Revisiting Geddes' Outlook Tower
The Information Age, 100 years on
The rise of the computer and the digital revolution is responsible for an explosion of devices, data, and connectedness. These are all enabling what is called the dawning of the Information Age. And software designers, developers, and architects all share an important responsibility for shaping and guiding the world’s progress through this axial age into the future.
However, more than 100 years ago, the work of organizing the world’s information into a single all-encompassing taxonomy had already begun. Partially influenced by the positivist doctrine of Auguste Comte, leading thinkers of the early 20th century such as the librarian Paul Otlet in Belgium, museum curator Patrick Geddes in Scotland, and educator Melvil Dewey in the US were each working to design universal classification systems that would encompass and coordinate the explosion of information appearing in libraries, museums, newspapers, magazines, and eventually even radio, movies, and television.
What did we learn in the last century? What have we forgotten? How does their work affect our current trajectory in transforming the work of software and systems design and development? What can we take from Dewey, Otlet, and Geddes with us in to the next 100 years of the Information Age.
Speaker: Mike Amundsen
An internationally known author and lecturer, Mike Amundsen travels throughout the world consulting and speaking on a wide range of topics including distributed network architecture, Web application development, and other subjects.
In his role of Director of Architecture for the API Academy, Amundsen heads up the API Architecture and Design Practice in North America. He is responsible for working with companies to provide insight on how best to capitalize on the myriad opportunities APIs present to both consumers and the enterprise.
Amundsen has authored numerous books and papers on programming over the last 15 years. His most recent book is a collaboration with Leonard Richardson titled "RESTful Web APIs" published in 2013. His 2011 book, “Building Hypermedia APIs with HTML5 and Node”, is an oft-cited reference on building adaptable Web applications.