Discuss how social networking tools can integratewith GIT to facilitate public engagement in HongKong. LSGI4321 GEOINFORMATION FOR URBAN AND REGIONAL STUDIES CHEN Wen 08857179D
1. IntroductionNowadays GPS and social networking such as Facebook and Twitter are hot topics in thesociety. With the development of smartphones and positioning technology, the socialnetworks also change a lot. Google’s research shows that there are 35% of Hong Kong peopleusing smart phones, ranking third highest in the world.Hong Kong smartphone users love tologon social networking sties, 57% visit social networking sties every day. (31 Aug Google)These developments cause the rapid corporation between social networking and GIT, whichfacilitate people’s everyday life and their social ways. Such as users can use Facebook toplace their and their friends positions, by Foursquare and Gowalla users can sign anywhere,and by Banjo and Sonar users can automatically discover people nearby.It is obvious that these technologies can change public engagement. In this report, mainlytwo parts will be discussed, first is how social networking tools can integrate with GIT; andsecondly how these tools can facilitate the public engagement in Hong Kong.2. Social networking tools and GIT2.1. Social networking toolsA social network is a social structure made up of individuals (or organizations) called "nodes",which are tied (connected) by one or more specific types of interdependency, such asfriendship, kinship, common interest, financial exchange, dislike, sexual relationships, orrelationships of beliefs, knowledge or prestige.(Wikipedia)Social networking tools are tools that people using related to social networking, they offer aset of functionality for connecting with other people and holding on-going conversations.Additionally, they offer a dynamic notification service, which provides updates on theactivities of friends.There are some popular social networking tools listed: Facebook, twitter,Blog, QQ, MSN, SMS, Weibo, etc.2.2. GIT2.2.1. Geographic Information TechnologyGIT is represented as Geographic Information Technology, which includes: GeographicInformation Systems (GIS), Global Positioning Systems (GPS) andRemote SensingTechnologies including aerial and satellite image analysis (RST).Nowadays GPS is more and more important in our daily life.2.2.2. Location Based ServiceLocation Based Service is an information or entertainment service, accessible with mobiledevices through the mobile network and utilizing the ability to make use of the geographicalposition of the mobile device.LBS include services to identify a location of a person or object,such as discovering the nearest banking cash machine or the whereabouts of a friend oremployee. LBS include parcel tracking and vehicle tracking services. LBS can include mobile
commerce when taking the form of coupons or advertising directed at customers based ontheir current location. They include personalized weather services and even location-basedgames. They are an example of telecommunication convergence.(Wikipedia) when it relatedto social networking tools, services such as determining the user/mobile device’s location,providing services of location-related information, discovering the nearest place that usersare interested and so on.Location Based Service is a connection between social networking tools and GIT.2.3. Applications184.108.40.206. FourSquareIt is a location-based social networking website for mobile devices and allows registeredusers to post their location at a venue ("check-in") and connect with friends. Users cancreate a "To Do" list for their private use and add "Tips" to venues that other users can read,which serve as suggestions for great things to do, to see or to eat at the location.220.127.116.11. HollerUsers could find someone who has the same interests nearby.18.104.22.168. IgobubbleUsers could leave bubbles at a certain place, when your friends come to this place, he/shemay open these bubbles to check the information you leave.3. Public engagement3.1. Public engagementIt is used to describe "the involvement of specialists listening to, developing theirunderstanding of, and interacting with, non-specialists."(Wikipedia) it refers to the publicparticipation or public consultation.In Hong Kong, matters especially some public policies would cause discussion andparticipation in media, talk shows, network message, Facebook, Twitter, Blog, Community,MSN, mobile phone text messages and telephone voice.Public engagement and Urban Planning will be discussed as an example.3.2. Urban design study for the New Central HarbourfrontStage 1 public engagement: Invite public views on the urban design objectives, urban designissues and sustainable design principles for the new central harbourfront. (PlanningDepartment, May 2007)
The pictures above show the urban design study from Planning Department to refine theexisting urban design framework and to prepare planning/design briefs for key sites in thenew Central Harbourfront to guide the future development. It integrates community inputsin the study through an open, transparent and collaborative public engagement process.
