Earth observation is a science and technology with tremendous power to collect data over the whole of the Earth at many wavelengths and at many spatial resolutions. But does this science and technology, or rather the use of this science and technology, have an ethical dimension? This article explores the application of ethical concepts to Earth observation. Three main aspects of ethics are examined: duty theories of ethics, consequentialist ethics, and environmental ethics. These ethical ideas are then applied to the UN Principles on Remote Sensing, the International Charter on Space and Major Disasters and to Google Earth, and also to questions of security and privacy. The article concludes that there is no absolute ethical position in relation to Earth observation, but a dependency on the perspective of the observer. For link to the article (but it’s behind a $58 paywall, seriously), click here.
by Alistair Croll, O’Reilly Radar, August 2, 2012
…With the new, data-is-abundant model, we collect first and ask questions later. The schema comes after the collection. Indeed, big data success stories like Splunk, Palantir, and others are prized because of their ability to make sense of content well after it’s been collected — sometimes called a schema-less query. This means we collect information long before we decide what it’s for.
And this is a dangerous thing….
- The future of programming – O’Reilly Radar (radar.oreilly.com)
- The four D’s of programming’s future: data, distributed, device, democratized (revolutionanalytics.com)
- DARPA and Defense Department look to a more open source future (adafruit.com)
Post GSDI Conference Workshop, May 18 2012
2. Organizer/Contact Person
Marc Gervais (Marc.Gervais@scg.ulaval.ca) or Rodolphe Devillers (email@example.com)
3. Workshop Description and Goals
This Friday workshop will summarize the main research findings of a 4-year Canadian GEOIDE project that looked at law, data quality, public protection and ethics in relation to geospatial data. The agenda is below. More details will be found on the GSDI-13 Conference web site shortly, including registration instructions. A small fee will be charged to cover out-of-pocket expenses. The workshop is open to the public.
Monday, May 14, 2012 at the Global Spatial Data Infrastructure 13 Conference, Quebec, Canada
3. Workshop Description and Goals
On the basis of the work of the GSDI Legal and Socioeconomic Committee on the comparison and categorization of key licence components, this workshop will explore the possibilities for developing a set of model licences that can be applied globally to the dissemination of geographic data. Participants will explore the needs and interests of data providers and the users in the licensing process and try to develop a common understanding of the priorities for a global licensing framework. From this, the group will try to reach preliminary agreement on a limited number of license terms and conditions that might be applied on a global level.
4. Workshop Topics
What is the problem? What are potential solutions?
Open access license provisions
Commercial license provisions
Potential unified frameworks
Committee approach and progress to date
Towards a minimal set of workable terms and conditions for most providers and users
by Rodolphe Devillers, Spatial Data Infrastructure Magazine, March 19, 2012
This article summarizes the main research findings of a 4-year Canadian GEOIDE project that looked at law, data quality, public protection and ethics in relation to geospatial data. The project involved geomatics engineering professionals, geographers and lawyers, giving a multidisciplinary perspective on those questions. Relatively little work had previously been carried out in Canada on the legal framework related to geospatial data, including liability, privacy and intellectual property questions. This project, in collaboration with a number of government (e.g. Natural Resources Canada, Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, Transportation Canada), industry (i.e. Groupe Trifide) and international partners (e.g. CERTU, Eurogeographics, international Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)), laid important foundations in these areas. …
For full text of the article, visit Responsible Geospatial Data Sharing: A Canadian ViewpointSDI Magazine.
by Patrick Meier, iRevolution, February 5, 2012
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) just published their official Data Protection Manual. … At the same time, the 150-page report does not mention social media even once. This is perfectly understandable given IOM’s work, but there is no denying that disaster-affected communities are becoming more digitally-enabled—and thus increasingly the source of important, user-generated information. Moreover, it is difficult to ascertain exactly how to apply all of IOM’s Data Protection Principles to this new digital context and the work of the Standby Volunteer Task Force (SBTF). …
For full text of this article visit On Crowdsourcing, Crisis Mapping and Data Protection Standards | iRevolution.
- On Crowdsourcing, Crisis Mapping and Data Protection Standards (irevolution.net)
- Some Thoughts on Real-Time Awareness for Tech@State (irevolution.net)
- Crisis Mapping Needs an Ethical Compass (geodatapolicy.wordpress.com)
People Protection Standards 1.0: Response by the Satellite Sentinel Project Team at Harvard Humanitarian Initiative to Recent Comments Concerning the Global Brief Article Entitled: Crisis Mapping Needs an Ethical Compass
by Satellite Sentinel Project Team, February 2012
When Raymond, Howarth, and Hutson wrote our argument for the development of comprehensive ethical and technical standards for the crisis mapping community, we were aware of last year’s meeting hosted by World Vision in Geneva and the 2010 meeting in Phnom Penh hosted by Oxfam Australia on Early Warning for Protection. … These efforts are laudable, much needed, and constructive. They are also by themselves insufficient to address the challenges that our field and those we seek to assist face as a result of the work we all do. While important initial steps, the meetings, protocols, and blog posts regarding these issues do not create a comprehensive code of ethics and technical standards by themselves. The issue is not whether there have been meetings or working groups. The issue is whether the crisis mapping community will decide to self-regulate in a proactive way before serious lapses by any of us put civilians in jeopardy. …
For full text of the article on this important topic, visit Satellite Sentinel Project.