Jack Dangermond, president of ESRI, had a few pointed, but polite comments for the audience of O’Reilly Media’s Where 2.0. "There have been ‘old guys’ who have been doing this for a long time; there are young guys who are just starting; they are coming together through the magic and standards of the web."
There are two "take-aways" here. One, we welcome the ‘young pups’ but maps have been cool to us for a long time. Two, there are web standards that are emerging from the OGC that you need to carefully understand, appreciate, and use.
Dangermond also said, "Google is one expression of the world. GIS networks contain libraries of information and layers that are managed and serve up data." In other words, wake up and smell the terabytes of geospatial data that exist (e.g. Geospatial One-Stop) already; there’s more to the world than streets and points.
Dangermond issued a caution as I spoke to him after his presentation. "This reminds me of LBS." He was referring to the hype that surrounded wireless location-based services, a bubble that burst and has yet to recover.