Tuesday, March 29, 2011

My Slides for CalGIS: What you should be asking us The future of geography, and the hard - and easy - questions that follow

I do a lot of talking in my job. This quarter, January 1-March 31st, by the end of the quarter I'll have given 19 different talks at 16 different events. Many of the talks are the same or similar, targeted to a specific audience but conveying some of the same essentials in terms of content. That's because I'm doing the "spreading the word" part of my job, telling people about new technologies.

Sometimes, though, I like to do new things. I was invited to do a keynote at CalGIS's conference, and decided to write an abstract that was different from what I've been doing, so that I could explore different themes. I talked for the first time in a public talk about Google's on-going work on the Japan Crisis, and how cloud providers can help maintain a web presence for public service agencies - most of the participants were from government agencies - and related topics. I think the slides convey more of a "of course you should go with a cloud provider" then I actually presented, but most of what I was trying to convey was that these are hard choices and here's a place to start.

BTW, I hate the word cloud in this context. It's so market-y. Anyone have recommendations for a real replacement?


Malcolm said...

You should hate the word cloud there. The situation you're describing has nothing to do with on-demand expansion and contraction of resources and you're falling into the laziness of using "cloud" to mean anything remote (when we already have "remote" to mean that).

The point you seem to be trying to make is that cheap hosted storage is available for public agencies. And they should definitely use that. So call it cheap hosted storage (or economical hosted storage if you want avoid sounding.. ahem... cheap).

Mano Marks said...


Actually no, and this is where slides as an artifact of a presentation fail me. I'm not trying to get across just cheap storage, but also specifically talk about services, applications, hosted applications, and infrastructure on data centers run by other companies.