3.3. Public engagement and Urban PlanningPublic participation can be introduced in planning, decision-making, construction,management and maintenance of the entire process.The introduction of pre-planning publicparticipation is generally carried out in the early residents of planning survey, includingdemolition, housing, transportation and other issues. In the implementation process, publicparticipation is reflected in the brainstorming process of building and supervision.Publicparticipation also needs to focus on foreign workers to understand the perception andunderstanding of the city, so that they participate in the citys tourism, life, and culturalaspects.4. Public engagement and social networking tools can integrate with GIT4.1. Government 2.0With the number of members ofFacebook exceeded five hundred million, the importance ofsocial media from the former "should use" to today "must use", and "how best to use" theissues; the government should catch up as well as business.After the battle of high-speed rail,Hong Kong government has realized the power of social media and hopes to enhanceelectronic public participation by social media and construct the “government 2.0”.From the book <Government 2.0> of William D. Eggers in 2007, he proposes the use ofinformation technology to construct a "Government without Wall" of an ideal world. Thebook explains how to strengthen the interactionbetween government and citizen.The “Government 2.0” (Gov 2.0) refers to the government use Web 2.0 to attract Publicengagement, through the full exchange on the network and participate in interactiveelectronic activities (E-Participation), so that public policies can communicate and promotemore effectively (Oreilly, 2010).The goals of Hong Kong government using social media contain: policies in internet, improvegovernment engagement online and enhance the communication with public. For example:
The government has developedsocial media platforms such as Facebook, Blog, Youtube andTudou.4.2. How the GIT can help the public engagement?4.2.1. Snap Send SolveAn example of Australia can take as a reference. Developed by OutwareMoblie, Snap SendSolve is a free app for your iPhone or Android device that lets you report issues and providefeedback to your local council in under 30 seconds Australia wide.Snap Send Solve determines your council using your smartphone’s GPS location. Once yourGPS location has been determined the server sends back all relevant council details,including contact information, location, and email contact. Snap Send Solve allows you toeasily capture and report on common issues including Litter, Hard waste, Parking, StreetCleaning, Trees, Noise, and also provide a general request or general feedback. All reportsfrom Snap Send Solve are sent from the app using your email address so that the council cancommunicate directly with you to fix the issue.
From the Australianexample, I think Hong Kong Government can also use and develop thissoftware to enhance the public engagement because it is simple and convenient.Users canalso share this with friends in the Facebook and Twitter and make them know thereports/issues.4.2.2. American electionsAnother example is from American elections. We have witnessed the power of social mediain 2008 when the presidential election.The next presidential election, geographic positioningwill be involved.In 2012, the geographical location-based technology will play a more centralrole, to organize and manage elections. Citizens will see these processes in action with theposition sensing applications on the browser and voters will be more active in voting choice.Citizens will be able to witness the election and activities of the camp to get a large numberof data, and use these data to find the target, to enhance the power of optimization strategy.They can grasp the geographical positioning of political parties, candidates, and operationalobjectives will be calculated to obtain the actual benefits. (Elections app)
This is also a good reference for the elections of Hong Kong.4.2.3. Public Web-GIS PlatformPublic Web-GIS Platform for analyzingvisual and environmental impacts of reclamation worksin the victoria harbor.The primary aim of the project is to implement a methodology that allows the public toundertake visual assessment and inspection of possible environmental impacts ofconstruction projects. Four objectives have been identified in relation to providinginformation on existing and proposed reclamations in the Victoria Harbor: 1. Establish a web-based platform to amass information including map, documents,
