3 For '09

9th January 2009 @ 4:51 pm
November 2008 marked two years at Stamen for me, and I'm not done yet. Three purely technological things I'm excited about working with in 2009:

  1. Realtime messaging and XMPP. After some initial experiments, I'm really excited by the possibility of visualisations driven by realtime data feeds. I like the idea of XMPP, and although scaling it out gives me the fear it's a fear I'd like to confront in 2009 on a real project.
  2. Custom cartography and up-to-date maps. I'm a long-time cheerleader and supporter of the OpenStreetMap project and the project is reaching a level of completeness and complexity that competes with commercial map providers. I'm looking forward to writing tools and maps that work with OSM data in a way that just wouldn't be possible with Google-Maps-style mapping APIs or would require data well out of the budget range of most of our projects.
  3. Visualisation and vector mapping in a web-browser using NotFlash technologies. The healthy competition between Gecko (used in Firefox) and WebKit (used in Safari, Android, the iPhone etc.) is improving the performance of javascript, canvas and svg (not to mention the new CSS transforms). This means that the potential for interactive vector graphics in the browser is almost on a par with Flash. I imagine the developer tools will keep me with Flash for a long time, but I'm looking for the right project to kick-start a comparable tool chain for in-browser vector graphics, and looking forward to thinking about what that might look like for myself this year.

This post could probably use some supporting links, but I thought I'd get it out there before my first week back at work ended. Happy 2009 to you all.