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Here it is! The schedule for GIS Day @Stanford, 2016. It’s a work in progress, but only small changes to times will be made, at this point. 

This year’s events will be split between two venues. In the morning we will meet at the Hartley Conference Center, in Mitchell Earth Sciences Building, and after lunch (on the Mitchell Patio), we will reconvene at The David Rumsey Map Center at Green Library.

Please be sure to click on the TICKETS link, below, to RSVP for the event! 
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Wednesday, November 16 • 11:00am - 11:30am
Mapzen: Who's On First... All the places! Still not a magic pony!! Yet!!!

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Who's On First is a gazetteer of places. Not quite all the places in the world but a whole lot of them and, we hope, the kinds of places that we mostly share in common.

A gazetteer is a big list of places, each with a stable identifier and some number of descriptive properties about that location.

An interesting way to think about a gazetteer is to consider it as the space where debate about a place is managed but not decided. We call our gazetteer Who's On First (or sometimes "WOF" for short). According toWikipedia, Who’s on First:

...is a comedy routine made famous by Abbott and Costello. The premise of the sketch is that Abbott is identifying the players on a baseball team for Costello, but their names and nicknames can be interpreted as non-responsive answers to Costello's questions. For example, the first baseman is named "Who"; thus, the utterance "Who's on first" is ambiguous between the question ("Which person is the first baseman?") and the answer ("The name of the first baseman is 'Who'"). "Who's on First?" is descended from turn-of-the-century burlesque sketches that used plays on words and names. Examples are "The Baker Scene" (the shop is located on Watt Street) and "Who Dyed" (the owner is named Who). In the 1930 movie Cracked Nuts, comedians Bert Wheeler and Robert Woolsey examine a map of a mythical kingdom with dialogue like this: "What is next to Which." "What is the name of the town next to Which?" "Yes." In English music halls (Britain's equivalent of vaudeville theatres), comedian Will Hay performed a routine in the early 1930s (and possibly earlier) as a schoolmaster interviewing a schoolboy named Howe who came from Ware but now lives in Wye.

Which sort of sums up the problem of geo, nicely. It might be easier, perhaps, if we all understood and experienced the world as coordinate data but we don’t, so the burden of “place” and its many meanings is one we trundle along with to this day.

Our gazetteer is absolutely not finished – both in terms of data coverage as well as data quality – so, in the near-term, you should adjust your expectations accordingly when you approach the data. We are releasing the data now because we believe it is important not just to articulate our goals and intentions around the project but also to back them up with tangible proofs.



Speakers
avatar for Aaron Cope

Aaron Cope

Maker & Sayer, Mapzen
Aaron is Canadian by birth, American by descent, North American by experience et Montréalais au fond. He usually just tells people he is from the Internet. | | Aaron is currently Editor at Large and the creator of the Who's On First project at Mapzen. | | Between 2012 and 2015 he was Head of Engineering at the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, responsible for the architecture, implementation and general table-pounding of the... Read More →


Wednesday November 16, 2016 11:00am - 11:30am
Hartley Conference Center Mitchell Earth Sciences Building, 397 Panama Mall, Stanford, CA 94305

Attendees (23)