graphics and other visual aids, on reclamation works in Hong Kong; 2. Enable dynamic and interactive interface of three-dimensional (3D) models of the site before and after the reclamation works; 3. Provide view shed and analytical tools that enable users to examine visibility from various viewing directions and locations; 4. Create a two-way communication channel with which the public can put down their opinions and judgments after inspecting the construction projects.Public can undertake visual assessment and inspect possible environmental impacts ofconstruction projects. They can use smartphones to position, take phones, login socialnetworking tools such as Favebook and Twitter to share with friends or make somecomments that more people could participate to discuss. They can go to the government’ssocial website to report issues or some feedbacks. Software like Snap Send Solve also couldbe used to report issues and provide feedback to thegovernment. 4.2.4. 3-Dimensional EIA Public Engagement ToolsThe 3D EIA public engagement tools aim at engaging individual citizens ininformeddiscussions on major proposals and facilitating a better understanding of theproject and issuesthrough the use of latest 3D digital tools, technologies and multi-mediaplatforms. The toolsenable the public to experience the possible future scenarios.Having understood the project and the environmental issues involved, the public can makeuseof the 3D EIA public engagement tools to offer suggestions, innovative solutions,alternativeoptions and mitigation measures. Consensus can be developed through thisre-iterativeinformation exchange, engagement and informed dialogue process offered by thetools. (Environmental Protection Department, Environmental Assessment & Noise Division)This is a promising tool for public to communicate with each other and also with thegovernment. If it can cooperate with social networking tools, users can offer suggestions,innovative solutions, alternativeoptions and mitigation measures more widely andconvenient. 4.2.5. Community Mapping for Elections and News ReportingIt is a seminar forjournalists and mediaexperts to exploreMaps and Geographic InformationSystems (GIS) in news reporting.Journalists strive to include the 5Ws (who, what, when, where, why) and an H (how) in theirnews reporting. When presented with information on where an event occurred and whatthat location is like, the readers can better appreciate how and why the event actually tookplace.Geography and maps have often played an important role to their viewers and readers. Mapshave been used widely in media to cover a broad range of news about diseases. Crimes,
accidents, local events, battles, terrorist attacks, and disasters. Spatial patterns manifestedon maps can ignite insights and provoke speculation on various happenings in a community.Not only can maps help reveal the distribution of electoral votes by political parties; they canalso enlighten readers about the profile of Hong Kong electors and their propensity to vote.The seminar also highlights how the Geographic Information System (GIS) technology can beused to achieve greater depth and relevance in news reporting. Prevalent issues on harbourreclamation, crime prevention, traffic accident analysis, and disease control and monitoringwill be discussed with map illustrations for news coverage. (Dr. Lai, P.C., Dr.Mak, A.S.H., Ms.Chan, K.W., Ms. Leung, T.S., Mr. So, F.M. Aug 2004)This is an exciting concept and public may be interested in. because maps are used almosteverywhere, especially there are Facebook places, TwitterVision, Mytweetmap, Twitterearthand so on, and Google and android are exploring new technologies of maps and GPS. Therewill be more GIT-based social networking appear and help the public engagement.5. ConclusionGeography, maps, 3D models and GPS are more and more important in our social life, andthere are many social networking tools caught this opportunity to enhance their functionsand facilitate their users’ communications. The Hong Kong government also uses these toolsto communicate with public such as the Government 2.0, social website, Public Web-GISPlatform, 3-Dimensional EIA Public Engagement Tools, etc. which increase the publicengagement obviously and no doubt attract more people to participate, but how to widelyimplement and promote will be a goal in the future.
ReferenceSummary of CBC Forum, 27/12/2006Chief Executives Office Social Media Strategy, CHEN YuePeng, 22/2/2011http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_networkhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Location_based_servicehttp://snapsendsolve.com/Snap_Send_Solve_-_Report_to_Council_with_your_iPhone_or_Android_smartphone_by_Outware_Mobile.htmlhttp://www.lbsvision.com/archives/tag/greenopiahttp://22.214.171.124/website/hr/http://geog.hku.hk/gislab/Seminars/Seminars.htm3-Dimensional EIAPublic Engagement Tools, Environmental Protection Department andEnvironmental Assessment & Noise Division, 2004.