Greg Matthews: Phone: 303-202-4446
Mark Newell: Phone: 573-308-3850
In light of swiftly changing technical landscapes and increasing uses of social networking, the USGS is exploring a new approach to the volunteer program, and is launching a project to test options for volunteer participation in providing data to The National Map. The project involves mapping man-made structures and facilities, such as schools and fire stations, in the state of Colorado. Using an internet mapping application, volunteers can help the USGS update The National Map by correcting or adding information about structures. “Even members of the public who can’t tell a sandstone from a rhyolite but have internet access can now help the USGS keep its popular maps up to date through our new experiment in crowd sourcing,” said USGS Director Marcia McNutt. “Correctly locating and identifying fire stations, police stations, schools, and hospitals not only makes USGS maps more useful, but can literally save a life.”
Over the past two decades, the USGS National Geospatial Program sponsored various forms of volunteer map data collection projects. Volunteers helped the USGS improve its maps during this period, by annotating paper maps, collecting data using GPS units, and submitting data using a web-based tool. However, in 2008, the volunteer mapping program was suspended as new methods for using volunteer data were being studied. In recent years, new web- and mobile-based technologies have made it easier to create, combine, and share maps. Recent events have shown how well these technologies support the rapid and relevant production of geographic information. If the Colorado pilot project is successful in attracting volunteers and capturing data for use in The National Map, the program may be expanded to other areas in the future. This project offers volunteers an opportunity to participate in providing data to The National Map and US Topo map products. For more information, interested Colorado volunteers can visit the National Map Corps website.
The National Map Corps website.
by Muki Haklay, Po Ve Sham Blog, 22 June, 2012
“At the end of 2010, Matt Wilson (University of Kentucky) and Mark Graham(Oxford Internet Institute), started coordinating a special issue of Environment and Planning Adedicated to ‘Situating Neogeography’, asking ‘How might we situate neogeography? What are the various assemblages, networks, ecologies, configurations, discourses, cyborgs, alliances that enable/enact these technologies?’ My [Muki Hakly’s] response to this call is a paper titled ‘Neogeography and the delusion of democratisation’ and it is finally been accepted for publication. I am providing below an excerpt from the introduction, to provide a flavour of the discussion:
“Since the emergence of the World Wide Web (Web) in the early 1990s, claims about its democratic potential and practice are a persistent feature in the discourse about it. While awareness of the potential of ‘anyone, anytime, anywhere’ to access and use information was extolled for a long while (for an early example see Batty 1997), the emergence of Web 2.0 in the mid-2000s (O’Reilly 2005) increased this notion. In the popular writing of authors such as Friedman (2006), these sentiments are amplified by highlighting the ability of anyone to ‘plug into the flat earth platform’ from anywhere and anytime. …”
For full text of this thought provoking article, visit Neogeography and the delusion of democratisation « Po Ve Sham – Muki Haklay’s personal blog.
An article from 2007, but still very relevant today.
by Kelly Hearn, National Geographic News, April 26, 2007
Tribes in Southeast Asia are being kept from using the latest high-tech gadgets to help them win land rights. That’s the outcry from activist groups that have been helping indigenous communities mix computers and handheld navigation devices with paints, yarn, and cardboard to make simple but accurate three-dimensional terrain models. … But in Malaysia and the Philippines, the practice—dubbed participatory GIS—has sparked a legal backlash, activists say. For example, Philippine lawmakers have changed an existing law so that only officially recognized engineers “could do anything related to measuring space,” said Dave De Vera, director of the Philippine Association for Intercultural Development. …
For full text of the article, visit Tribes Effectively Barred From Making High-Tech Maps.
by fortiain, Forest Planet, June 27, 2011
Imagine this: A rural village on the outskirts of Mkuwazi forest reserve in Northern Malawi. A woman, stops, takes out a smart phone, starts up an app, takes a picture of a tree, then walks on and continues her business. A short while later she takes another photo, then another. Each time she uses the app, information is automatically uploaded over a mobile phone network, and her SIM card is topped up with a small amount of credit, perhaps only the equivalent of 10 or 20p, but enough to make it worthwhile. Meanwhile, the data is being used to verify that the community’s forests are still intact, that nothing much has changed, and as a consequence, the community continues to receive a more substantial income for the carbon credits accredited to their forest. Its easy to imagine, but is it feasible any time soon?
For full text of article, visit Phones in the forests « Forest Planet.