My Ignite Where Talk Proposal: People Suck at Naming Places

Just sent my Ignite Where proposal: “People Suck at Naming Places”. You can still submit yours too.

The world of precise coordinates is easy to interact with using software. The problem is humans don’t use precise coordinates to represent places. They don’t even agree on place names. They also do it in several different dialects. They use abbreviations, approximations and sometimes even metaphors.

To make things worse, human designing software to represent places don’t even try to make systems that can exchange that information using names instead of numbers. Do we need a PNS (place name system) inspired by DNS to resolve place numbers (latitude/longitude) to names? I will try to give an overview of the current existing services/APIs that you can use to find a precise coordinate with a place name. And then demonstrate why we are not there yet.

I might even propose how we could exchange these names between systems. All this in under 5 minutes. With images of ponies, pandas and unicorns, but no cats.

I will keep you posted if I’m selected!

Published by Sylvain Carle

Venture Technologist. Internet and Media Geek. Homebase on the web is at and physically grounded in Montréal.

One thought on “My Ignite Where Talk Proposal: People Suck at Naming Places

  1. Yea, but what makes the most sense for now is something that is more discrete than lat/long and is easier for those who are uncomfortable with datums and what not. How about the NAC (Natural Area Code) that turns the entire earth into 1.5 meter square waffle chunks with a 10-digit alphanumeric? Doesn’t that seem more sexy than Bugtussle, KY?


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