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The Internet

Geocoding All Content 171

martin dodge writes "What happens when all content is automatically tagged with the geographical location of its production? We are all used to having a date stamp on documents, but I think adding a location stamp opens up lots of new possibilities. Two recent articles look at many of the interesting possible apps/services which are made possible when you ground cyberspace with location. 'Get Caught Mapping' from Guardian Online and 'The Revenge of Geography' by Tom (writer of The Victorian Internet) Standage in the Economist. I think one of the most exciting is for locating online conversations by geographic proximity. Taking Waldo Tobler's First Law of Geography ("Everything is related to everything else, but near things are more related than distant things"), often nearby conversations are most relevant and interesting. See UpMyStreet's Conversations for an example."
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Geocoding All Content

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  • I think this is just adding more meta data to content, and I am sure many applications do that. I think in the Word Doc the information about the printer is added, might as well add the geographical information.
    • Even if this is the case, I am inclined to see this as (yet) another erosion of privacy as more users find themselves locked into using proprietary formats. Sure, it doesn't affect those of us who use emacs (OK, vi then if you insist :-)) and LaTex. I, for one, do not want my location being pasted into any content I produce. Doesn't this come under Your Rights Online?

      OK, the fact that I imagine there's an enemy behind every bush doesn't mean I'm necessarily wrong... :-)

    • I think the only thing this crap would accomplish is invasion of privacy issues becoming rampant. You can say this document was made in Helsinki if you want, but that does not necessarily imply its relevancy. I find very little interesting about where I live (Oklahoma). I guess this could be kind of good then, maybe I can filter out everything coming from here.
  • From the gnu website: m l


    If you want to describe a feeling of comfort and satisfaction, by all means say you are ``content'', but using it as a noun to describe written and other works of authorship is worth avoiding. That usage adopts a specific attitude towards those works: that they are an interchangeable commodity whose purpose is to fill a box and make money. In effect, it treats the works themselves with disrespect.

    Those who use this term
    • by Space cowboy ( 13680 ) on Monday March 31, 2003 @10:11AM (#5630950) Journal
      ... and people wonder why the image of GNU-addicts is so tarnished.

      For [insert deity here]'s sake!

      Q: What are you providing as a content-provider for X?
      A: The contents of X.

      Enough said. There are many important battles to be fought against too-greedy IP and copyright holders. This isn't one of them.

      • Who wonders why the image of the GNUs is so tarnished?

        Maybe it's because they feel they have to emphatically latch on to any half-brained directives RMS belches out in half-sleep, even when they seem designed solely to inflate his ego.

        From that page: []

        The term ``creator'' as applied to authors implicitly compares them to a deity (``the creator''). The term is used by publishers to elevate the authors' moral stature above that of ordinary people, to justify increased copyright power that t

    • I understand that the term "author" is more accurate than "creator" because copyright law uses "author", but what word better describes the concept of "works of authorship other than computer programs" than "content"? RMS fails to give positive examples for some of the buzzwords in his "words to avoid" page.

  • Privacy? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 31, 2003 @09:59AM (#5630904)
    How many people on the internet do you *really* want to know your real location?

    Ok... now what if I told you that "she" is really a "he", and that the picture "she" game you was off some amateur porn site. Anyone else you'd like to know your real location?

    I see this only becoming a privacy issue -- it's removing one of the greatest parts of the internet -- it's anonymity. I've known people like "her" who can express themselves in ways heretofore impossible were it not for the (at least percieved) absolute anonymity of the internet. It would be a shame to see that go, at least from a standpoint of creative expression.

    • Nefarious uses aside (despite the fact that a major portion of hte internet is used for pron distribution) there is major privacy issues here.

      I'd suggest there would be a lot of voiciferous groups bigger than slashdot up in arms about location tagging. Even before they have read the details.
      • Ok... now what if I told you that "she" is really a "he", and that the picture "she" game you was off some amateur porn site. Anyone else you'd like to know your real location?

