Today I get on a plane to head back to San Francisco for the first ever (annual?) Google Local Guides Summit event. Over the next couple of days, a whirlwind of awesome activities are planned, some we aren’t aware of yet. One of the cooler parts of this event is the fact it is 75 people from around the world that are flying in for this invite only event (some flights were 18+ hours one way). While I am not sure what I will be able to share (read: NDA), you will see plenty of updates from me over the next couple of days regardless.
I’ve been a Local Guide since the concept started (we were living in San Francisco at the time). I truly enjoy helping people and spreading the word about the cool places we have discovered on a platform that a ton of people us is a perfect fit. With the addition of adding photos (including 360 degree photography) helped me plug another one of my passions in as well. When I applied to attend the summit, I had just broken 3 million photo views on Google Maps. Now, I’ve broken 5 million views with only 368 photos. A large percentage of these are 360 degree photos, which lead me to getting a Google Trusted badge for 360 photos (which is a teaser for another announcement). I’m absolutely stoked to meet other 360 photographers and learn from them.
Another cool part of this trip is experimenting with a new workflow. I recently upgraded to an 9.7” iPad Pro with an Apple smart keyboard (it’s much faster and more accurate than a Bluetooth keyboard). Not only will that be my daily driver (yup, left the laptop at home) but I will also be messing around with Adobe Lightroom on the iPad with RAW files from my DSLR. The last time I did this was in Prague in 2011 and it did not end well so I am hoping that things have changed in the last 5 years (official RAW support now doesn’t hurt). Will my workflow crumple under the load? I’m not sure, but I do intend to find out. In fact, I’m writing this post on GDocs on the iPad right now and posting to WordPress from that. I’ve brought several cameras (Google Glass, Theta S, GoPro Hero4, DSLR, iPhone) with me so I am really interested to see what footage I can grab/process/share and what footage I cannot.