#geowebchat transcript, 1 November 2011


@mappingmashups Reminder: #geowebchat in 3 hrs (11a PT). Topic is the new Google Maps API fee for use. Come join the discussion, and please RT! Tue Nov 01 15:05:09 +0000 2011

@mappingmashups Good morning/afternoon everyone. Welcome to another #geowebchat! Today let’s talk Google. …again. Specifically, the GMaps API. Tue Nov 01 18:01:19 +0000 2011

@re_sieber Seems like Google’s forgotten its biz model, to advertise on app or to mine data from app. Not to charge for access to app #geowebchat Tue Nov 01 18:03:48 +0000 2011

@mappingmashups Some context: Starting Jan 1, Google will start charging for use of the Maps API for heavy users. http://t.co/R3jwHKlm #geowebchat Tue Nov 01 18:04:10 +0000 2011

@mappingmashups @re_sieber Seems like it. But are there any cases of map-based advertising that doesn’t suck? #geowebchat Tue Nov 01 18:04:55 +0000 2011

@re_sieber we could remind them: mine every kml. #geowebchat (mine every kml; ford every fusion table….) Tue Nov 01 18:05:41 +0000 2011

@joeeckert @re_sieber is that a symptom of Google’s business model failing to scale appropriately? #geowebchat Tue Nov 01 18:06:18 +0000 2011

@mappingmashups And then, sell that mined data to 3rd parties? That’s a model we’ve critiqued before (but not necessarily on business merits) #geowebchat Tue Nov 01 18:07:02 +0000 2011

@re_sieber could lead to a broader discussion of corporatization of our geoweb conversations #geowebchat Tue Nov 01 18:07:33 +0000 2011

@re_sieber move everything to OSM? Is the platform designed to handle the diversity of content, multimedia? #geowebchat Tue Nov 01 18:08:49 +0000 2011

@burnsr77 @re_sieber: that’s the ? that’s raised for me – the political economy of the geoweb emerges more strongly, & our convos shift #geowebchat Tue Nov 01 18:09:02 +0000 2011

@mappingmashups So, do these seem to be the three main biz models: pay for service, (implicitly) sell your data, or be advertised to? #geowebchat Tue Nov 01 18:09:24 +0000 2011

@peterajohnson could argue that Google charging corporations isn’t really a big deal. Does TripAdvisor need to have free maps? #geowebchat Tue Nov 01 18:10:04 +0000 2011

@mappingmashups …or some combo of those three? If you pay for service, it’s unlikely that you could get Google to opt you out of being mined. #geowebchat Tue Nov 01 18:10:15 +0000 2011

@joeeckert @re_sieber not really. OSM maps the cartesian. not room for much else w/o an API. always felt this is a strong limitation. #geowebchat Tue Nov 01 18:10:27 +0000 2011

@re_sieber @joeeckert that’s fascinating. The land of the mighty server farms and interoperable platforms being unable to scale #geowebchat Tue Nov 01 18:10:33 +0000 2011

@mappingmashups @re_sieber Even if we move to OSM, in reality that means moving to OpenLayers hosting providers. Who pays for the servers? #geowebchat Tue Nov 01 18:11:21 +0000 2011

@peterajohnson This is where Mapstraction comes in handy – switch map APIs w/minimal recoding: http://t.co/onEvggL1 #geowebchat Tue Nov 01 18:12:11 +0000 2011

@joeeckert @re_sieber “unable” and “cost effective” are two different things though, right? i mean, it is a profit-making endeavor #geowebchat Tue Nov 01 18:12:17 +0000 2011

@re_sieber @peterajohnson What’s free if it’s got banner ads everywhere and the data is being mined? However, w API, easier to elim ads #geowebchat Tue Nov 01 18:12:30 +0000 2011

@joeeckert @mappingmashups not to mention #OSM has been running into the same issue – can’t afford to keep serving tiles for free. #geowebchat Tue Nov 01 18:12:55 +0000 2011

@peterajohnson @mappingmashups Who pays for servers is an issue for community groups. Maybe this is why GMaps API still free for small users? #geowebchat Tue Nov 01 18:13:10 +0000 2011