      Actually, the one I'd be more concerned about are the real "she"'s. In American society,according to the US DOJ's National Crime Victimiztion Survey data, a woman is raped or sexually assaulted somewhere in the US every 2 to 5 minutes. Although the total number of such assaults has dropped (10% between 1996 and 2001, according to

    • by phorm ( 591458 ) on Monday March 31, 2003 @01:13PM (#5631844) Journal
      People whom you don't want to know your geographic location:
      • The mentally unstable MMORPG addict... whom you just roasted the lvl 100+ character that he/she has spent the last week (straight, without sleep) building
      • Anyone who happens to disagree with your religious/political views (people do die over this)
      • The programmer for an organization which decided to use your beta-coded app as a production system
      • Oh, and um...if you're female, probably about 90% of the slashdot population
      Yeah... I can think of any number of other scary examples to add to this.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    How will they deal with evolving documents modified by many people in many different countries?

    The potential for invasion of privacy also seems extremely high. Think of oppressive governments using any lists to find "undesirable" documents published in their country and taking "appropriate measures" to stop their production. Although maybe The National Security Strategy [] will soon take care of such situations (here's hoping :).

  • The poster seems to think this is a good idea but I'm not so sure about the privacy implications. It would make life a lot easier, though, for law enforcement to track down copyright violators and purveyors of other illicit (read illegal) material.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      90% of the online community will be proven to live in Antarctica.

      Think of the economic and status benifits to Antarctician society
    • It would make life a lot easier, though, for law enforcement to track down copyright violators and purveyors of other illicit (read illegal) material.

      Not really - it would be pretty easy to spoof location data, or locate the actual data on offshore servers which the law enforcement in question can't touch. I don't see how the use of location tagging can reliably enforced without the consent of the publisher.

    • I would hate to have to explain to the FBI why i was so interested in websites about people like Vlad Dracula and Mehmed the Conqueor while there is armed conflict in Iraq. That would be particulary difficult if a serial killer made his/herself know in the area.

      On the other hand I try not to start flames, but sometimes I just get into a trollish mood and post things that perhaps I wouldn't have done otherwise. At least with some annominity I usualy don't have to worry about some wacko stalking me.

  • by hardaker ( 32597 ) on Monday March 31, 2003 @10:02AM (#5630914) Homepage
    Look on the bottom of your shoe. It likely says something like "Made in China" (picking a common country at random). If we did this for computer software, we'd simply have tags in the help menu that said "Made in Redmond?"
  • by mikeb ( 6025 ) on Monday March 31, 2003 @10:02AM (#5630915) Homepage
    Well, (this may be a bad plan, posting this on Slashdot), if anyone thinks it is worthwhile, I will add a 'blog' category to [] to extend the idea for much of the mainland UK.

    On a more important note - whilst I don't have a problem with open-sourcing the code for that site, which is a mishmash of C++ and php, who knows anything about attempts to come up with a concept of open source datasets? Somewherenear has a useful collection of data relating to bars, restaurants and accommodation in the UK, but it seems to me that just as a form of GPL for software benefits most users, so would an open dataset licence so that the kind of information stored there. The more geolocated information the world has, the more useful it becomes.

    • How are you getting on with your spatial query and scaling issues?

      I came across a while back when researching this topic; and you mentioned something about borrowing a technique from a bio-chemist or something!

      Would your platform scale worldwide and to millions of records?

      • At present the querying is hilariously simple and certainly wouldn't scale, nor would it translate to worldwide without work. On the other hand, a lot of that is 'just programming' and the people I was talking to started muttering about neighbour lists (whatever they are) alleging that it IS possible to scale-up spatial searching, especially if you enjoy doing a lot of pre-computation, swapping space for time. I can't vouch for that, but with the present ten thousand or so locally-constrained datapoints it
      • How are you getting on with your spatial query and scaling issues?

        Would this really be hard? Off the top of my head, suppose you had a table in a relational database which had some sort of coordinates in them:

        LocationID int
        LocationX float
        LocationY float

        Given an xpos and ypos for a given location, to find other locations by succesive closeness, couldn't you do an SQL query something like:

        SQRT((xpos-LocationX)^2 +(ypos-LocationY)^2) AS Distance
        • WHERE Distance RelevanceThreshold

          I meant: WHERE Distance < RelevanceThreshold
        • Doesn't this require the calculation of "Distance" for _every_ record for _every_ query - bad news if you have a world wide data set and millions of records!

