On Tuesday, the monthly Tokyo2point0 event in Omotesandou/Tokyo was held for the 8th time. The venue was really packed. Andrew Shuttleworth (the organizer) told me he would love to see more people to RSVP before coming. Also, companies can contact Andrew directly for sponsorship to help the volunteers currently running the event.
You can sign up directly on the Tokyo2point0 site itself, go to Tokyo2point0’s Facebook group or get some information on Mixi.
Besides the (very important) networking part, the event mainly focused on three presentations. Two of them were English only. Judging from what I have seen, the Japanese people present were able to follow the speakers without problems though.
1) HTML 5
Michael Smith from the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) delivered a detailed speech about HTML 5. Mike talked about the changes the fifth major revision of the Web’s main language will bring.
(all pictures in this posting courtesy of my friend Professor Ichinohe)
The core issue HTML 5 addresses is the problem of interoperability between browsers. The W3C is working to determine conformant user agent/Web browser behavior to overcome one of the biggest obstacles Web developers are faced with nowadays.
The new HTML version is still a draft. Michael was expectedly not able to predict precisely when all advantages HTML 5 delivers will come into effect.
(This presentation was off-the-record so the video will not be published.)
Yuki Naotori from Open Associates/7ns presented his Award-winning Google maps mash up “ONGMAP”.
ONGMAP is thankfully also available in English. The service is describing itself as being the sum of “Google Maps+Web API+Tons of Geo Data”. Yuki said he wanted to create a very easy-to-use Web site.
Users can click on an area of interest on ONGMAP and the service scrapes various info about that particular place from external sources. Depending on the country, this info may include:
– WiFi spots
– local events
– hotels, restaurants, schools, convenience stores, beauty salons (!) and much more
– etc. etc.
Yuki also talked about his new project called “Japaaan”. In essence, Japaaan is a social network for people interested in discovering Japan’s “hidden” and cool tourist spots. Moreover, members will also meet offline and actually travel to selected sites. Gaijin and Japanese people are invited to join.
You can view Yuki’s presentation slides here.
Watch his presentation here.
My Swiss friend Oliver Reichenstein from Information Architects caused a great stir last year in the Web world with what inititally was a joke. His company basically used the Tokyo metro map as a design background to display the relationship between Web services worldwide. Oliver told me he wanted to use this idea for the company name cards and later was overwhelmed by the huge international interest in his concept!
The map illustrates popularity, success, importance and other factors of about 200 Web sites from all countries. You can download the second version (from July 2007) here for free (PDF).
Oliver explained the yet-to-be released third and updated version of the Web trendmap. This time, Information Architects decided to go for an isometric approach.
Watch his presentation here.