@joeeckert @peterajohnson handy tool, thanks for that. #geowebchat Tue Nov 01 18:13:31 +0000 2011

@mappingmashups @peterajohnson We could argue that this is Google successfully “not being evil”. Soak TripAdvisor to give free stuff to the 99% #geowebchat Tue Nov 01 18:14:34 +0000 2011

@joeeckert @peterajohnson is there a not-for-profit provision? #geowebchat Tue Nov 01 18:14:43 +0000 2011

@peterajohnson @re_sieber I think we need to re-calibrate our expectations of corporations and ‘free’. Nothing is free. #geowebchat Tue Nov 01 18:15:04 +0000 2011

@re_sieber @joeeckert Could mean their biz model is failing 2 keep up w costs. More likely revenue projections since monetization big prob #geowebchat Tue Nov 01 18:15:32 +0000 2011

@peterajohnson @mappingmashups the 99% won’t pay anyways. $10k is peanuts for corporate users. If anything this highlights the value of maps #geowebchat Tue Nov 01 18:16:03 +0000 2011

@joeeckert @re_sieber yup. suggests things will only get worse as data gets bigger. is the day of “free” service going to be scaled out? #geowebchat Tue Nov 01 18:16:30 +0000 2011

@peterajohnson @joeeckert sorry – nfp provision for? #geowebchat Google pricing doesn’t apply to small users. Good writeup here: http://t.co/1LDaVmZ8 Tue Nov 01 18:16:58 +0000 2011

@re_sieber @peterajohnson @mappingmashups Spoken like a true corporate man. Wait a minute, aren’t you a professor? #geowebchat Tue Nov 01 18:17:27 +0000 2011

@mappingmashups @peterajohnson Apple’s gobbling up of 3D mapping companies also highlights the value of maps. Something else we could discuss. #geowebchat Tue Nov 01 18:17:34 +0000 2011

@peterajohnson @re_sieber The gap between corporate and academia gets thinner every day…#geowebchat Tue Nov 01 18:18:19 +0000 2011

@joeeckert @peterajohnson thinking here about ushahidi deployments likely to exceed the 25k limit, thus the nfp question #geowebchat Tue Nov 01 18:18:34 +0000 2011

@re_sieber @joeeckert It’s the biz models and their projected quarterly earnings that are failing. #geowebchat Tue Nov 01 18:18:55 +0000 2011

@mappingmashups @joeeckert That is a big fear (that the day of free service will soon be over). In any case, we’re captive to Google’s whims. #geowebchat Tue Nov 01 18:19:30 +0000 2011

@peterajohnson @joeeckert 25k loads per DAY seems like a lot. Only covers initial load of map, not panning/zooming. #geowebchat Tue Nov 01 18:19:43 +0000 2011

@re_sieber @burnsr77 We never critiqued ESRI company when we were using it. Not that it’s inherently good or bad. Just dbl std w Google. #geowebchat Tue Nov 01 18:21:11 +0000 2011

@mappingmashups @joeeckert Good point abt crisis mapping: might have sporadic bursts of activity that exceed limit. Otherwise little activity. #geowebchat Tue Nov 01 18:21:16 +0000 2011

@peterajohnson @re_sieber then this is probably the first of many efforts to monentize Google services. Gmail next? #geowebchat that would raise a storm! Tue Nov 01 18:21:21 +0000 2011

@mappingmashups @re_sieber ESRI never tried to get us hooked with “the first one’s free” #geowebchat Tue Nov 01 18:21:49 +0000 2011

@joeeckert @peterajohnson pretty sure ushahidi topped that (or at least l-serves are atwitter). anyhow, found out a nfp provision exists #geowebchat Tue Nov 01 18:22:29 +0000 2011

@peterajohnson @re_sieber @burnsr77 Really? Never critiqued ESRI? Wonder how this influences ArcGIS.com strategy #geowebchat Tue Nov 01 18:22:59 +0000 2011

@joeeckert @re_sieber we didn’t? sure, a bit late to the party, but i’m not sure that went completely unchecked. #geowebchat Tue Nov 01 18:23:03 +0000 2011

