And that was our day out at Google

Presentations all over there was a chance to ask questions and give our views to Google about how we thought the day had gone. On Twitter there was a definite split between those who thought Google had missed the mark and just delivered their standard sales pitch and those who thought we should be grateful for the showcase of, often free, tools (and the nice food and beer).

I was a bit more cavalier yesterday as I was overtired and giddy (did I mention the free beer!) but having slept on it and spent a whole lot of time writing up my notes this is what I think: every conversation has to start somewhere and I think the relevance of yesterday will be best judged on what happens next.

We asked for Google to keep speaking to us and get to know the specific issues and challenges we’re facing in local gov and for a space where we can store the developments we’re working on. It was suggested that the /localgov website was expanded to include this sand box and perhaps forums too where we can pitch questions and ideas and Google can get a feel for us.

So local gov didn’t jump into bed with Google on the first date. We had a little cuddle and are quietly excited about the second date (which I would like to suggest is at Googleplex, California).

There is definitely the need to keep this conversation going and deciding how to do that is the vital next step.

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11 thoughts on “GoogleLocalGov

  1. Thanks for some really detailed notes. I just wanted to ask you to clarify what “The Ordnance Survey” question is, for those of us not in local government and who can only guess at what it might mean 🙂


  2. Ah, yes, sorry!
    It is around the issue of copyrighted information – I’m not completely on top of the details but understand OS have some issues with putting geo-information they see as theirs into Google or some other mapping systems. That is a very broad overview and may be slightly missing the finer point of the issue! Hopefully someone will correct if I am wrong / missing something!

  3. Great write up, Sarah! Just to elaborate on the OS issue, it’s basically that any GIS data produced by an OS system is then subsequently owned by the OS and cannot, say, be exported to use in GMaps. Microsoft seem to have an agreement with OS that gets around this and Google aparently do with their pro version of the maps API, however it’s not clear if these issues have been cleared up for the basic version. It’s kind of akin to Microsoft turning round and saying “Okay, you’ve made that Word doc. You can’t now turn that word doc into a PDF because we now own it. Kthxbai!”

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