Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

When Social Meets Spatial


Published on

Keynote presentation to Surveying and Spatial Science Industry Young Professionals (SSSI-YP)in Melbourne, Australia, Jun 2011

Published in: Technology, Business
  • Be the first to comment

When Social Meets Spatial

  1. 1. Yvonne R Thompson June 2011 Presentation to Surveying and Spatial Sciences Institute Young professionals (SSSI-YP) Emerging Technologies SSIYP Jun 2011
  2. 2. The only constant is change“GIS is changing, a new kind of architecture is emerging, a new infrastructurefor a distributed environment. “Jack Dangermond from ESRI (Where 2.0 Conference) 2011“The pace of change is outstripping organisational capability, however as longas we remain focussed on interoperability and sharing data openly - thensocial media can be invaluable for the spatial community. Sharedunderstanding and user requirements will be critical.” Steven Ramage, Chair, Outreach Committee at GSDI Association“The reasons…include innovations in technologies, data availability and moreopenness, a digital orientation that supports mapping, graphics andtelecommunications connection.”How Do Geographic Information, Mapping and GIS Connect with News Media Today? Jeff Thurston
  3. 3. the BuzzShift away from applying the technology to applying thedata, to share information, across boundaries and platforms.Mobility, the Cloud and the Crowd.Transformation creates disruption and opportunity.Urgent need for a rethink of spatial profession and culture.
  4. 4. Social media polarizes … Social media comes in for strident criticism - especially in mainstream media (perhaps the same people who write articles about the dangers GPS and driving off cliffs?) e.g. • it’s a megaphone for promotion (often true) • making us stupid and reducing attention spans (missed that, I was tweeting) • not a ‘real’ conversation (wot? ROFL!!)
  5. 5. don’t ignore change• Social media is transforming information channels eg traditional media vs bloggers.• Social networking combines mobile phones with GPS technologies into one application.• Mashups make local information accessible: combine place, time & information for user interactivity.• Potential for democratization of information with increased emphasis on transparency.• Anyone can become a “curators” of information (eg check out the geolocated photo sets on Flickr, or the Ancestry• Information wars.. some countries experience increased controls from government, but monetization is another form of rationing / controlling content
  6. 6. social media makes sharing easy The ability of anyone, anywhere, to rapidly transmit and disseminate ideas and information is transformational
  7. 7. Reality Check Social Media Drivers: $$• Big brands see big $$ in location based interactive content• Facebook valued at $US100B Twitter, Linkedin $US8B each• New entries every day, highly dynamic & speculative environment• Google-Microsoft- … acquire startups (eg Skype by MicroSoft)• Media and advertisers in hot pursuit of the crowd (s) - local information in a continuous news stream targeted at you• Less free …more pay walls in the future ?• IP Implications…who will own & profit from reuse of contributed data?
  8. 8. SSSI - Who are we?• Surveying - really precise, conservative culture.• Scientists with satellites and other VERY cool stuff..a bit rocket science, aloof, inaccessible• Spatial - GISers who know their software, maps & projections
  9. 9. it’s about representing theinformation …
  10. 10. And about location services: apps, not just maps• Plenty of mobile smartphone hype about location as a feature’…but the “location” component is often invisible• there are apps about location• and apps that want to know your location• I have dozens of apps on my phone, the best provide ‘hyper-local’ information in real-time
  11. 11. map ‘know-how’ has spread… A lot of the stuff that once only a professional GIS professional knew is now available to anyone. Why? People are explaining it in plain language. There are ever increasing free, open, interoperable easy to use tools and data.
  12. 12. ..the hack is already out of the bag.. “The focus has changed from geo- processing (publishing as output) to geo-publishing, with processing as an input.” “NoGIS” meetup, San Francisco Apr 2011: {“NoGIS” is tongue in cheek, but is also a serious response to a changing technical environment, w new strategies for scaling large data sets, and shifting client-side browser execution environment for dynamic content. As Mike puts it “big databases, tiles, and Javascript.”} The paleogeographer vs. neogeographer grudge Neogeographers Wikipedia definition: The “[...] usage of geographical techniques and tools used for personal and community activities or for utilization by a non- expert group of users”Images from Andrew Turner, Fortius One
  13. 13. it’s not just ‘amateurs with GPS devices’For more dynamic and interactive work the smart people areusing all the tools at hand!• Native support for GeoJSON-formatted vector tiles, visual display assembled client-side, support for numerous background imagery providers.• Use simplifying assumptions that make GISers squirm (not suited for purposes such as sewer installation, but make projects fast, cheap and easy to launch• use the tools at hand - reaching for what’s comfortable rather than what is strictly correct.• explicitly turns its back on IE in favour of vector graphics and dynamic features in new browsers.• (In some cases used Adobe Flash to distribute cartographic visualizations and used Javascript.• must often choose between spurning the iPad or IE users ... at least until IE9 sees hoped-for broader adoption.Check out Polymaps ..developed at Stamen with Mike BostockSource:
  14. 14. Do we genuinely engage?• Do we over emphasize professional expertise “ build it (our way) and they will come” ?• Do we needlessly baffle with arcane practices & technical jargon ?• Our sector has expertise, both in the form of “explicit” and “tacit” knowledge. – explicit knowledge that is easy to communicate will be written down and shared, automated, standardized. – tacit knowledge, is the often hidden part of what you may not even fully recognize you know that involves learning and skill, but not in a way that can easily be written down.• Tacit knowledge is where we should be applying ourselves as professionals, to work outside our sector to tackle the problems that face Australia and the world.• Even advanced skills can become redundant, except for those who are creative and exercise tacit knowledge in the application of those skills.• We may argue for perfection but often things need to move more quickly.
