|Photo by Google|
Let me start with what Map Maker ( www.google.com/mapmaker ) is. Basically, it is like an editable version of Google Maps. Everyone is editing a single, global, public map, and not their own private maps. Data from Map Maker is copied over into Google Maps, so a lot of the data you see in Google Maps is actually contributed by individuals, and not obtained from a commercial mapping source. Map Maker has been particularly useful in mapping countries where good commercial data did not exist. Map Maker is useful in mapping disaster-hit areas too. This is of great help during rescue operations.
The venue of the event was Resorts World on Sentosa Island, a touristy place in the south of Singapore. Sentosa Island seems to have some sort of special status, for example there are entry fees to enter Sentosa by any mode of transport (walking, monorail, bus, taxi, personal car, and cable car), and transport inside Sentosa is free.
An important purpose (the primary purpose?) of the conference was to get the Google people and the users to meet and interact with each other, and this did happen on the first day, although there was no "formal" conference activity with projectors and screens and microphones etc.
On 31st there was a talk by Google's "Geo Evangelist", followed by a discussion with Map Maker engineers. These discussions with the developers about the features, bugs, etc were the most interesting part of the conference for me. There were also many other topics of discussion, like building the Map Maker community, organising mapping parties, mapping from mobile devices, using GPS devices, using Map Maker for mapping disaster-affected areas, and other more technical topics.
In the evening we visited Google's office in Singapore. It is mainly a sales/marketing office. So we just looked around and took some photos. After an early dinner by the poolside, I went to roam around on Sentosa Island. It had gotten dark, and I was surprised to find that the beaches were deserted. I was expecting to see at least some people there given that Sentosa is popular with tourists. I rode a Segway ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
|Photos by Prateek|