          The idea of a spatial index is to avoid having to perform a distance calculation on every record.

          My solution creates a hierarchical index that capitalises on the already efficient hierarchical directory filing systems found in any modern OS.

          Basically, a simple function(x,y) returns a starting directory within the index. A second function returns th
        • Or, you could use a database that supports positions. In Postgres, I use the point data type for holding locations.
          That lets me do things like

          select blurb,file, date, id, (geodist_mi(location,(select location from pictures where id=27 ) ))::numeric(7,3) as distance from pictures where location @ (select circle(location,5) from pictures where id=27) order by distance asc, date desc limit 5;

          to obtain a list of up to 5 of the closest pictures within 5 degrees of picture #27 sorted with the nearest first

    • IMHO you should 'open-source' your data sets only with folks whom you get some 'open-data' in return from.

      E.G. you and another party who is focused on other data collection areas should partner up and share data-sets... periodically updating your share-data sets. Then you not only have an off-site backup, but you have a new set of data to share out.

  • So, we all be able to answer the question for certain when asked: Who's yer daddy???
  • Wasn't this one of the "hot" new technologies for web-enabled cell phones? The carrier picks up your geographic location, and sends ads along with the page being displayed, for businesses located near you.

    Interesting new twist, though.

    • Yes it was and its still happening, aren't cell phone increasingly able to report their locations when you call in an emergency. Now I think the capability is mostly a triangulation of several cells signal strength but that is not capable of determining a location, it just gets them close.

      I think it's interesting that coalition forces are not alowing certain brands of satalite phone to be used on the battlefield because of there position reporting capabilities.
  • by MyNameIsFred ( 543994 ) on Monday March 31, 2003 @10:08AM (#5630936)
    A fundamental question is whether all content will automatically be labeled. One of the great benefits of the internet is anonymity. That one can say anything without revealing who you are. In fact, the U.S. court system has commented on this, and how it benefits freedom of speech. I certainly use the freedom, and millions of others do it. Sure with enough effort someone could find out who "MyNameIsFred" really is, but I have no desire to make that easier for them. Given a preference, I would turn-off automatic labelling. If not given a preference, I would not go to such a site. Based on the many slashdotters who hate the registration requirement at NY Times, I don't think I am alone.
  • ...or you will have to fear that some short-tempered angry man (or woman) will drive by your house and shoot you!

    But seriously, it's a nice idea as long as it's opt-in. Can't think of too many great uses, though, other than the usual: Where's the next cinema/pharmacy/McDo's?

    (If you are in any way offended by this post, please visit me at my home address: Saddam Hussein Boulevard 555, Baghdad, Iraq)
  • Privacy (Score:3, Interesting)

    by rf0 ( 159958 ) <> on Monday March 31, 2003 @10:08AM (#5630939) Homepage
    Looking at UpMyStreet is cool to be able to find people who are nearby but I do have to wonder about my privacy. Least with UpMyStreet I choose to say where I live but I can't help wonder what would happen if they plant a cookie in your browser.

    You then goto another site that pulls up that cookie via some method and they can geo target you. I can see why marketers might like it so they could target ads at your local area

    • See, what you don't realise is that with most grownup marketeers[1], effective targeting means you get less ads, not more, and you also get less crap that doesn't bear even the flimsiest relationship to anything you might actually buy.

      If an ad costs me 0.10 to run, why would I run it to people who I don't think are going to buy? If it's for a service only available in some areas, why would I waste money running it for people who don't live there, or who aren't the kind of people who buy it.

      Good marke

  • by nurb432 ( 527695 ) on Monday March 31, 2003 @10:09AM (#5630940) Homepage Journal
    Doesn't anyone realize the goal is tracking *everything* you do? One more step to total governmental domination of all content, movement, thought....

    This is just one more major step in that direction.

    Come on people, wake the hell up.. before its too late ( or is it already... i wonder sometimes )

    • Doesn't anyone realize the goal is tracking *everything* you do? One more step to total governmental domination of all content, movement, thought....

      Knowledge does not equal governmental control--and if it did, we'd still be better off that way.