  15. 15. balance healthy skepticism with knowledge and open minds
  16. 16. be open to open-mapping..Open Mapping - new tools for citizen/stakeholder participation,engagement, visualization & comprehensive planningOpenStreetMap www.openstreetmap.orgOpenLayers an OSGeo projectWorldKit, -source-google-street-view- map.htmlWikiMapia: http://wikimapia.orgGoogleMapswww.googlemaps.comVirtual Earth, free: http://virtualearth.comMetro Quest used by Qld Govt to allowpublic to explore planning alternatives.
  17. 17. e-Government• government is turning to online engagement to work with community to• identify and prioritize problems that government can fix• help citizens to visualize geographic data• seek ideas and information from citizens on a given issue or issues.• Automated systems decide who gets what content• language parsing tries to distill sentiment from millions of online interactions• new web analytics, new algorithms and approaches are yielding fresh insights
  18. 18. Improving access to government data“We can no longer afford to work at the speed ofgovernment. We have responsibilities to the public tomove the information as quickly as possible… so thatthey can make key decisions.” Brian Humphrey and Ron Myers (LAFD)Open PSI, the raw material of innovation• In May 2011 Open PSI became Australian Government Policy.• Victorian Government Public Sector Information Release Framework - (PSIRF) Project due Sep 2011 2001 Australiam Spatial Information Action Agenda. Open data has been a long time coming.
  19. 19. Disasters tend to bring spatial into the spotlight
  20. 20. Crowd sourcingNew approaches to mobile, engaged, Social media and crowd sourcedtwo way communication and crisis information is a movinginformation sharing target for emergency managers, councils, increased the speed and transmission of small items of information to be broadcast widely. Legal, operational and process issues remain for emergency services use of crowd sourced information Image: Neil Kuruppu Image: Maurits Van Der Vlugt
  21. 21. emergency management context• Emergency Managers& communities seek to self-organise in the face of more extreme natural disasters.• Users organize into networks & communities defined by shared interests, relationships, or geography• Unfiltered real time information, maybe raw, but often real and by the law of averages mostly accurate.» Local online social platforms brought quickly into service during a crisis.» Volunteers step in as filters or curators on information» The ABC created a QLD Floods Crisis Map for people to map what’s happening. During the floods, the site collected 100,000 citizen reports!• Social media tools used in Qld floods increased communication and were used to support action, connecting networks of individuals around relief efforts causes.• Jan 2011 Bushfire Connect conducted a first community trial of Ushahidi in Healesville (• Everymap, a Hyperlocal news service people report locally, and get alerted locally, about things important to them, from lost pets, to great shopping deals, and of
  22. 22. Challenges of Social media in Crisis Communications• Increased complexity of how people organize themselves online AND changing peoples expectations of government• Faster communication cycle & changes in the nature of the content• The challenge is to integrate official and crowd sourced information, to manage the vast amounts of information flowing, quickly interpret and to bridge the gap between what the agencies know and what the communities are experiencing, in real time, so that better decisions can be made on both sides.
  23. 23. Project EPIC Tweet the Tweet
  24. 24. Tweet the Tweet• Used by social media volunteers during 2010 Vicfloods• Compiles and reports about the floods from Tweets using a simple semantic protocol scraping live tweets with selected hashtags eg #qldfloods or #vicfloods (TtT).• Live googledoc spreadsheet automatically updates every 10 mins, locations map to googlemap.• Volunteers structured content in tweets or information coming from Police and SES, or the public by using hashtags such as #Vicfloods, an event type, such as #road-closure and a #loc in front of the locational information.• Google docs Flood TtT Spreadsheet: Google TtT Flood Map:
  25. 25. Project Epic at U of Colorado TtT•
  26. 26. How can spatial professionalshelp change the world ?• Support GIS as a tool for public participation• Move from ‘need to know’ culture to ‘need to share’• Learn to be transparent and genuinely engage.• Share the knowledge and skills we have to offer with those outside of our sector.• Make what we do meaningful to many more users.
  27. 27. build your own interest networks with layers & dimensionsGIS & Spatial people can also usesocial media to network with peers,broaden horizons, collaborate outside thesector.• Participate in Hackdays og/2010-12-08-people-spatialgis-data-where-are-their-• hives Try some of your own Mashups•• Forge new relationships
  28. 28. Above all, have fun.THE ENDYvonne R Thompson, June 2011
  29. 29. Links• Mar 2011 Booze Allen Hamilton roundtable discussion about how social media-with Widgets, YouTube, Flickr, Twitter, and other social media tools-is useful to improve emergency communications• Jan 2011 Social media emerged as a vital element in warning and bringing relief to Queenslanders ARC Centre for Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation (CCI). Jan 2011 Excellent Blog on Crowd Sourced Flood maps 2011 Web maps proliferatedas floods assumed increasing scale, (Maurits Van Der Vlugt ) Jan 2011 This is GOLBAL Can Twitter help Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) respond to disasters A recent article on where the US is heading. 20100120 Images from floods around the globe (via @guardiannews) #vicfloods #qldfloods Twitter earthquake Detector - “Did you feel it” website: Crowd source (funny)