One of the quiet trends unfolding right in front of our eyes is the marriage of the physical and digital worlds. It is one of the reasons why despite doubters I remain a believer in Foursquare. And perhaps that is why I find Square, disruptive and a game changer.
But the biggest challenge of this symbiotic union of our physical and digital worlds is how we are going to interface with an increasing amount of data, that is becoming richer and complex. In the real world, our eyes, sense of smell and ability to hear allows us to paint a memory that sits in the deep crevices of our brains. The digital world doesn’t have the sensory context . . . yet. And that is why navigating through petabytes of data is a vexing problem.
A few months ago, when discussing the redesign of Google Maps, I posed the question to Bernhard Seefeld and Jonah Jones, who have spent nearly eight years working on Google Maps. That breadth of experience has given the duo a deep understanding of how we use data to find our way in the world today.
That conversation turned into an hour length discussion about the sociology of maps, their evolution and how they reflect the times we create those maps.
As I left that Google’s offices, I asked Jones and Seefeld if they would come and speak at our experience design-themed RoadMap Conference and discuss how maps, data and cloud are going to influence our interactions with the world around us. And they said yes!
Are maps the new portal to our future? We shall find out on November 5th & 6th, when Google Maps gurus will join us on stage at GigaOM’s Roadmap 2013 conference in San Francisco. Join us!