• ESRI
  • NAVTEQ
  • Veriplace
  • AT&T Interactive
  • DigitalGlobe
  • Google
  • Yahoo! Inc.
  • ZoomAtlas
  • Digital Map Products
  • Microsoft Research (MSR)
  • Pitney Bowes Business Insight
  • NAVTEQ

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People Suck a Naming Places

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.

Photo of Sylvain Carle

Sylvain Carle

Needium (formerly Praized)

CTO and Co-founder of Needium / Praized. Internet, opensource, media & geo geek.