Category: News

Locations Microformat

Last Thursday evening, we (Kevin, Tantek and I) hosted a BOF at O’Reilly‘s Where 2.0 conference. Thanks to the O’Reilly guys for giving us the time and space to gather some people to talk about location tagging on the web.

I’ve posted an only-slightly-edited copy of the IRC log, which we were using to transcribe the meeting.

The discussion went really well and it was great to talk to some people that are actively involved in geo work, since that’s not one of our specialties (though Kevin has done some mapping work in the past). And it was also good to come to some preliminary conclusions regarding location tagging on the web. Here are our general ideas of what location tagging should look like on the web:

  • People generally think of their location in terms of places and street addresses; coordinate systems are usually secondary (and derived from the former).
  • There are exceptions to the above and significant enough that publishing lat/long should be supported.
  • vCard (as a schema) probably has most of what we need to do location tagging. It includes street address data, which is (presumably) international-friendly and also allows for publishing lat/long (see section 3.4 of RFC 2426).
  • As brought up by Bud Gibson, its possible that a tagging scheme based on named places (cities, neighborhoods, venues) could be very useful and seems to follow the way we think about location.

If you’re interested in this topic, please look at the location-formats page and feel free to contribute any formats you know of to that page.


Gnomedex calendar the microformat way

Watching the reports of Gnomedex, I heard about a demonstration of extended RSS processing that the Microsoft IE team did regarding a calendar. Dare Obasanjo explains:

Dean then started to talk about the power of the enclosure element in RSS 2.0. What is great about it is that it enables one to syndicate all sorts of digital content. One can syndicate video, music, calendar events, contacts, photos and so on using RSS due to the flexibility of enclosures.

Amar then showed a demo using Outlook 2003 and an RSS feed of the Gnomedex schedule he had created. The RSS feed had an item for each event on the schedule and each item had an iCalendar file as an enclosure. Amar had written a 200 line C# program that subscribed to this feed then inserted the events into his Outlook calendar so he could overlay his personal schedule with the Gnomedex schedule. The point of this demo was to show that RSS isn’t just for aggregators subscribing to blogs and news sites.

Now, being able to subscribe to an event calendar is very handy, but there is a much simpler way – using hCalendar and Brian Suda’s x2v calendar parsing tool.
I adapted the conference calendar page, to add an “hevent” to each session ( with help from Ryan and his hCalendar creator).

Now you can subscribe to it directly using the x2v link. This is available today, not in a future release of IE, and you can easily add events to your blog or webpage this way for people to subscribe to.
Tags: , ,