@re_sieber @peterajohnson Gmail is already being mined and data sold 2 3d parties for ads #geowebchat Tue Nov 01 18:23:06 +0000 2011

@joeeckert @mappingmashups the hell they didn’t. who do you think pays for those copies of arc for the undergrads? ;) #geowebchat Tue Nov 01 18:23:37 +0000 2011

@peterajohnson @mappingmashups @re_sieber Zing! #geowebchat Google is interesting contrast to @geocommons that is making analysis tools free Tue Nov 01 18:23:55 +0000 2011

@mappingmashups @joeeckert Touché, but ESRI was only trying to get future professionals hooked. Google got everyone hooked. #geowebchat Tue Nov 01 18:24:47 +0000 2011

@peterajohnson @re_sieber We’ve all come to accept ads as part of the background noise. Now that it is milked out is pay per use inevitable? #geowebchat Tue Nov 01 18:25:51 +0000 2011

@joeeckert @mappingmashups they seem to be adapting to that approach, however. be interesting to see if they continue the free services. #geowebchat Tue Nov 01 18:26:41 +0000 2011

@mappingmashups @mappingmashups And to stretch my drug dealer metaphor beyond reason, Google implied it would always be free. Tho not explicitly #geowebchat Tue Nov 01 18:27:12 +0000 2011

@re_sieber @joeeckert refer 2 acad literature. Many critiques of corporate geoweb (wo mentioning Google). No critiques of corporate GIS #geowebchat Tue Nov 01 18:27:12 +0000 2011

@mappingmashups @peterajohnson Is problem really that ads are milked out? It’s just there was never a good way to embed ads for API users. #geowebchat Tue Nov 01 18:28:38 +0000 2011

@peterajohnson @mappingmashups I do wonder how long the Google Maps API pricing matrix has been floating around at corporate HQ? Since 2006? #geowebchat Tue Nov 01 18:28:52 +0000 2011

@re_sieber @peterajohnson I argue that their adsense type model failed. But why not try to rejuvenate it? #geowebchat Tue Nov 01 18:28:53 +0000 2011

@mappingmashups I think LBS will be more successful (to our irritation) in embedding ads. Just doesn’t work w/ plain GMaps in a webpage. #geowebchat Tue Nov 01 18:29:49 +0000 2011

@burnsr77 @re_sieber: precedence shouldnt matter. why compare geoweb convos to trad GIS in this case? #geowebchat Tue Nov 01 18:30:16 +0000 2011

@burnsr77 @re_sieber: i could just as easily write that critique of GIS right now. not too late. :) #geowebchat Tue Nov 01 18:30:45 +0000 2011

@joeeckert @re_sieber hmm. very surprised that didn’t come up in the rest of older critical GIS lit. wonder why not? #geowebchat Tue Nov 01 18:31:30 +0000 2011

@joeeckert @burnsr77 that’s not all that bad an idea, friend. i hear gis vs geoweb papers are all the rage these days. ;) #geowebchat Tue Nov 01 18:32:17 +0000 2011

@re_sieber @burnsr77 Just saying we gave ESRI a pass. Or maybe we criticize Google 2 much. A corporation just is. #geowebchat Tue Nov 01 18:33:03 +0000 2011

@peterajohnson @re_sieber Yeah, I guess ads are only good when people are buying things. #geowebchat Tue Nov 01 18:33:16 +0000 2011

@mappingmashups @joeeckert @re_sieber Seems that the lit considered GIS inherently corporate or govt/military? Geodemographics and all… #geowebchat Tue Nov 01 18:33:25 +0000 2011

@mappingmashups …but the biz model of GIS industry itself wasn’t critiqued as corporate? Due to lack of avail/awareness of FLOSS alterns?? #geowebchat Tue Nov 01 18:34:14 +0000 2011

@joeeckert @re_sieber i’d side with “gave ESRI a pass” – but can’t bite the hand that feeds, right? #geowebchat Tue Nov 01 18:34:41 +0000 2011

