24 09 2009

The AGI Soapbox has happened. Now of course I’m biased, but it seemed to go off pretty well. A room full of folks (and their ononmies), armed with geobeers and 10 presentations from souls brave or foolhardy enough to risk this format. I think it was the right decision to withhold the titles and let it unfold on the evening. We had a variety:

  1. Steven Ramage, 1Spatial – “THE LANGUAGE OF BUSINESS” – mostly serious
  2. Addy Pope, EDINA – “Go-Geo! – a geo-information discovery tool and GeoDoc – a metadata creation and management tool.  What can they do for you?” – title length probably says why this didn’t work in this format
  3. Gary Gale, Yahoo! – ““Neo this” and “paleo that”, it’s all just “Geo” – worked overall, amusing but maybe not quite enough to say on each slide?
  4. Simon Lewis, MapJuice; John Fagan, Microsoft – “15 “geoweb” innovations since AGI Geocommunity 08” – competent but probably not memorable (ask me in a month’s time for the 15 innovations!)
  5. Ian Painter, Snowflaks – “Behind every great Neogeographer is a Paleotard” – I suspect audience vote for nailing it with a funny presentation with a well delivered payload. Certainly got my vote.
  6. Andrew Larcombe, Net Dojo – “Serious (geo) play, or ‘why we need to be open to innovate'” – message fine but not punchy enough in the delivery
  7. Chris Parker, Ordnance Survey – “Geovation” – presentation was fine but peculiar scheme…
  8. Chris Osborne, ITO World – Ito! – bombed. Pitch, not enough to say on each slide. 20 secs can be a long time…
  9. Mark Bishop, Chris McCartney, Tom Probert,  PBBI – geogags! Nah.
  10. Peter Batty, Spatial Networking – Queen Vanessa! And a hat.

This is a more difficult format that it first appears. 20 secs can be longer than some appreciated. And if you don’t go with a message, you need good gags.

We had a Geobingo winner, Andrew Newman of Natural England – congratulations! Personally I was just relieved that one of the cards came through…

Thanks go to: Hayley Merrill from 1Spatial for keeping the Geobingo scorecard, getting the cards out there, giving the prize, etc.; Steven Ramage for the Geobingo idea; Nick Summers for setting up the Twitterfall (Swisscom fail, though in extremis) & videoing; Chris Holcroft for loan of the PA kit; and the speakers for sticking their necks out on this.

I hope I’ll be the one to be back with this next year! And so to geobed, before chairing the not-the-keynotes-and-not-the-geoweb SDI stream first thing tomorrow. See you at 9:45.



AGI Soapbox ready to go

22 09 2009

Everything’s as ready as it can be for the Soapbox event at the AGI GeoCommunity conference tomorrow. I have 9 presentations loaded up from the following speakers:

  1. Steven Ramage, 1Spatial
  2. Addy Pope, EDINA
  3. Gary Gale, Yahoo!
  4. Simon Lewis, MapJuice; John Fagan, Microsoft
  5. Andrew Larcombe, Net Dojo
  6. Ian Holt, Chris Parker, Ordnance Survey
  7. Chris Osborne, ITO World
  8. Mark Bishop, Chris McCartney, Tom Probert,  PBBI
  9. Peter Batty, Spatial Networking

and we’ve filled the last-minute slot too – Ian Painter and Eddie Curtis from Snowflake will also present. Each presentation will last 5 minutes, comprising a fixed structure of 15 slides, 20 seconds a piece. The presentations are quite a mix: presentations on business communication, product pitches, barbed commentaries on the geo scene, and finally straightforward geo joke telling.

I suspect that the fixed format where presenters have no control over their slides once the presentation starts will prove quite a difficult style to master. 20 seconds a slide can be a long time or a really short time if you misjudge your timings… Who will fly, who will die? We’ll see tomorrow evening from 5:30 in the bar before the AGI party!

To add some additional audience interest we will also be running a game of bingo (Geobingo, in fact, brought to you from an original idea by 1Spatial) – geojargon spotting made fun, with a prize for the winner.

If you’re at the conference, you can give live feedback to the speakers through Twitter: we’ll have a Twitterfall of comments with the #geocom tag running during the Soapbox event. If you’re not at the conference (shame on you! 😉 you can get a feel for the event by following us on Twitter and we’ll try to upload at least the best presentations to YouTube.

#geocom – ready to go…

22 09 2009

Lunchtime on the day before AGI Geocommunity kicks off… We’ve spent the morning setting up (mostly stuffing conference bags and working out how to populate the GeoCommmunity Live blog). Pics here. Meanwhile Pitney Bowes and Oracle have been running user group sessions, and this afternoon there’s the chance to try geocaching or OpenStreet Mapping. Things seem to be very well sorted, not least due to Claire Huppertz’ efforts at the AGI in pulling together the programme, sponsors, hotel & catering, oh, and everything else.

Preparing for AGI Geocommunity 09

15 09 2009

One of my tasks for the week, brought with me from UCL, is to review the papers that have been submitted for next week’s AGI Geocommunity conference as part of the Best Paper Award judging. We have an excellent range of papers for the conference this year, from bedrock, traditional GIS business to new geoweb business models and examinations of the return on investment of GIS in business. And this year many more of the speakers have delivered written papers so we have the pleasant difficulty of more papers than expected to read through!

My particular job next week (in addition to chairing a session) will be to run the Soapbox. This is a series of quickfire talks in the bar after the end of the regular conference on Wednesday and before the party. 10 speakers, 15 slides each on a fixed 20 second timer each. We (the conference team) are hoping that it’ll be relatively light-hearted and snappy while people get ready for the party. You’ll be able to follow reactions to the soapbox talks on Twitter – as indeed we will in the bar with a twitterfall display on another screen of real-time reactions to the talks

More later. I plan to blog during the conference, and we’ll have a live blog from the conference organisers during the conference itself. The general Twitter tag for the conference is #geocom. You can find the conference programme here. You can still get day tickets for this increasingly popular conference.