Collaboratively Mapping Vancouver's Public Spaces

Last night I attended my first meeting of the Vancouver Public Space Network (VPSN) Mapping & Wayfinding group. They are a group of mapping enthusiasts who want to organize collaboratively mapping Vancouver's public spaces and have some interesting ideas on how to do so, including a web service with a REST interface, but also hand-drawn maps. Let it ring throughout the world that I consider Joey deVilla the master of the hand-drawn directional map, after showing me how to get to his work from his former house back when I visited in 2005.

Having heard about it two hours before and deciding to go with one hour to spare, I pre-loaded two of my maps on Flickr. One was the map I made of my bike route home, and the other was the map of a SkyTrain Explorer walk in Burnaby. I got to talk about the latter a bit, and showed off my GlobalSat DG-100, and we talked about the different methods to track points when mapping out various items in the city, like surveillance cameras, bicycle locks and billboards. (Especially "non-conforming signs": the CBC has a short story on the Lee Building advertisement that Vancouver City Council ordered removed after the owners lost their court battle to keep it up. Read more at the VPSN's page on corporatization.) I suggested taking a photo, since the times will match up with the GPS logger, but there are other good, paper & pen methods too.

Geotagged Icon

After the meeting, instead of doing the dishes, I looked deeper into geocoding on the Mac and added the 'geo' microformat to all of my Flickr photos hosted on justagwailo.com that are tagged with a longitude and latitude. A good example is the photo I took of Dave Olson: if you have Firefox and the Operator extension, you can use the actions associated with location to get KML (Google Earth) or view the location on Google Maps or Yahoo! Maps. (I already provide a small Google Map on each geotagged photo hosted on my site.) At last night's meeting, I also learned about geocoder.ca, which gives you latitude and logitude of locations if you give them a fuzzy description (like an address, or an intersection). They also have an API, for free or for fee. Wasn't there a web service floating around that would accept your text and send you back geotagged HTML if it found what it thought were locations inside that text?

I haven't decided whether to participate in the billboard documenting effort—it will depend on how much work surveying a quadrant will be—but I plan on attending their next organizing event. The next VPSN Billboard project meeting from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM at the MOSAIC Community Meeting Room, located at 1720 Grant St. in Vancouver [event listing]. Just for fun, that previous sentence is marked up in the hcalendar event listing microformat.

Karl has the 6-step cycle of many communities he's participated in
Puis la communauté s'élargit, les créateurs initiaux ont dû mal à gérer l'affluence de nouveaux membres.
Issue for adding microformat support in the Location module for Drupal
Just having hCard didn't make sense, so I added 'geo' support. Note my patch needs testing, so therefore has not been approved yet.
Mozilla Labs releases Operator, a Firefox extension for using microformats embedded in pages
This spurred me on to add the 'geo' microformat to my SkyTrain explorer pages, though it took hacking Drupal's Location module to do it.

Positive Contact

For the last while—who knows how long—my contact form wasn't working because of DNS wonkiness. That should be fixed now, so you can now get a hold of my by email. (In case you might want to arrange for, among other things, the delivery of free stuff.) Also, my about page is marked up in hCard (styling hCard seems a bit much, but it's possible), and to prove that it would take me about 10 minutes to do it, the front page is marked up in hAtom. I have no idea if it's done right, since there doesn't seem to be a microformat validator. Instead, I reverse-engineered how others did it, just like the last time (table-free XHTML + CSS) we bloggers did this.

Did I mention that my del.icio.us bookmarks syndicated here are marked up in xFolk wrapped in hAtom?

Les problèmes se font jour

Karl: Une communauté jeune est relativement stable, homogène, pleine d'enthousiasme. Tous ces éléments permettent son succès. Ceci est valable pour pratiquement toutes les communautés. Et puis lorsque la communauté s'élargit en nombre de participants, lorsque la technologie est utilisée à large échelle, les problèmes se font jour. Ils sont souvent de même nature que ceux que l'on pensait résoudre.

Schedule of World Cup matches which uses microformats
Also follow one team and get starting times in your time zone.
"Abbrevation is not structural."
"It seems, this has been forgotten by the microformat astronauts."