Monday, January 23, 2012

Dimensions and Directions of Live Geography

In early February, Prof Josef Strobl will speak at the India Geospatial Forum Plenary Panel on Dimensions and Directions of Geospatial Technology. Any comments on the position outlined below? Please email josef.strobl[at] ...

Within the many developments and innovations defining today’s emerging next generation of geospatial technologies, the perspective on real-time enabled applications is one of the most promising trends widening the scope of applied Geography and GIScience.

Real-time, or ‘live’ applications first and foremost depend on online connectivity among distributed components in geospatial architectures, with a particular focus on mobile clients and sensors. Three use case scenarios shall illustrate the power and potential of live GIS:
  1. People as Sensors: the idea of volunteered geographic information has evolved from static database entries towards live citizen feedback, and spun off the phenomenon of huge amounts of involuntary geographic information derived from cell phone tracking. Being able to monitor crowds and to receive instantaneous feedback from citizens introduces a fundamental change in managing mobility, security and resources. 
  2. Augmented Reality: mobile devices in vehicles, for field work and in particular in smart phones use current location, direction and movement for merging a real-time view with spatial database content like roads, underground infrastructure, parcel boundaries or architectural designs. Dynamic changes from the database (e.g., navigating to a new destination, different state of a utility element) are represented in the display and allow immediate adjustment of user actions. 
  3. Sensor Webs: ubiquitous sensors, whether mobile or in-situ, increasingly serve as the ‘sensory skin’ covering our environments, infrastructures and the entire planet. Readings of meteorological, environmental and technical status variables as well as movement and change indicators are relayed back, facilitating appropriate reactions by stakeholders and public agencies. 
Many applications built on a live flow of data and live geoprocessing quite naturally are cloud-based, including generic as well as purpose-built clients. This not only enables dynamic, real-time visualization, but more importantly facilitates significantly shortened feedback loops for control and management. While obviously e.g. emergency scenarios are priority use cases for live geospatial concepts, numerous other application domains will benefit from real-time enabled architectures.

Much of the true power of GIS is in live GIS, making us 'aLive Geographers'!

1 comment:

Mohd. Firoz Khan said...

OK geospatial technology has opened a new opportunity for geographers in the job market. But, it is still a technology- a method. Earlier spatial a regional analyses came out from theory, now spatial data made available by geospatial technology are generating studies which lack epistemology or theoretical content except descriptions like ideographic studies. Such a geography may provide data to be used by others but cannot generate a theoretically founded geography. It is not that I am ignorant or incapable of using this technology but in cases where it is unavoidable not like blind partially understood statistical applications during period of "quantitative revolution". Geography has its applications and future perhaps without geospatial technology.