      The worst thing about the internet is the easy anonymnity that snuck in about the time AOL really opened up. When there's no way to tell who's who, the whole shindig degrades into smut and childish flamefests.

      Contrast this with behavior where you're identified
      • Contrast this with behavior where you're identified as you--people act much more civilly, which is a good thing.

        Doesn't seem to have worked for Donald Rumsfeld or Dick "Les" Cheney.

        Well, unless you consider "getting away with murder" to be a liberty.

        See above.


        • This may be going off on a tangent, but there are various levels of anonyminity (sp?). For example, here on /. we are more likely to take care when posting using our "name" than we are when we click the "Post Anonymously" button.

          For identifying individuals. The trust level isn't black or white. Post anonymously and no one is likely to take you seriously. Post using the /. name and at least you have a vested interest in protecting your /. reputation and Karma. Post using your full name and email addres
      • 1 - Being anonymous IS important. Do you want everything you do being tracked? *I* don't, regardless of the fact I'm not doing anything illegal, its no ones business, period. ( I wont debate whether that is even possible now, I'm talking the ideal situation ).

        2 - Knowledge of everyone's action is part of control. if you have total information then you have the ability to control the peoples action ( similar to 'herding' cattle ). while by itself it may not mean control I agree, its part of the process, a
      • If you want civility, stay in the real world. Not that I wouldn't necessarially strip naked and call you a donkey-raping fucknut in person too, but here I don't have to deal with your rightous indignation, nor your indecent exposure charges.

        Furthermore, your "nothing to hide" attitude tells me that you probably don't know what crimes you've comitted. You should probably check that out. It's a lot harder to get away with things when you don't even know what you're supposed to be hiding.

        Still furthermore
  • by Noryungi ( 70322 ) on Monday March 31, 2003 @10:11AM (#5630946) Homepage Journal
    Geo-stamping data published on the www?

    Why not? And, by the way, make cows fly while you are at it, will you? Thanks.

    Case in point: I publish data on a web site located somewhere in North America, using computers based in Europe, through the magic of OpenSSH. And my European ISP does not keep a log of my activities.

    Most of the data I publish come from, for example, from web sites published in South-East Asia and China, which is translated by a friend who spends half his time in Taiwan and half his time in Japan, with an occasional stay in Korea.

    Now, where on earth is my info created? In Asia, where my friend is, in Europe, where I do most of the web design, or in Northern America, where the web site is officially hosted?

    Oh, and I forgot: the information is created using open-source products and a reasonable amount of paranoia, which means all data is anonymized before being posted.

    Now, where does my data comes from?

    And to those who think this is a silly example: it's actually close to the truth... ;-)
    • Ideally...

      If your data was published by a website in China, translated into English in Japan by your friend, written by you in Europe, and hosted in the USA, _all_ of the above would be included in the document's metadata.

      Oh, and I forgot: the information is created using open-source products and a reasonable amount of paranoia, which means all data is anonymized before being posted.

      Now, where does my data comes from?

      If all of your data is anonymized--and not just with some "hidden sources", but scrub
      • Anonymous communication has a long and valid history in the U.S., and is constitutionally protected.

        Remember that if it weren't, various whistle blowers would never have brought horrid practices to light.

        Remember Watergate?

  • Neat technology for something like linking gamers together.

    I kinda like the idea of having no idea at all where online friends are from, unless they care to tell me. Sometimes I can figure it out from little hints (color vs. colour) or if I note that they use phraseology that indicates they use a slavic language to think.

    But if I'm gonna play Quake against 'em I guess it's better to pick someone in the same general hemisphere at least. :-)
    • Fair play,

      However ping times are usually a damn good indication of how close someone is to you geographically. (forgetting dial-ups that is :)

      Regarding the language thing... don't guess too much - I spend most of my day speaking either german or french and by the time I get home in the evening my english is suitably scrambled :)

  • I dunno about you guys but I have my web service out of Missoula, Montana. I, geographically, am almost half-way around the world from there. I dunno how that info might be useful to others. Geocoding works sometimes - like when I dial up to my Italian ISP and go to google it defaults to the Italian Google. Google allows me to select the English version off of the Italian one.
  • by ignoramus ( 544216 ) on Monday March 31, 2003 @10:13AM (#5630952) Homepage

    I guess I can imagine a few circumstances in which this type of information could be useful... but this smells to me like a way to find the closest wal-mart and other marketing schemes more than anything I might find actually useful.

