To curb potential abuse, users aren't able to edit the location of a business that has already verified its location via Google's Local Business Center. There's also an official review system that has to double check your edit if it's more than 200 meters away from the original location.Update III: Well check out how ridiculously behind the times I am. http://wikimapia.org/ This is pretty neat. Although a lot of the entries are clearly advertisements and and some vandalism, but that is the double edged sword of public created data.
Monday, November 19, 2007
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
You may not realise it, but GIS is not just a technology; but it is built on the concept of integrating spatial thinking into everything that we do. This enables us to quantify and qualify how we live more closely, and to understand it. This is why you are seeing GIS embedded into the decision making processes of so many businesses around the world and reaching billions of people.
It is rather interesting to consider the future of GIS. Typically I do so to aid in my future employability or general usefulness at work - like learning Python and exploring new GIS software.
But a step ahead of all that is the implications of having very easy to use GIS technology available to everyone, even passively gathering useful data though ubiquitous GPS receivers now found on basically any consumer electronic device. Ignoring for the moment the massive impact on privacy - in an ideal world such data would be gathered in an entirely aggregate anonymous fashion - the possibility of harnessing crowdsourced information is stunning.
How much more accurate will traffic monitoring, supply chain management, and store spaces be? The applications of such masses of data are huge for site management and land planning as well; in addition no doubt to hundreds of other applications that we can't really begin to imagine.
One constant will be, baring a nuclear war or increasingly stupid stances that are being made on the freedom of the Internet, most of these applications will make their way online. Maybe not in browsers, perhaps to start in an open source application similar to how PDF files can be opened upon data retrieval by Adobe or Foxit or whatever else is out there.
I'd honestly write more on GIS but my current efforts are directed primarily at finishing my thesis. I eagerly await the time I will have after I finish it to read some GIS/Planning/Project Management literature.
Thursday, November 8, 2007
Picture from the CASR.
A excerpt from my thesis in progress:
Canadian claims to the Arctic Ocean hinges on their retention of the massive northern archipelago ceded to them by the British in the 1880s. Efforts to enhance the strength of said claims include making the area a separate territory (Nunavut) and subsidies that drive population growth and the economy in the strategically chosen capital, Iqaluit. This falls under the stipulation by international treaty that remote islands and their coastal waters have their title established by a “continuous and peaceful display of state authority”. Besides perhaps Russia, Canada has been most visible with its Arctic claims due to the possibility of controlling access to the newly opened Northwest Passage. The Harper government has commissioned new armed icebreakers and a new deepwater port is planned for the military base on Nanisivik (CASR, 2006). Such shows of force combined with withdrawal from international judicial bodies are an attempt to compensate for the precariousness of Canadian arctic claims.
Land is one thing - comparatively easy to defend a claim on, but the extent of Canadian exclusive claims to the Northwest Passage are going to be difficult to sustain in the face of pressure from every other state with an interest.
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
Also greatly effected is the tourist industry. This is of particular importance to my thesis as it is currently the major base economic activity in Churchill.
...warming is good for business. Unemployment in the town is zero. A glacier next to a nearby zinc and lead mine has retreated since the site closed in 1990, exposing an outcrop of metal-rich ore, where drilling will start again soon. Ships supplying the only factory in town, which processes the local catch for Royal Greenland, a huge state-owned prawn supplier, can now use the harbour throughout the winter (it was previously inaccessible for three months of the year). The warmer water seems to be bringing back the cod fishery as well.
I do not expect this will happen in Churchill. The glaciers are long gone and the bears simply can't survive as they are accustom when the ice disappears. They can live like their extremely close grizzly cousins (whom they can mate with and produce viable and fertile offspring in the wild), but then they are not nearly so viable for ecotourism. That is, assuming the land-based environment can support the influx of suddenly starving bears. Perhaps whale watching and historic tourism - Fort Churchill and the old Cold War sites - will supplant the bears in the future. Greenlanders are also farming as their doomed Viking ancestors did during the medieval warming period, but it is rather unlikely the people will suffer a similar fate. The other side of the coin for Greenland is this screws the Inuit hard. Of all of the indigenous people's of the new world, they have perhaps been the safest due to isolation and the otherwise lethal climate they've adapted impossibly well for. The while the Vikings mentioned above starved to death, they lived comfortably in the same climate. You need not match the technology or organization of a group if they cannot survive in the very ground they live on. Or as Dennis Miller once put it, "Sure, the lion is the king of the jungle. But throw him in Antarctica and he is just some penguin's bitch."
But the tourist industry is warming fastest. Around 15,000 tourists visited last year and twice as many are expected this summer. Hotels are booming and additional tourist guides are being trained.