@re_sieber @re_sieber Or rather it’s a placeless corp w no allegiances. unlike early 20th C corps who had 2 care somewhat ab civic society #geowebchat Tue Nov 01 18:34:47 +0000 2011

@re_sieber @mappingmashups @joeeckert get ur pt. But cold war origins somewhat diff from criticizing corps. Geodemographics is corp critiq #geowebchat Tue Nov 01 18:36:44 +0000 2011

@mappingmashups @re_sieber Google the placeless corp? Ok. ESRI had allegiances to things like US govt and resource indust, if not actual places. #geowebchat Tue Nov 01 18:36:56 +0000 2011

@mappingmashups By allegiances I mean something more like symbiotic relationship. Google is dependent on no one? #geowebchat Tue Nov 01 18:37:56 +0000 2011

@mappingmashups RT @re_sieber: Bc we all knew Jack. He’s academic. Gave us free, subsidized licenses (had 2 fight his own mktg team 2 do that) #geowebchat Tue Nov 01 18:39:03 +0000 2011

@re_sieber @mappingmashups Google is not ONE OF US #geowebchat Tue Nov 01 18:39:19 +0000 2011

@joeeckert @mappingmashups maybe dependent on favorable interpretations of anti-trust laws…. #geowebchat Tue Nov 01 18:39:25 +0000 2011

@joeeckert can’t help but feel this all points to the popular “freemium” model that we see in games and increasingly in software dev. #geowebchat Tue Nov 01 18:40:40 +0000 2011

@mappingmashups @joeeckert like paying for the actually useful bits? Increasingly complic pricing schemes r everywhere. Airlines, mobile phones. #geowebchat Tue Nov 01 18:42:38 +0000 2011

@re_sieber @joeeckert I’d be ok with that as long as I wasn’t being subjected to ads or having my content mined. #geowebchat Tue Nov 01 18:43:39 +0000 2011

@joeeckert @mappingmashups i just paid $3 for a bit of excel script (offered via the help menus) to remove blank rows. everywhere indeed. #geowebchat Tue Nov 01 18:43:44 +0000 2011

@mappingmashups @joeeckert …to the point you have no idea what the final price will be. So much for informed consumers & neoclassical econ. #geowebchat Tue Nov 01 18:44:26 +0000 2011

@joeeckert @re_sieber me too. of course, it’s a little easier to say that when i have $5 in my pocket. #geowebchat Tue Nov 01 18:45:00 +0000 2011

@re_sieber I don’t need Google Apps 4 free. I need to know how they’re making $ off me. If I pay 4 add serv then they shouldn’t data mine #geowebchat Tue Nov 01 18:45:34 +0000 2011

@mappingmashups @re_sieber Thing is, how can we ever trust a deal that says our content isn’t mined? At least not in aggregate? #geowebchat Tue Nov 01 18:45:42 +0000 2011

@joeeckert @re_sieber but snark aside, isn’t that what ESRI appears to be shifting toward? NFPs get free use, packages start costing $ #geowebchat Tue Nov 01 18:46:12 +0000 2011

@mappingmashups This gets to the challenges in data retention policies, privacy. Can never be sure how well you’ve been purged from their logs. #geowebchat Tue Nov 01 18:47:41 +0000 2011

@mappingmashups RT @re_sieber: that’s the FB lesson: never trust a man who says your data isn’t being mined #geowebchat ‘Never trust a man over 30 clicks’ Tue Nov 01 18:48:14 +0000 2011

@re_sieber @mappingmashups that’s the FB lesson: never trust a man who says your data isn’t being mined #geowebchat ‘Never trust a man over 30 clicks’ Tue Nov 01 18:48:57 +0000 2011

@mappingmashups Other thing abt the biz model that only charges big users (think TripAdvisor): where does THAT $ come from? Ads on THEIR site. #geowebchat Tue Nov 01 18:50:19 +0000 2011

@re_sieber @joeeckert ESRI has donated ARC products for ~ 20 years to NFPs. Another reason why they’ve escaped critique #geowebchat Tue Nov 01 18:51:02 +0000 2011

@joeeckert @re_sieber hrm. seems like there’s cross-fertilization with development literature and “helping” NFPs here. #geowebchat Tue Nov 01 18:52:16 +0000 2011

