Ed feels. The very backwater of paleotard-dom.

The post continues!

We have been trying to get together some interest
in a UK local chapter for some time now

Well, lassie, you've hit pay-dirt here! Thank the Lord Himself you've decided on hosting in the middle of Essex otherwise perhaps nobody would come! The linked wiki page shows that at least some people have the time, money and character flaw(s) to attend. Ol' Ed only wants one thing from this disaster, the answer: WHAT DOES OSGEO DO?

Answers on a cream cake.

Sent from a BA lounge

A busy week

Ol' Ed has had a busy few days preparing for the Fake Ed party (4th April, London more here) - I've ordered all my deinzens here at the 'gol to attend and there are good vibes that many across my geo community are coming.

There's a lot of logistics involved in the ice cream and we've had to ship it over from Mountain View on Larrys plane. Oh, and try finding beach balls in March.

On the bright side it's only a matter of days now until I try out the BA lounge in Terminal 5 - ol' Ed will post more on that at the time.

Sent from a BA lounge

Friday, 14 March 2008

Hand painted

Man it took a long time to hand paint these tiles, but I've finally pushed out my next product, Google Sky. I had a telescope built on the roof of HQ in London for this one, and had it linked up to my iPhone for easy access. I modified my painting software that I use to hand paint all the map relief tiles. It was much easier in that about 80% of the new 'sky' tiles are black.

I really want a daylight version, which will be much nicer... a uniform azure blue. Like a blue level googler!

Sent from a BA Lounge

Thursday, 13 March 2008

Paleotards inneficient

The Charles Arthur Campaign is claiming credit for ground-breaking, shocking, Earth-shattering news that Vanessa and Friends are less efficient than a market. This stunning piece of news that monoplolies are inneficient is taught on something like day one of any Economics course.

I remember a late night drinking session with Vanessa and my team when I layed it all out, and it didn't take 154 page I tell you. 'ol Ed had more lambrinis than he could count and as we all lay there under the stars on a golf course putting green it became very clear. The next day I parted ways from OS and began the real adventure here at the 'gol.

Sent from a (different to the last one) BA lounge.

More bad news

Some loser ex-hire is mouthing off about 20% time being a myth. The problem as I see it is that he's right - for the nerdlings. Blue level Googlers and above retain their 20% time and I actually spend 20% of my time on 747s so it's not a problem.

We're firing doubleclick staff. So what, they can go work at Yahoo.

Zero to mentioning food in 60 seconds. We actually have an ad-supported food program here - logos imprinted on toasted bread etc. Still in beta.

Sent from a BA lounge.

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Freetards plan get together

Like a band of sheet clad Druids flocking to a dirty stone in a wet field to hear the non-sensical murmurings of the Druid King, the beardy freetard map-bashing brigade otherwise known as OpenStreetMap will be convening in a dirty hotel room in Limerick, Ireland, to hear the equally non-sensical murmurings of their own Druid King, the great El Coasto.

Pause for a moment and think about how we do things at the Big G. Where do you think the idea of location came from anyway? I didn't come up with it sitting on the toilet, I got it from a student's essay back in the 'ston days. The color of the second 'o' in Google? From a community arts project in the Mission. Free lunches for employees? Got the idea after overhearing Jim Goodnight in a restaurant in Seattle in 1977.

Show-and-tell sessions like this are great for us - its outsourcing of innovation. We give the freetards a bit of cash to pay for some lentil soup and a vegetable burrito at lunchtime, send some of our marketing drones down there with some shiny stickers and then sit back and suck it all in. Got a cool idea? Tell us about it!

Now compare a freetard gathering like the StateoftheMap to a Google operation like a Developer Day. I don't get on stage and tell you how to make my secret sauce, I use the secret sauce to give away even more ad supported burgers. Everyone knows your only open when you're losing.

Sunday, 9 March 2008

Heart attacks

If we were a older company and had many paleotards around then, well, first we'd have to teach them how to use computers and how to use the segways laying around... But after that, we'd give them some stock. And if we'd given them stock a year or 6 months ago they wouldn't be impressed.

We'd have a number of heart attacks on our hands. The stock is heading south. Officially everything is fine but 'ol Ed is going to be straight with his secret diary. We're fucked. The recession's gonna nail us.

Everyone here at HQ is pinning their hopes on Android but it won't ship for months and even then we have a small task of destroying the carrier monopolies and producing a phone that appeals outside of the 20-29 geek-in-a-bedroom demographic. We've got to get GHealth out there before the whole 'no evil' thing becomes a complete whitewash.

We might have to switch on ads on the maps sooner than Grand Plan dictates... I'm relying on that stock to get back over $700 if I'm going to get that retirement cottage in Cornwall.

Sent from a BA lounge

Friday, 7 March 2008

“Free our Data” talk at the BC

The Geospatial Special Interest Group is hosting a talk on the Guardian Free our Data campaign next month, by Michael Cross.

These lame ass freetards aren't getting anywhere standing on street corners handing out Socialist Worker, and so all they do is hang around and whinge about it. What did they expect? Oh! Charles Arthur says the entire government must change to his special blend of Communisim! Quick! About face!

Meanwhile, out here in the Real World we're doing new and innovative things. We're pretty big and consider ourseleves very important but even we defer to the US Military.

Sent from a BA Lounge

Thursday, 6 March 2008

Giove-B to be launched

We've got a lot riding on this. The second in-orbit demonstrator for the Galileo system is to be launched.

We're planning to launch the first advertising-supported Gelileo and GPS hand-held units some time soon. Obviously when you're driving past McDonalds we want to help monetize that, and offer you a free cheese burger. But it goes much further. We'll be pushing out much more aggressive advertising.

Pretend you're driving up the ramp to your local Ramada Inn... your Galileo-enabled cell phone will call you and offer you 10% off the Hilton across the street and a free lambrini and coke will be waiting for you when you arrive. When you answer the call and crash, your Galileo-enabled GoogleGPS will offer you keyword-based pay-per-click body shop adverts. Click on one and they'll be routed directly to the scene of the accident.

We've done location-aware advertising for years but it's been confined to city sized areas in general. It'll be a big growth market for us when we're tracking your children with their ad-supported OLPCs.

Sent from a BA lounge

Monday, 3 March 2008

Links for 3 March 2008

Microsoft WorldWide Telescope
Like Earth but crap and slow with features you don't want. Only runs on Windows. I've had some of our people work on buying some telescopes so we can be seen to compete, but really, who cares?

Google Engineering Philosphy
I've had the guy that leaked this fired, and shut down his brothers tractor dealership out in Iowa. We're tighter than an constipated iPhone SDK engineer.

ESRI integrates with SQL Server '08
SQL Server 2008 introduces some geographical data types. I invented location so I'll be writing those guys for a cut.

YouTube Hi-Res videos
We're trying to find an exit for this. Mostly when we buy a firm we just rip out the engineering team and leave the other employees to swivel, but as I've said this was just a joke that went wrong. Any ideas to turn this around would be appreciated.