by Nancy Scola, Tech President, June 3, 2011 – 4:35pm
Every time something happens in the world these days, somebody makes a map about it.We saw it with last January’s devastating earthquake in Haiti, the rollout of the U.S.’s long-awaited National Broadband Map in February, the personalized maps that accompanied April’s iPhone tracking story. We see it every election. And with the increasing availability of free and open-source or simply cheap mapping tools, and the growing footprint of the open data movement, democratized mapping is likely only getting started. …
- iRevolution | Patrick Meier ||| Crisis Mappers: Mobile technology helps disaster victims worldwide (surflightroy.net)
- PBS Video: Crisis mappers: Mobile technology helps disaster victims worldwide (geodatapolicy.wordpress.com)
- Tsunami Mapper – Visualize a Tsunami in Your Area (freetech4teachers.com)
PBS, May 13, 2011
There are now 6.8 billion people on the planet. And about 5 billion cell phones. This extraordinary ability to connect has turned a modern convenience into a lifeline through a system called crisis mapping. It first gained prominence after the earthquake in Haiti, when people used their cell phones to send text messages to a centralized response team. Since then, crisis mapping has been used to help victims in emergency zones following the tornadoes in the Midwest, the earthquake in Japan and the unrest in the Middle East. Today, there are hundreds of volunteers in more than 50 countries creating maps of crises around the world, using a system that incorporates the lessons learned in Haiti. Alison Stewart reports on this worldwide network of volunteers – regular people — using a breakthrough technology to help others.
For link to video, visit Video: Crisis mappers: Mobile technology helps disaster victims worldwide | Need to Know.
Posted by SaferMobile onMobileActive, May 10, 2011
Activists, rights defenders, and journalists use mobile devices and communications for reporting, organizing, mobilizing, and documenting. Mobiles provide countless benefits — relatively low cost, increased efficiencies, vast reach — but they also present specific risks to rights defenders and activists. Additionally, information about other mobile uses, such as your photos or video, your data, the Internet sites you visit from your phone, and your physical location, are stored on your device and often logged by your mobile network. How much is this putting you at risk? This Overview will help you evaluate your level of risk in regard to your mobile communications
For full text of the article, visit Mobile Security Risks: A Primer for Activists, Journalists and Rights Defenders | MobileActive.org.
Google Earth and the Middle East
Posted on 2011/03/03 by Stefan Geens, Ogle Earth
The Middle East is where Google Earth has perhaps had the deepest geopolitical impact since its introduction in June 2005. In these 5+ years, the wide availability of high resolution imagery of the region to anyone with an internet connection has caused a slew of governments to fret, and not just the Arab dictatorships — Israel and the UK have also worried, as we’ll see. In his New York Times op-ed column on Wednesday, Thomas Friedman calls Google Earth one of the “not-so-obvious forces” behind the revolutionary fervor currently gripping the Middle East. The reason cited by Friedman: in 2006, Google made visible the opulent palaces of Bahrain’s ruling family to a populace in the grip of a housing shortage. Outrage ensued, albeit online. The inequalities were simply too striking. …
For full text of the article, you really must visit Google Earth and the Middle East | Ogle Earth.
from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2008, Issue No. 109
November 10, 2008
Secrecy News Blog: http://www.fas.org/blog/secrecy/
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COMMERCIAL SATELLITE IMAGERY SHEDS LIGHT HERE AND THERE
As the quality and availability of commercial satellite imagery continue to improve, the technology is adding a new dimension to public understanding of world events, while both enhancing and challenging national and global security.
“Last month, the most powerful commercial satellite in history sent its first pictures back to Earth, and another with similar capabilities is set for launch in mid-2009,” wrote Peter Eisler in USA Today last week. “The imagery provided by those and other commercial satellites has transformed global security in fundamental ways, forcing even the most powerful nations to hide facilities and activities that are visible not only to rival nations, but even to their own citizens.” See “Google Earth helps yet worries government,” November 7.
Iraqi insurgents, among other non-state actors, have also taken advantage of the new capabilities offered by satellite imagery. A 2006 dispatch prepared by the DNI Open Source Center (first reported by USA Today) documented “the use of Google Earth for tactical planning of rocket attacks against U.S. military targets in Iraq.” See “Iraqi Insurgency Group Utilizes Google Earth for Attack Planning,” July 19, 2006.
A newly disclosed GeoEye commercial satellite image of the site of a suspected Syrian nuclear facility at Al Kibar that was taken on November 23, 2007, some two months after it was bombed by Israel on September 6, 2007, shows rather rapid reconstruction of the destroyed facility.
“I’d say it confirms that the Syrians were in a really big hurry to get the site covered up,” said Allen Thomson, a former CIA analyst who has studied the case. “The previously available DigitalGlobe picture of 24 October 2007 showed only a mound of dirt. By a month later (the GeoEye pic), what appears to be a thick slab (you can see that it casts a shadow) was in place. And January 11 imagery shows the new building up and the roof in place.”
The new image was released last week courtesy of GeoEye / Space Imaging Middle East. It appears on page 1170 of an extensive open source compilation (large pdf) on the Israeli Strike in Syria prepared by Mr. Thomson.