PolyglotConf and Fast, Beautiful Maps

by Tylor

This past weekend Todd and I attended the Vancouver Polyglot Unconference, a much needed get-together of local programmers and advocates. Vancouver has been starving for high quality unconferences this year and PolyglotConf delivered perfectly: there was a diverse mix of smart people all there to share what’s exciting them this year.

I talked about Fast, Beautiful Maps, and how anyone can own their maps by building with open data and open source tools like Mapbox. It’s easier every day to create maps that match your project’s brand and to build compelling visuals quickly. In less than 5 minutes we created this map showing parking meter rates in Vancouver:

Take a look at my notes from the talk (lots of eye candy!) and let me know if you’re building anything interesting with the Mapbox stack. Would love to help people get up and running quickly since this stuff is a lot of fun.

Other highlights were Boris’ session on Services To Products (related discussion here), Miran Lipovača’s intro to Haskell (his book is great!), and Allen Pike’s Q&A on Advanced Javascript (lots of homework).

We also enjoyed the discussion around HTML5 apps and what the future of this ecosystem looks like. We have had some recent experience with our launch of Beardspotter and This Is Our Stop, and explaining to others that these are ‘web apps’ has been difficult – great to hear other people’s thoughts on taking web apps mainstream. I also forgot to mention that both of these are open source, so please fork them at https://github.com/denimandsteel/beardspotter and https://github.com/denimandsteel/thisisourstop!

Rolling forward, it sounds like there will be a Polyglot meetup coming soon and if you’re into node.js like we are, defintely get in on the Node Brigade. Looking forward to next year!