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Geographic technologies and data are a notoriously closed shop. Near-monopolies in-hand with tight control of data, technology, and derivative works, have until recently ensured that the geo domain is at times a cumbersome, expensive and exclusive business. In recent years, we have seen the increased availability of free and open geo technologies – freely available services from Yahoo!, Google and Microsoft in addition to genuinely Free and Open libraries, applications, and data such as GDAL, GRASS, and OpenStreetMap respectively – gradually but irreversibly change the technological and product landscape. No longer is it necessary to continuously re-invent the geographic wheel, emptying resources into software and data acquisition.
This presentation discusses why this movement towards free and open technologies can only be a good thing, in particular because resources can increasingly be devoted towards stimulating geographic innovation on top of what have become, or are becoming, shared commodities in the sector. The presentation will conclude with an overview of Yahoo!’s endorsement of Open Location, and will highlight several recent and new products the Yahoo! Geo Technologies team are making available to encourage this trend.
Tyler has spent 15 years working with the spatial and geoinformatic technologies that enrich the Internet and drive its mobile potential. After receiving his doctorate from Oxford University he founded spatial technologies startup. He is currently the Product Lead for the Yahoo! Geo Technologies Group.