Category Archives: Location-Based Data

Apparently They Call it Showrooming

amazonSalesI love my Kindle. I know that RMS calls it a swindle and abhors the DRM that makes it what it is. For me what it is a lightweight, reading platform with a battery that I never worry about charging, text that adjusts to my failing eyesight and a library in my suit pocket. I love that I can sample materials from the amazon store before I buy and that my library can be deployed across a series of linked devices. The cloud tracks my progress and keeps me synced and the whims of my personal reading preferences are catered for. All that said I love browsing at Hodges and Figgis and Dubray. I find many of the books I want to read in piles and on shelves in the stores. I want the showroom to get their brokerage cut. This doesn’t happen today and I want to figure out how it can. Continue reading Apparently They Call it Showrooming

So you’ve heard about Postal Codes have you?

 

academyHouseAnPostThe Independent today headlined with an ‘investigative’ piece detailing how the revenue will be using ‘sophisticated mapping technology provided by GeoDirectory to quantify access to services and apply a multiplier to the property tx to be implemented later this year. In a nutshell (and details of the entire scheme remain publicly hazy – let’s talk about that tonight) they propose to triangulate access to services such as the Luas, the DART, shops, schools and other amenities to increase tax payable – assuming you use things closer to you. The first question I have to ask is : Is this is overly simplistic (fair, equitable, legal) way of determining taxable property value? Clearly it is deserving of deeper investigation itself…but there you go. What do you think?

Continue reading So you’ve heard about Postal Codes have you?

The Uneven Geography of the Web

FS Nairobi NovI was attracted to a short Guardian post this morning that asked the simple question – Who uses Twitter in Africa – and where are they based? Simple enough and a great little research question. The article references Mark Graham and the Oxford Internet Institute. The selection of eight quick maps gives a small glimpse at the power of being able to tap into the Twitter API and do some quick geospatial visualisation to answer some useful research questions. The static images are merely tantalising (and the Guardian’s coverage is superficial) however and I clicked through to see if there was more meat in the underlying research. Continue reading The Uneven Geography of the Web

What Sort of Lightbulb is This?

Hardly wondered what sort of segue was necessary to link to Philips innovation, but wondered what thought might be around this bright idea;-)

hyperlocalFunded as part of the Knight New Challenge grant last year, the OpenBlock initiative is basically trying to exploit the hyperlocal news market through a crowdsourced and social media augmented application that functions as an open data portal.  It’s innovative in that it offers a tripartite approach appealing to consumer, reporters and sponsors, but does it result in more informed and engaged communities? There’s a very limited functional demo (alas just for Boston, MA) but it does give an idea of the SM augmented mashup combined with linked open data within an ecosystem that supports and cultivates community opinion and contribution. Continue reading What Sort of Lightbulb is This?

Urban Information via the Green Band

Salon has an interesting look at the impact of a pilot project in Paris (CityPulse) that distributed 100 sensor wristbands and tracked a variety of environmental factors as well as paths taken over the space of a year. Part of the Smart Cities initiatives that emerging worldwide and aided by IBM and Cisco among other corporate players, these programmes demonstrate the potential for a touted €16B annual market. It’s about making people and things digitally aware and networked. Continue reading Urban Information via the Green Band

People Know It’s Dangerous … But They Still Do It

According to a new report by the ISACA, ‘Nearly 60 percent of smartphone users employ apps that access their location data despite having concerns about risks to their privacy and even personal safety.’ So basically although they know the risks, people weigh them and consider the benefits worthwhile. Or do they? Do people really get it? Are they really aware of the risks. It’s intriguing that many people are more concerned about the inconvenience of having advertisers drown them with offers than those with criminal intent mining the social media and using geolocation apps to target victims. What do you think??

You’re the product being sold…

In light of Google’s new privacy policy that comes into effect today, I happened across a rather telling Mozilla plug-in called Collusion. Basically it tracks how you are being tracked and visually displays the tracking services that are being pinged when you visit a site. It maps the known data capture agents (identified by privacy choice.org) and also indicates others that are not identified but could well be collecting data on you. Want a quick wake up call on how exposed you are when you are browsing…give it a quick try. I visited a quick handful of my top 10 sites and very shortly spawned a lovely rosette of traces.

ps. the title quotes from Andrew Lewis: ‘If you’re not paying for something; you’re not the customer, you’re the product being sold.’