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SpatialTau - Revisiting What Matters

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November 18 · Issue #32 · View online
SpatialTau
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Sponsor:  I’d like to thank OpenCage for being the newsletter sponsor again this week. These guys are so much fun; I bet you didn’t know besides making an amazing geocoder, they also organize Geomob? They have time to not only building an amazing geocoder built on open data but an open geospatial event (that at least before COVID was run in cities around Europe) and a Podcast as well. So while you are using their single API to get at all those geocodes, you also get permissive licensing, you can cache results as long as you like, no vendor lock-in, display results on ANY map, and worldwide coverage continually updated by OpenStreetMap. 
No credit card is needed at sign up and you pay as you go. Seriously check them out and free yourself from the user agreements of the others. What’s also great is they’ll help you figure out if OpenCage is right for you and if it isn’t, no worries. They’re happy to help you out.
Learning isn't hard if you know how to do it
I’ve been writing a ton about Digital Twins on my blog. There is so much great innovation that you almost forget that all this is built on things you’ve learned long ago. Now I’m not saying, “Hey, I did this 20 years ago, and now you idiots figured it out”. No, this is about revisiting what you did or learned all those years ago to build upon what others continue to do. Kind of a circular reference if you ask me.
Between what Sidewalk Labs has done with Delve and what Autodesk just acquired yesterday (Tuesday), there is a lot of mention of Generative Design. In fact, I’ve been doing a ton of thinking about Generative Design and how to apply it to Digital Twins and Smart Cities. When that happens, I always grab one of my favorite books on planning and development that also happens to be one of the best programming books.
I’m not going to sell you on that book because you should already own it or have read it (ok, if you have not, this is the most transformative book you’ll read in your lifetime, but don’t make me oversell it). But all this talk about machine learning and generative design makes me want to grab it off the shelf and re-read it. I think that is why we save things.
I wrote over the summer how I abandoned my digital-note-taking experiment. The epiphany is where I can look over at my shelves and see the notebook where I wrote the pros and cons of leaving Cesium for Unity. What’s fun about that is I don’t know what I would do today, but I can see my thought process as to why I decided to do it. As I write blog posts about Unreal Engine and Digital Twins, I have a record of decisions I’ve made toward picking one over the other. But back to my point of revisiting what matters, the biggest point I take from leaving Cesium for Unity wasn’t the game engine itself but staying with 3D tiles. That’s the biggest takeaway I can make today and one I didn’t focus on back then, even though I basically wrote how important that was.
We push so hard, moving forward, and fighting toward the next big leap. But there is so much we’ve built behind ourselves or seen others build that we need to take inventory of where we’ve been. Because to find our way forward, we need an origin point to start with. None of us are unmoved movers. Something sets us down our path, and we should remember to look at it from time to time.
Links
Christopher Alexander - Patterns in Architecture
Autodesk University
Art of Atari
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