The return of RGS Monday Night Lectures

The RGS Monday night lectures have returned. This evening (27th Sep) was a great start with a lecture by Jerry Brotton on “Mapping the globe: from the Greeks to Google Earth”. The lecture was thought-provoking and very well attended. Jerry gave a brief history of projections of the world and the reasons for cosmologists creating maps with incorrect information for political gain. The lecture ended with musings on the future of Google Earth and Google as a company. Is Google Earth a local or world tool? Although, Jerry pointed out, you can see anywhere in the world….what’s the first place people zoom to? Their house of course. With the influx of location-based advertising seeming to becoming more and more prevalent local is where the money is at, and Google realise this. Although as a lady in the audience pointed out, all cosmologists (as they were called as they were discovering the outer reaches of our planet – now we call mappers of the earth cartographers!) were doing what they did for commercial reasons, even going back to Ptolemy!

What do you think? Is the creation of location based mobile services based on the things you like and enjoy a good thing? Or is it a step too far? Coming soon (if not already here!) location based offers? The 50 nearest people to subway get a free sandwich ticket to their iPhones? Foursquare seems to be the latest Location Based Services (LBS) company to hit the big time. Ramble over!

Image source – Anna Higgie and this site

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