Love in the Time of Cholera Maps: Mapping Communities from the Ground UpSteven Johnson, Co-founder, Outside.inBeyond the immediate zone of our closest friends and family, the zone of experience that people generally have the most passionate feelings about-and the most extensive knowledge of--is the hyperlocal realm of neighborhoods and communities. But despite that interest, this local zone has been traditionally neglected by mainstream media and most local knowledge has been restricted to the limited chains of word-of-mouth. Placeblogging and the geo-spatial web are starting to correct that imbalance by amplifying the voices of local experts and bringing more voices into the conversation. There is a long history of trying to use maps to represent and understand the knowledge trapped inside neighborhoods and communities, including the map at the center of Johnson's book, The Ghost Map, which tracked a terrible outbreak of cholera in 1854. In this talk, Johnson explores the history of community mapping, from John Snow's map of cholera to Johnson's new hyperlocal service, Outside.in, which is attempting to organize the geo-spatial web around neighborhoods. Johnson will talk both about the promise of this emerging movement and about the limits of mapping itself. Real-world communities need tools to think spatially about the information around them--but they don't alwaysneed a map! From O'Reilly Where 2.0 Conference, San Jose, CA, Tuesday, May 29th, 2007.
Since 2004, the Where 2.0 Conference has been the place 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.