Saturday, June 25, 2005

No analysis

If Google put GIS data on its maps, it would have to be hard data.

It can't include analysis. They'd be in legal trouble, and more, from very powerful interests, if they strayed into the territory of "connecting the dots". This derives from the legal system's insistence that testimony be descriptive and not speculative.

A Google advisor wrote me that the general Google framework "is opposed to agenda-driven editorial content." I think he understood that I just want more GIS data in Google Maps. I guess, because I have an agenda, that already puts me on dangerous ground. But how could the USGS be accused of having an agenda? [They do, of course -- expansion & extraction. But that's been the government/industry agenda since USGS was founded -- no one should be opposed to their data.]

People will be appalled when confronted with official data, in geographic form. They'll do their own analysis.

From my point of view, Google Maps already has other agenda-driven GIS layers in it: the road data (like the roads themselves) result from the automobile & development industries' agendas; the geocoded business listings are part of Google's advertising-revenue agenda; the national boundaries are an acceptance of the agenda of the nation-states that rule our lives.

So why not put the rest in?


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