    Really, if you're looking to meet people in your neighborhood, go take a walk outside, if you're looking to hear your own point of view (or that of people just like you), turn the TV off for a few minutes.

    • I'm always amazed at how many gizmos and services are sold on the premise that they will help you locate a restaurant when you're travelling. If you had enough sense to find your way to a strange city, doesn't it follow that you would manage to find food once you got there (and maybe even to avoid the kind of tourist trap that would advertise on such a service?)
    • I was looking for a specific accessory for a specific model of sony equipment, moving my zip code across the street resulted in the clossest dealer moving 60 Mi.! Of course the result was only for a dealer that sold anything sony not the specific model or accessory.

      You'd think that they would be better integrated so that I would be pointed to locations that at least had ordered the model or even the general product line there
  • by foxtrot ( 14140 )
    In an Internet of comments like "country borders are speed bumps on the information superhighway" and such, when we speak of a global internet creating unity, what's the point of putting tags on things so we know where it's created? Isn't the point of ubiquitous communication that we don't have to care where people are any more if we do wish to speak to them?

    Atlanta, GA, 30342
  • by joe630 ( 164135 )
    The harm this will do to content far outweighs its good.

    It is a very easy way to let authority figures restrict all objectional material.

    We have embargoed products based on their country of origin (think cigars from Cuba). I don't want the possibilty of that happening to information for any citizen of the planet.
  • Digital Imaging! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Raetsel ( 34442 ) on Monday March 31, 2003 @10:14AM (#5630959)

    • "...when all content is automatically tagged with the geographical location of its production?"
    I would love to have all my digital media tagged in this manner! Yes, high-end Nikon equipment accepts GPS input (remember this []?), but that's a separate, external device.

    I'd love to see it built into cameras (both still & video) and audio recorders. And for visual data, add in a compass so I can know both where it was taken, and which direction it was pointing!

    I can do without knowing where an email/document/webpage was written, though. Sometimes more data is good... and sometimes it's just noise.

    • I too have no need to know where my incoming email originated. With one exception: I would really like to know the location of the Nigerian who wants to give me lots of money in exchange for some assistance. :)
  • Interesting (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Uruk ( 4907 ) on Monday March 31, 2003 @10:16AM (#5630963)
    The concept of finding local conversations more interesting than other ones is itself interesting. One of the neat features of the internet that everybody loved at first was the fact that it made geography meaningless, and TeenLuvr16 that you met in that AOL chatroom could as easily be a hairy-backed man from Australia as it could be Steve Case in Northern Virginia, or some schmoe in Japan.

    Now that people have complete geographical independence, they want more geographical specific information? I guess it sort of makes sense as people want to expand the functionality of the internet, but what's really interesting about this is not how it's done or whether it's done, but if it focuses the social interest of the internet more inward than it traditionally has been.

    Anything like this though is definitely a good example of something that should be optional, not mandatory.

    • ...if it focuses the social interest of the internet more inward...

      What's the first thing everyone asks TeenLuvr16?


    • It makes perfect sense. The fact is, having a shallow conversation full of unverifiabilities with someone with whom you have no real ties to (and in text no less, so there is no body language or tone of voice to read them) has a very limited appeal. You just can't get to know people in any meaningful way that way. Not for romance, obviously, but not for any other collaboration either. Even business transactions are limited to the very simple, and if you buy something online you have to wait for it. The
  • I suppose this could prove where you authored something, as well as when. Yet I just can't think of why this is important when the internet transcends boundaries. Why would I want to do this when the whole point of my digital life seems to be that I can conduct it via IP over anything?
  • Can't we all live in anonymity? Isn't this a bit excess, to start stamping all files with a location string? The headers for files are already too large anyways why should we bloat them with another piece of only special use info. Its really quite pointless as most of the time when a file is moved all such header info is lost. Therefore all the files on a computer will have the same location eventhough they my have been downloaded.
  • Is already possible for web pages. See
  • Perfect! Now the government can censor Al Jazeera [] and Arab News [] with the touch of a button!

