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Ubiquitous Location, The New Frontier and Hyperlocal Nirvana

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Gary Gale (Nokia)
Sponsored High Order Bit
Location: Ballroom III

The Head is all mined out; established players jealously guard their business relationships and look forward to the next contract renewal. Slightly further down the curve, the up and coming players as well as those who have slipped and fallen, eye the Head jealously and fight for scraps in the shadows. Everyone looks at the Long Tail as the new frontier.

With location-aware devices relentlessly converging, location is becoming evermore ubiquitous and is taking its rightful place as a key context to enable companies and applications to cultivate the Long Tail. Knowing local places, enriching local content, and informing local needs – anywhere and everywhere.

This talk looks at the business, social, and technological hurdles that are now being addressed or that still need to be overcome in order to reach the long-promised hyperlocal nirvana.

Gary Gale


A self professed “geek with a life”, I’ve had a life-long love affair with maps since discovering the iconic Harry Beck map of the Underground on the back of the London A-Z street atlas at an early age. After “growing up and getting a proper job” I now live in Teddington in South West London with my family and work in London and Berlin as the Director of Ovi Places for Nokia; I’m also the co-founder of WhereCamp EU, the chair of w3gconf and I sit on the W3C POI Working Group and the UK Location User 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; I’ve also been at Digicon, developing geophysical technologies to aid in the search for natural resources and at the European Space Agency Research Institute in Rome, Italy, participating in the development and launch of ERS-1, Europe’s first remote sensing satellite. Outside of the location and geo field, I’ve been at companies including the BBC World Service, Reuters, Factiva.com and Network Associates.

Fascinated by technology, I first started hacking on a Commodore PET, built my own Sinclair ZX-80, spent too many years behind the console of a VAX, and even more years coding in Assembler, FORTRAN, C and C++.

I speak and present at a wide range of conferences, workshops and events including Where 2.0, State of the Map, AGI GeoCommunity, #geomob, mashup*, the British Computer Society, WhereCamp EU, the Location Business Summit and FOWA.

Writing as regularly as possible on location, place, maps and other facets of geography, I blog at www.vicchi.org and I tweet as @vicchi.

Despite living in London for most of my life I still haven’t managed to visit every station on the London Underground network and I now face the additional challenge posed by using the Berlin U-Bahn network every week.