Friday, June 24, 2005

Fun with satellites

I know Google is trying to get the best maps & images possible. Last week they made their first world map, and yesterday they uploaded tons of detailed satellite imagery.

But they're a little hesitant to get into GIS, I believe. It's not the cost ... they're worried about appearing partisan. As long as they upload data that's good for advertisers, or for users, that's easy. It's just business.

But let's say if they conflate forestry data with Google Maps, in a switchable GIS layer. People will be shocked at the unsustainable levels of logging, the unhealthy forest ecosystems, etc... Just releasing this uncontestable data will have the Timber Industry publicists, and the Forest Service officials, up in arms. And that's just in the US.

But, they'll get over with it, once it becomes common practice to upload real geographic data.


Blogger Morgana le Fey said...

It is a scary concept. I don't know if I am ready for uite that much reality on my computer as of yet. Just think of the reprecussions. I might actually be moved to do something . . . *shudders*

6:47 PM  
Blogger Greg Bryant said...

True, bridging the gap between machines, which are cognitive tools, and reality, which is much richer and alive, is frightening in many ways. But I don't know that any of us have to do much to change the world. We just have to talk openly about things with everyone we know. Take the war, for example. To stop it, all you have to do is talk with friends who are thinking of enlisting. Tell them that's its wrong to occupy other countries when you're not wanted, etc. You don't have to convince someone yourself, but if everyone talked/emailed about these things -- instead of maintaining polite silence -- reality would change.

1:54 PM  

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