Gary Gale revisits some of the important milestones in map development over time up to the digital maps of the present time, noting some of the current developments.
Gary Gale works in London, Berlin, Boston, Chicago and Sunnyvale as the Director of Web & Community for Nokia’s Location & Commerce group. Prior to Nokia, I was at Yahoo!, leading their Geo Technologies group in the UK, releasing GeoPlanet and Placemaker and providing the geo heavy lifting for Flickr and Fire Eagle.
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Future of maps
I mean, I know why it happens, of course, but... com'on. Let's talk about Maps, not 3D images!
I guess the next big thing is map customization based on context. It needs enermous amount of processing power. It needs not only a CDN, it needs a slew of servers everywhere in the world. You need tileservers in literally every continent, and possibly in each major country.
Also, it's a good question how do we move towards 3D and vector-based display on Web. Google did their WebGL demo, but simply the traditional view on maps is broken as soon as you enter 3D. Of course, most ideas still hold, but... hey, now you've got a 3rd dimension, it's not really a map anymore!
I'm not saying that maps should be full 3D - a map is an overview, a simplification, a model. But simply, technology has changed on the web as well. It's just not enough to show slippy maps anymore I guess...