THATCamp Project: Dogpatch update

January 12th, 2011

Hi folks,

A lot of people have been asking and I’m sorry for the radio silence.  I wanted to give a quick update on where we’re at for THATCamp Project.  We had an open organizing meeting in December and had a good turnout.  What we came up with is a rough framework of geotagging various events, photos, oral histories, etc and feeding them into an open,  publicly accessible database like Freebase, and then making map tiles out of those.

If that sounds a little complicated, that’s because it is.  But that doesn’t mean you need to be some geohack or coder or something to have fun with this or learn from it.  That’s kind of the backend.  The frontend would be having several stations that we would use to learn and utilize different tools, like recording oral history, mapping historic photos, lining up old Sanborn insurance maps, creating an iPhone app to display historic maps, using Open Street Map, Google Maps, or Layar to come up with various presentations and stories of local history.

That’s the idea.  It will still take a bit of doing to get this off the ground.  I had a great space almost lined up in Dogpatch, but it fell through.  We’re now talking to folks at the UCSF Mission Bay campus to see if some place there could accommodate us.  Obviously, we’d really love to be in Dogpatch somewhere, and we don’t have a ton of money left over to rent someplace, and we need good internet access.  For my part, my contribution right now is trying to nail down that place.

As of dates, we’re looking at Saturday, February 26th, but obviously, we can’t commit to that until we confirm the space.  I’ll certainly let you know as soon as we nail something down, and by all means, feel free to reach out to your connections in the area.

Hopefully we’ll have more news soon.

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