    • Can't censor Al Jazeera, still nothing there to censor. Followed the link to and they are on the air but a quick glance showed nothing that needed censorship. That's not the same as saying that everything there is flattering to the coalition, I am finding the different point of view refreshing. Thanks for the link.
  • I had added GeoTags [] when /. mentioned them quite some time ago.
    All the "Agg Evil Gov." posts, I really dont get, as with all HTML-metadata it is optional (and almost always under used).
    That said, the London 'Bloggers'[1] [] page is funky use of the same sort of thing.

    [1] I want to kill the prat that started calling Web Logs/Journals "blogs" it is just such a frigging stupid work.
  • GeoURL (Score:3, Informative)

    by bergie ( 29834 ) on Monday March 31, 2003 @10:22AM (#5630990) Homepage

    The GeoURL [] service seems to have a pseudo-standard for this. To geo-code your content add the following META tags to it:

    <meta name="ICBM" content="XX.XXXXX, XX.XXXXX">
    <meta name="DC.title" content="THE NAME OF YOUR SITE">

    The ICBM meta-tag there is where you put the coordinates. More info [].

    Another similar service seems to be GeoTags []


    • The ICBM meta-tag there is where you put the coordinates

      This just goes to show that the real reason for geolocation information in web pages is to make it easier for them to nuke you. Terrorists beware!

    • <meta name="ICBM" content="XX.XXXXX, XX.XXXXX">
      <meta name="DC.title" content="THE NAME OF YOUR SITE">

      I don't think I want an Inter- Continental Ballistic Missle aimed at my webpage, do you?

      I've coded it for error detection, but not for worst-case scenario.

  • to summarize (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jj_johny ( 626460 ) on Monday March 31, 2003 @10:23AM (#5630992)
    1. you have those that are worried about privacy

    2. you have those that think this is the greatest thing

    Then you have those like myself that see this as just another technology/technique that will find a use or two but in general will just make doing technical stuff more complicated without any real benefit.

  • I think that if that kind of thing were available today, we would not have any news of the war from the field. With the same point of view, could be security reccomendations against this (in times of peace, you always have terrorism). And all this concerns, are just in the military point of view, could be more more universal objections.
  • by wrenkin ( 71468 )
    Webloggers can specify nearest airport locations in their FOAF files. af/foaf-a-matic.html /2 002/month/12#9 (airport stuff) f. shtml
    (moveable type stuff)
  • with the ability to trace the origination of content it would become far more viable for the censors around the globe to be more assertive.

    there is little doubt that some web content of a fascist nature must be generated in france (where it is illegal), and whilst i disagree with such content i would always choose to allow freedom of speech (such that they could be ridiculed)... but with locational information in meta data, it would be very easy for governments and other interested parties to become more s
    • I agree. Nothing but bad can come of this.
      My desire is that each law should only be as strong as where it is weakest. Thus copyright should be only as well enforced as in China, porn as in Sweden, racist virtol as in the United States. If we *HAVE* to live in a world with those annoying arsholes known as censors or other authorities, then the global scope of the net is our best hope for emasculating them. Freedom is good, restraint on information is evil.
  • I think the most exciting possibility is the ability for China and Iran and any other repressive regieme to easily block content from the outside world. Oops, that packet came from the US, thats no good.
  • Hmm...looks like you're in China - time for the industrial strength spam filter. And then a copy of the message will be automatically forwarded to your government.

    Anonymity is an extremely important part of the Internet - we shouldn't try to lose it. Geocoding has possibilities, but many constitute major invasions of privacy.

    PS - Today, the principal of my school pissed me off, so I signed him up for every newsletter I could find. I want the ability to do that in the future - but I bet he doesn't want me
  • by Anonymous Coward
    See Santiago Gala his page

    Apache is doing it already:

    Or play with this also &VERSION=1.1.0&layers=rawworld,comloc&width=600&he ight=300&request=getMap&format=png&bbox=-180,-90,1 80,90 []
    . Similar stuff for freebsd is at the same location http:// [] and more powerfull [].


    • Note that WMS demo [] is propably a better place to start. It uses the OpenGIS WMS (Web Mapping Server) protocol. There are some 10 databases behind this server; apache and freebsd committers/mirrors just being a small part of it.

