Dr Mike J Smith

Plymouth University

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Geotat for a geot*at (or maybe that should be a geowanker!)

Fri, 11 Apr 2008

Following on from the last blog on the Geo8 trade show and, in particular, following on from the last AGI Tat Awards, I would like to announce the formal re-inauguration of the official, unofficial, Geo8 Tat Awards, or simply GeoTat (for those American readers the title might be lost on you. For everyone else this is what I am on about).

Those not familiar with the term "tat", may I point you to the Oxford English Dictionary? Or, to save time, the wonderfully to the point:

tasteless or shoddy articles

So there you have it. What crap are vendors giving away at this year's show? Well, in comparison to the 2006 AGI trade show, it was a really poor affair, as evidenced by the photo. I'm thoroughly disappointed at how professional companies are becoming. I don't really care that Topcon must have had over 250,000 of survey gear on their site. What I want is some really tasteless freebies. Pens were the order of the day; time will tell if they work (and on past experience the OS really score here). Faro gave away the best quality pen (perhaps matching the "Best Dressed Stand" award they received); the only one metal, but insider information (not mentioning any names Paul) suggests that quality insurance is lacking. As for the OS, pens were all they had. No crappy TOIDs this time around. Perhaps its time to tighten the belt at our national mapping agency. Leica had free pastries and coffee. Satisfaction for the stomach maybe, but quickly forgotten. Pentax had a flashy stand, with absolutely nothing of no-substance on it at all. Pointools tried to flagrantly buy off the judges with some paper anaglyph glasses and a Roses chocolate. Sorry guys, it won't work. It's sad to say, but even Kingston University was coming close to winning with some truly awful pens and magnets. I should give a brief mention to Positioning Systems with their globe stress balls; better than pens perhaps, but its so 90s that I couldn't be bothered to actually pick one up.

Worst Tat
1. Pentax: far too professional for my liking. Avoid their stand like the plague.
2. OS: surely we can do something creative.....

Best Tat
1. Trimble: cracking mugs, although the spoons seem liable to snap
2. Trimble: great little karabiners
So the winner this time around is Trimble, awarded first and second place, taking the coveted crown away from AutoDesk. Well done guys.

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Ken Field wrote at 2008-04-11 16:36:

Very dissappointed Kingston's fridge magnet's didn't win anything given the lengths we've gone to to source something particularly cheap. You also fail to mention our fluorescent yellow branded surveying c'mon...and we've plenty of quality tat at our merchandising partner cafepress (

I can, however, confirm the snapping behaviour of the spoons that come in the Trimble mugs...mine lasted 3 minutes in the car (good job I swiped another 4). I am pleased to see they have printed a "not for climbing" note on their karabiner...

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