Maps used to help us find our place in the world. Now they help us make sense of the world. Today’s mapping industry affects everything from logistics, to food delivery, to navigation and search. At DLD15, self-professed map junky and managing editor of the Wall Street Journal, Almar Latour, moderated the panel discussion on the mapping industry.
His panelists were David Soloff, CEO and co-founder of Premise Data Corporation; Eric Gundersen, CEO at Mapbox; and David Kenny, chairman and CEO at the The Weather Company.
Mapbox enables companies to make their own maps and doesn’t sell to organizations that violate human rights. The Weather Company make a 3D map of our atmosphere, which is 100 kilometres think. And Premise Data, which makes what Soloff describes as five dimensional maps, where the fourth dimension is data and fifth is time.
These new maps gather data to provide insight and help make critical, time sensitive decisions. The Weather Company, for instance, has created a model to explain the AisAsia QZ8501 crash last December 28th . According to Gunderson, the height of the storm on that day would have played a critical role.
When gathering data, its accuracy needs to be controlled and the dictation between private and public data should be respected, panelists agreed. When asked for their favourite maps, David Soloff chose Harry Beck’s 1930s London underground map, which disregarded actual distances between stations and just looked at typology of railway. Eric Gundersen named a Skybox map by Dan Berkenstock, and David Kenny chose Google now.