Mapping the Augmented City: Blaise Aguera y Arcas
Blaise Agüera y Arcas is the architect of Bing Mobile and Mapping at Microsoft.
He works in a variety of roles, from designer and coder to strategist, and he leads an Applied Research team of researchers and engineers with strengths in social media, computer vision, and graphics. He joined Microsoft when his startup company, Seadragon, was acquired by Live Labs in 2006. Shortly after the acquisition of Seadragon, Blaise directed his team in a collaboration with Microsoft Research and the University of Washington, leading to the first public previews of Photosynth several months later. His TED talk on Seadragon and Photosynth in 2007 is still rated “most jaw-dropping” on ted.com. He returned to the TED stage in 2010 to present Bing Maps.
Blaise has a broad background in computer science and applied math, and has worked in a variety of fields, including computational neuroscience, computational drug design, and data compression. In 2001, he received press coverage for his discovery, using computational methods, of the printing technology used by Johann Gutenberg. Blaise’s work on early printing was the subject of a BBC Open University documentary, entitled “What Did Gutenberg Invent?” He has published essays and research papers in theoretical biology, neuroscience, and history.
In 2008–2009, he was a recipient of MIT Technology Review’s TR35 award (35 top innovators under 35) and Fast Company’s MCP100 (“100 most creative people in business”); in 2010, he’s on Advertising Age’s Creativity 50 (“annual list of the most influential and inspiring creative personalities of the last year”).