There is data all around us. We just don’t always know it. Real estate data, legal data, government data - it’s all there, and most of it is publicly available. Augmented reality is one of the best ways to visualize some of this data, helping us gain a deeper insight into the world around us.
Maarten gave his favorite examples of open data on Layar, such as the Recovery.org layer, which showed where stimulus money was dispersed throughout America. Users could see which institutions and organizations were given money from the U.S. government, as well as how much.
As Layar grows to include more functionality, Maarten hopes that layers like these can be improved on to create a more engaging experience. Instead of just seeing icons to locate the various places money was doled out, why not see 3D piles of cash stacked on one another in correlation with the amount of money? The scene would be a 3D graphical display of data that you could literally walk around in.
Other items mentioned include the Spot Crime layer which uses public data to display crime reports around you, and a layer in the U.K. which shows the value of homes around you. All this information, which is publicly available, becomes much more powerful when put into context in our everyday lives.
So if you are a Dutchophone, you can listen to the entire interview here (sorry, no English version).