Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Googleplex and Where 2.0 Conference

Two weeks ago Joaquín Cuenca and me where at Geo Developer Day in Googleplex. It was a day for meeting other developers that also use Google Maps API and make questions and suggestions directly to the developers of the API, Google Maps and Google Earth. We met Luistxo and Josu from Tagzania, the other Spanish mash-up from the Basque Country.

luistxo, joaquin, josu y eduardo en where 2.0
- Luistxo behind, Joaquín left, Josu right, Eduardo center -


John Hanke, the president of Google Earth, explained all the news. The most important for us was that Google Maps API provides geocoding for US, Canada, Japan, France, Germany, Italy and Spain. This means that now is possible to know the coordinates of any address. Until now if you wanted to find locations by address you had to pay a third party service, so most of mash-ups didn't include geocoding.

In our case, geocoding will help Panoramio very much. Until now you needed to recognice a place from the air to locate a photo, it was difficult. Very soon in Panoramio you could say "7 Bacon Street, London" and the photo will automatically be located there, fast and easy.

There were other important news. The quality of the satellite photos for most of the planet has been improved. Now there are versions of Google Earth for Mac an Linux. Surprisingly Larry Page, Serge Brin and Eric Schmidt appeared few minutes. Joaquín and me were eating the whole day, good food was everywhere.

The next two days, 13th and 14th, we went to Where 2.0 Conference in San José. We all met again, but also a lot of CEOs and people from other business. Specially interesting for us were the speakers from other mash-ups (Flagr, Platial, Plazes, etc.)

We met Frank Taylor from Google Earth Blog, Mike Pegg from Googlemapsmania, people from Flagr and some other. It was interesting to speak personally with other people working on the same area about statistics, business models, etc. It's not very usual you have all these people around.

Joaquín Cuenca, my partner at Panoramio, was so excited about the new geocoding possibilities, that while I was drinking some beers with people from Tagzania he was creating a mash-up of Loquo.com (Spain's Craigslist) and Google Maps. It's still a bit rough around the edges, and there's still a lot to do to improve it, but you can already get the idea. By the way, the name is Revoluz.