@re_sieber @mappingmashups prob w APIs, not as easy to pass content back (for mining) and forth (for ads). Easier when it’s your site #geowebchat Tue Nov 01 18:52:29 +0000 2011

@peterajohnson Would charging for API use increase quality of maps? Or just stifle use? Or both? #geowebchat Tue Nov 01 18:53:15 +0000 2011

@re_sieber @joeeckert Yes @ppgis #geowebchat Tue Nov 01 18:53:51 +0000 2011

@mappingmashups @peterajohnson Interesting. Quality of maps hasn’t even entered the discussion! No claim this will help them improve the maps. #geowebchat Tue Nov 01 18:54:26 +0000 2011

@joeeckert @re_sieber which brings us full circle back to “why not ESRI?” ;) #geowebchat Tue Nov 01 18:55:43 +0000 2011

@peterajohnson @mappingmashups just wonder if fee-for-use would filter out crap maps? Keep new users wit Google My Maps vs. roll their own #geowebchat Tue Nov 01 18:56:26 +0000 2011

@re_sieber @peterajohnson Maybe we can learn fom mobile community w iStores, which offers alternative. Do non-free apps improve apps? #geowebchat Tue Nov 01 18:57:50 +0000 2011

@mappingmashups @peterajohnson Oh, I see. Would it improved the crowdsourced data? Hmm. We could charge people $ to submit VGI?! Brilliant! #geowebchat Tue Nov 01 18:57:59 +0000 2011

@peterajohnson @mappingmashups just had the idea that if you have to pay for it, you might invest extra effort/time into design/biz model #geowebchat Tue Nov 01 18:58:03 +0000 2011

@re_sieber @joeeckert If it wasn’t all soooooooo slow. Come on guys, learn optimization, distrib computing! #geowebchat Tue Nov 01 18:58:55 +0000 2011

@peterajohnson @re_sieber If you can charge for an app, you attract a different type of developer to the iStore. Move from hobbyists to pros. #geowebchat Tue Nov 01 18:59:26 +0000 2011

@peterajohnson @mappingmashups no, we want to pay people to contribute VGI. Like huff post, but with real $$. #geowebchat Tue Nov 01 19:00:27 +0000 2011

@re_sieber Nov. 15 for next #geowebchat? Anyone have a topic? Tue Nov 01 19:00:42 +0000 2011

@mappingmashups @peterajohnson @re_sieber Isn’t this just Shirkyian “filter failure”? What’s downside to having as many apps as possible? #geowebchat Tue Nov 01 19:00:47 +0000 2011

@mappingmashups Yes. Please help me out with topic ideas! RT @re_sieber: Nov. 15 for next #geowebchat? Anyone have a topic? Tue Nov 01 19:01:13 +0000 2011

@re_sieber @mappingmashups @peterajohnson Clay Shirky is a verb? What loop am I out of? #geowebchat Tue Nov 01 19:01:40 +0000 2011

@mappingmashups @re_sieber @peterajohnson I may have just coined him as an adjective? #geowebchat Tue Nov 01 19:02:02 +0000 2011

@mappingmashups #geowebchat advice RT @tmcw: Gosh no: do not use the hosted version of OpenLayers. Download it for your website, like the website suggests. Tue Nov 01 19:02:44 +0000 2011

@peterajohnson @mappingmashups filter failure happens all the time. The Internet is a drunk librarian that won’t shut up http://t.co/mAgPDmCY #geowebchat Tue Nov 01 19:03:02 +0000 2011

@re_sieber @mappingmashups @peterajohnson ugh mixing up parts of speech. must be end of #geowebchat Tue Nov 01 19:03:19 +0000 2011

@mappingmashups Okay kiddos, see you in two weeks. Bring your friends, bring your students. It’s been fun! #geowebchat Tue Nov 01 19:03:30 +0000 2011

@re_sieber @peterajohnson @mappingmashups Here’s to drunk librarians everywhere! See u in 2 weeks. #geowebchat Tue Nov 01 19:05:10 +0000 2011

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