First try to guess what this might possibly be a map of, then click the picture to find out.
First try to guess what this might possibly be a map of, then click the picture to find out.
Trash Track will enlist volunteers in two target cities - New York and Seattle - who will allow pieces of their trash to be electronically tagged with special wireless location markers, or "trash tags." Thousands of these markers, attached to a waste sample representative of the city's overall consumption, will calculate their location through triangulation and report it to a central server, where the data will be analyzed and processed in real time. The public will be able to view the migration patterns of the trash online, as well as in an exhibit at the Architectural League in New York City and in the Seattle Public Library, starting in September 2009.
My only question: do these tracking devices carry any hazardous materials? should they technically be joining the trash stream? I guess they could be tracked down and retrieved at some point if it was really an issue.
(Via xkcd - A Webcomic.)
Richard Wiseman, psychologist, magician, and author of The Luck Factor, Quirkology and 59 Seconds, is just wrapping up what must surely be the first ever experiment on psychic power, remote viewing, and location awareness on twitter.
The experiment went as follows. Once a day, Wiseman would go to some undisclosed location. Once he was there, he'd announce this fact, and ask people for their general perceptions about the place. Then, 30 minutes later, he'd post 5 photos of places. Participants were asked to pick which one he was at. An hour later, he's disclose the actual location.
He's undoubtedly going to take some time to crunch the numbers before releasing the findings, but I can't wait to see what came of it.
Within the universe of psychic ability, I wonder if 'location awareness' is already a designated specialty, and if physical proximity (or perhaps social proximity online) might have any impact of success rates? I don't think 'current location' was on Wiseman's demographic survey, but he could surely analyze the social graph after the fact for proximity.
There is a story that Oliver Sacks tells on an episode of RadioLab about how he carries these very strong magnetic balls in his pockets, and that these balls are continually re-orienting themselves to the magnetic north, he can simply feel which way is north by the rotation of these objects, essentially a low tech haptic compass. Tactile Sight takes this simple physical protocol to a whole new level.
The Tactile Belt™ is an affordable wearable device that allows you to navigate using only touch. The device frees you from requiring to use your eyes as there is no display, all information is conveyed via touch. It is like using Mapquest or Google Maps but not requiring to use your eyes.
(Via @where20 )
Stages 0-4 are in concurrent development but the social impact and adoption will almost surely evolve more linearly. As we approach the unanswered questions, neogeographers can become the community organizers of the coming decade resulting in a sharp rise in community cartography with measurable impact. Community cartography is map-making for the benefit of a community by its members. The ubiquitousness of social media, democratization of map technology, accessibility of data add a level of location-based equity never before achieved. It’s a revolution that unites the power of location, analysis, community tools and access flattening the system a little at a time.
Since the 1980s there has been a growing movement toward participation in the GIS community. Mapmaking techniques have been used globally for increasing communications, collaborative planning, and conflict resolution. In the Philippines IAPAD has used 3D models as a way to steward conflict resolution with success. The GreenMap project has broadened participation and access even further, around sustainability. The GreenMap methodology involves a common set of icons and framework so that less stewardship is required in facilitating citizen mapping. Community cartography, one topic of neogeography, has the chance to propel movements even further by putting tools for representation, analysis, collaboration, navigation and diplomacy into the hands of millions of people With further decreasing of stewardship, come new issues to be resolved with care and sensitivity.
Citizens will shape and create new political and cultural contexts which are online, offline and location aware. Borderless connection and real-time location-data enable independent cross border social structures, trade, migration and societies cooperating with one another and well outside of governments.
The infrastructure, need and participation is in place and we can get to work on answering the rest of the hard questions. Emergent products, services and regions will not neatly fit into these stages but will overlap, build on one another, integrate and probably conflict but will continue to change the way we live. Pragmatically speaking, we may have to wait another year to have seamless answers to, “Where can I get the best bagel on the Lower East side right this second?” and we’ll first need to be spammed by iPhone based friend-finding services with bugs but its a small investment for ubiquitous knowledge. Happy Mapping.
Resources & References:
PPGIS, especially the LinkedIn group for the case study fodder Walter Svekla, Geographic Information Scientist and Interdisciplinary Designer, Carmen Tedesco, Program Officer at AED Center for Environmental Strategies, Brian Cooper, Associate Lecturer at University of Sydney, Elke Verbeeten, Independent Research Professional, Giacomo Rambaldi, Sr. Programme Coordinator, ICT4D Innovation at CTA (Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation)
Institute for the Future
Introduction to Neogeography, Andrew Turner
Open Street Map
Orton Family Foundation
On Exactitude in Science, Jorge Luis Borges
How can I apply real-time location-based exchange across borders? How can we create borderless global movements using maps? How can neogeography contribute to international aid and social justice? How can a group of citizens connect and effect cross-nation policy?
Society to society networks become commonplace and global citizens share resources and shape policy, mediation, travel and defense. This is the stage where long standing national/geographic community issues and territorial disputes can be resolved by societies and where treaties may be forged among citizens.
Neogeography can be the foundation of a new dialogue connecting people across borders, sharing local customs and concepts. Milton C. Cummings Jr. defines cultural diplomacy as “... the exchange of ideas, information, art, lifestyles, values systems, traditions, beliefs and other aspects of cultures....” These ideas, information, lifestyles, values systems become more transparent, easier to analyze to identify points of connection and agreement. Cultures have become collections of subcultures which can be navigated through maps. Within the field of Participatory GIS, mapmaking is already being used to successfully resolve conflict, border disputes and other social issues. Once these processes are available to everyone and location information is truly open, diplomacy on a massive scale becomes possible.
