Aag 09 F1 Good Good
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Aag 09 F1 Good Good



2009 AAG presentation for the "Is Google Good for Geography?" session.

2009 AAG presentation for the "Is Google Good for Geography?" session.

Can the GeoWeb Get the Public to Care about Geography? The Positive Externalities of a Web Enabled Ecosystem



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  • Presented at North Carolina GIS Conference. February, 20, 2009 in Raleigh, NC.

Aag 09 F1 Good Good Aag 09 F1 Good Good Presentation Transcript

  • Can the GeoWeb Get the Public to Care about Geography? The Positive Externalities of a Web Enabled Ecosystem
    • Sean Gorman
    • [email_address]
    • http://blog.fortiusone.com/
    Presented at AAG March 27 th , 2009 Las Vegas, NV
  • Is Google Good for Geography?
  • Is Technology Good for Geography?
  • Is ESRI Good for Geography?
  • Is Democratization Good for Geography?
  • What is the Public’s Perception of Geography
    • Our Session’s Wordle
  • How Does the Public Interact with Geography?
  • How Does the Public Interact with Geography?
    • SEARCH
  • How Does the Public Interact with Geography?
    • MEDIA
  • Are geographers involved with the public’s perception of geography?
  • What are the primary criticisms of Google by geographers?
    • Creating and reinforcing digital divides (economic and racial)
    • Corporate control of data
    • Abuse of citizen privacy
    • Concerns about amateur mapping and the accuracy of crowdsourced data
    • Homogenized cartography
  • Digital divide?
      • 500 million downloads
      • Imagery: 50% of world's population
      • 26 languages
      • Data and maps for 167 countries
      • Street maps in over 65 countries
      • Over 10 million maps have been created by users
      • Over 150,000 active sites using the Maps API
    What do the statistics say?
  • Google in their own words
    • 13,000+ people from every U.S. state and 35+ countries signed an online petition to stop the dumping of mountaintop mining waste into waterways.
    • Over 150 congressional co-sponsors from the U.S. House of Representatives for a bill to change the Clean Water Protection Act.
    "This tool will bring a spotlight to a very dark corner of the earth, a torch that will indirectly help protect the victims. It’s David versus Goliath, and Google Earth just gave David a stone for his slingshot. No one can any longer say they don't know." - John Prendergast, former advisor to President Clinton, speaking about the ‘Crisis in Darfur’ layer in Google Earth
  • Concerns about licenses? (b) You give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to access, reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute business listings data contained in Maps API Implementations. For example, if you create a store locator application, Google may use the business listings information from the store locator to improve the Google Services such as Google Maps and local search. (c) You agree that this license includes a right for Google to make Your Content available to other companies, organizations or individuals with whom Google has relationships for the provision of syndicated services, and to use such Content in connection with the provision of those services.
  • Where does the data go?
  • Google’s privacy defense Where does Google get the images in Google Earth and how does it protect my privacy? Google Earth uses satellite and aerial imagery to provide users with views of locations around the globe. Google licenses or purchases this imagery from government and private sector providers that make this imagery available commercially. In addition, anyone who flies above or drives by a piece of property will see similar images. The resolution of this imagery does not typically permit the identification of individuals, and the images are not real-time, so they do not capture current activities. There are different laws in different countries about what imagery can and cannot be commercially distributed or published and we respect those laws. Where buildings are blurred on Google Earth – for example the Royal Palace in the Netherlands – this is done by the supplier that provided the images to Google. Street View captures images of people on the street? Is that legal? Street View only features imagery taken in public locations. This imagery is no different from what any person can readily capture or see walking down the street. While Street View enables people to easily find, discover, and plan activities relevant to a location, we respect the fact that people may not want imagery they feel is objectionable featured on the service. We recently incorporated face-blurring into Street View using state-of-the-art technology. We also provide easily accessible tools for flagging inappropriate or sensitive imagery for blurring or removal. Each Street View imagery bubble contains a link to “Street View Help” where users can report objectionable images. We routinely review these takedown requests and act quickly to remove objectionable imagery.
  • Privacy vs. censorship
  • Accuracy of amateur map makers?
  • Homogenized cartography
  • “ Red Dot Fever”
  • Are we tilting at windmills?
  • Google has enabled the GeoWeb but is not the GeoWeb?
  • The potential of a GeoWeb ecosystem
    • Web 2.0 (Google et. al) + GIS + Academia
  • Eradicating digital divides
  • Open data through open licenses
  • Creative Commons and ODbL
    • http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Stats
    Exponential Growth
  • Accuracy and completeness of crowdsourced data
  • OSM vs TeleAtlas
  • Homogenized cartography
  • Open Data Open Source
  • EveryBlock
    • http://everyblock.com
  • CloudMade
  • The problem with default settings
  • Thematic Visualization
  • Thematic Styling
  • Classification
  • Styling
  • Indiemapper & Stamen
  • Making implicit geography explicit http://code.flickr.com/blog/2009/02/04/100000000-geotagged-photos-plus/
  • Flickr Shapefiles
  • Harnessing the crowd for public good?
  • What does the cost benefit analysis of the GeoWeb look like?
  • Thank you
    • Sean Gorman
    • [email_address]
    • http://blog.fortiusone.com