The major challenges here lie in ethics and the ability to readily adapt to changing usage as technology becomes even more accessible. PPGIS, the forum for participatory geographic information systems and technologies, shares the guidelines of their strong ethical foundation. Citizens will surely ‘overstep their boundaries’ in foreign affairs and neogeography may be the seat of those new challenges and opportunities.
How can I get a better understanding of where I am? (Plant species, water levels , historical data etc), How can my location aware device support field-based, perpetual education?
I’m in “Forest park” becomes “Salmon spawning 6 meters north”. How can I navigate near and far using social memory maps? How can we always find the right place at the right time?
Mike Liebhold articulates his tricorder view of the world so well that its easy to forget it doesn’t exist and get annoyed when you go to use it and its not there. But the building blocks are in place for a viewfinder perspective of the world around us. The much hyped Sekai camera app embodies that world-view and points to better informed human race no matter where we go. Raven will talk more about this at Where 2.0. In stage 3, location is deeply connected to our immediate view and informs us in an ambient way as we passively gather information. The same questions, we answered in Stage 0, can be better answered with a finer grained, context changing description. “Where am I?” will provide a hyper local knowledge layer about everything from forgotten histories, toxicity levels and profile-based social commentary which will help us navigate both near and far with the benefit of millions of Geoweb contributors. Traffic, travel, interest, education, crime, politics, economics, language translation, news become a personal location layer. Maps become the ultimate transmitter of knowledge and education happens everywhere you roam.
The scale in some way brings to life On Exactitude in Science, where Jorge-Luis Borges sees “the science of cartography become so exact that only a map on the same scale as the empire itself will suffice.” Via Wikipedia.
How can we use time-based location data to enable real-time exchange, and interaction? Who wants my extra lettuce right now? How can social mapping help us improve our neighborhood? How can we organize legislative outreach by district using social maps? How can I organize a play-date for my kids while traveling?
Maps of public officials evolve to action networks for advocacy; petitions, letter writing and other policy-shaping actions, maps of fallen fruit and local food become real-time local food & garden marketplaces, maps of dangerous intersections and local problems become solutions for safer streets and neighborhood improvements.
People now collaborate on mapmaking but will soon cooperate on many location-based movements on maps related to local food, urban homesteading and local advocacy. Neogeographers already create maps around these topics but will be able to actually organize, trade and transact in the future, all on a map. There are three considerations for the progress on map-based collaboration; timeliness, trust and benefit.
“Right now”, is a value-gap in the current iteration of the Geoweb and a barrier to location-based exchange. The timeliness of services like Twitter which support location will allow for immediate answers to geographic questions. Even street vendors are using Twitter to create real-time food mobs. In many circles Twitter has replaced CraigsList for the sale of goods, barter of tools and apartment hunting. The second issue of trust is familiar to all forms of social media and span safety and quality of recommendation. Currently, personal location-data exist in silos across Facebook , Google maps, Loopt, Brightkite and dozens of other services. As people have better control over extending location-awareness to their trusted networks, trust-worthy information increases. Improvements to timeliness and trust are well underway, however, benefit is a more complex and interesting problem to solve. Many groups use online maps as a guest book or journal. On Frappr, people use the map as a communications tool within a map-based community. But maps can also be an organizing tool. The addition of transactional components to social maps will provide measurable results to communities in the form of polls, resource sharing , legislative communication, action alerts and eventually donations and sales-all on a map. With these concerns addressed, we can facilitate real-time location powered marketplaces and exchanges.
How do people choose where to live? What are the pros and cons of one neighborhood over the next? What are the crime trends for this area and how can we use that to quickly respond? How can geographic data help us make market predictions?
Aggregation has left us with an unfiltered abundance of wasted and fragmented data. This is the problem which draws the most criticism of user-generated content. Much of the geodata we are seeing is highly contextually dependent, yet aggregation usually isn’t tuned to pay much attention to the context of the data. Imagine if iTunes wasn’t aware of the notion of compilation albums, or even of albums at all? It would be a huge mess if songs were only treated as atomic units, totally independent of context. A geotagged snapshot of a taxi isn’t meaningful if you can’t see that it’s part of a map of “celebrity spotting”, or “all the places I’ve been mugged”. User-generated content and citizen created mash-ups are in early stages of their value contribution. To increase value, citizens require more robust tools for analyzing data and technology for visualizing large data-sets for a diverse amount of use cases from crisis management to wedding planning. We estimate that only 10% of content contributed to Platial & Frappr is of value to users outside of the mapmaker’s community. Obviously 100% is valuable to the mapmaker and a universe of people around that person even "Places I've Lived”. With richer analysis and clearer context, even seemingly irrelevant data can provide an interesting layer on top of maps for a specific region or use case. i.e.: NE Portland has a high density of dive bars, hiking, bikes, vegan food, graffiti and chai. This simple level of analysis increases the value of user-generated content in the context of understanding unique aspects of a city or neighborhood especially in comparison to other cities or neighborhoods.
New tools for analysis are available at the enterprise level and further emphasize visual intelligence for use in complex geographic projects. FortiusOne, for example, offers significant amounts of economic, political, environmental and geographic data to aid decision makers within government, NGOs and small business. Using these tools, Vancouver Sun analyzed data on more than 1.6 million parking tickets to create a dynamic map that readily pinpointed for readers exactly where they were at the highest risk for getting a ticket. That is one small example of the pervasive, decision-making information coming our way.