      Ideally one would use something like the WMSClient as mentioned on this page. []


  • right now, the world needs ways to bridge peoples in all places and allow them to discourse if all the violence - from *anyone* - has any chance to stop. Talking to my next door nieghbor on the web not only makes me *much* less likely to be exposed to different viewpoints and ideas, cultures and moralities but also keeps me in my comfort zone since I don't need to worry about what common ideas we may not share about any given topic. After all, it's hard to see something differently standing shoulder to sh
  • I used to run IBM's Main Web Support []. In 1999, we were creating a portal at that site that not only offered links to the other businesses but also provided access to all content in the Support organization.

    In the architecture, each master document had actually a 1:M relationship with its geodocuments. The geodocument carried the contents of the document, translated for that geo and also located on a different geo-based server (IBM has a very large network). Every document had to have a version in Simple

  • Say I'm located in the central US, but I'm doing work remotely on a server resident in New Delhi.

    Which location is attached to the document?
  • by Kefaa ( 76147 ) on Monday March 31, 2003 @10:50AM (#5631138)
    There is an inherent danger in using Tobler's First Law in a communications context. It's focus is on the impact of similar experiences as felt by the individual. We "empathize" with an injustice 16,000 miles away. We "experience" one 6 miles away.

    The danger is when one group believes they have a "better perspective" because of location. If you are having a conversation with a person about Iraq and they tell you they are from Pakistan or the United States does it influence how you interpret what they say? Should it? Do you provide their ideas with stronger support if they are closer to you or the event?

    As the people of Iraq are closest to Saddam, they are a better judge of the current US/Iraq situation. Equally so, because Americans are closest to their government, they are a better judge of what is right. Now with Americans in Iraq who is a better judge?

    While GeoTagging is becoming more popular, it carries a prejudice. You are no longer expressing your opinion you are expressing your "French" opinion or your "German" opinion. Your facts are "Swiss" facts, or "American" facts. Your beliefs are "South African" beliefs or "Australian" beliefs.

    There may be value in putting context around what you state, however it may serve just as well to cloud the message by providing context before the message. And that may lead to the question of what is the Truth [] ?
  • Like most people i couldn't care less where someone is located. It's your message that interests me (or not). The content is important.

    I can only see this is coming in handy in cases where the law is broken (i.e. kiddiepr0n or online stalking etc..). But i cannot see this as a reason to throw away any privacy. It makes it easier to catch the perpetrator but it's not that it isn't otherwise possible. However, if i would like to post something anonimously because of some issues that are political or otherwis
  • ...but because of the abuse factor, and the numerous questions involved(do you update the geostamp when it passes through a system that reprocesses the content, like we do with timestamps? is this a router level concept or a user level concept?), I think it may be best to included the location as a part of the content itself rather than in the header.

    Reuters is already doing this with something they call a "dateline." They also encode usernames with something called a "byline," and summarize content with
  • DNS already has resource records for a host/IP that provide location.
    The record is LOC and defined in RFC 1876

    Copying a snippit from oreilly's DNS and BIND:

    In its basic form, the LOC record takes latitude, longitude and altitude (in that order) as its record-specific data. Latitude and longitude are expressed in the format:

    degrees [minutes [seconds.fractional_seconds]] (N|S|E|W)

    Altitude is expressed in meters.

    Ex.: IN LOC 40 2 0.373 N 105 17 23.528 W 1638m

    Notice pretty
  • Located images (Score:2, Interesting)

    by robosmurf ( 33876 )
    What I would really like to see is a digital camera with built-in GPS that tags each picture with where and when you took it.

    This would for instance allow you to produce a map after a holiday showing where you went.

    • If you have a lot of money, you can get the Nikon Pro cameras (D1x, D1h), they can hook up to a gps receiver. Doing this by hand is just too tedious. (Snap whoto, whip out gps, mark location, note image number/name...)
  • I've read a bunch of posts here which raise a number of valid points:

    1. Geographical data might be useful
    2. Geographical data is unimportant -- it is the quality of communications which matters
    3. Technical barriers to creating this sort of information are really fairly trivial

    My concerns are that expansion of meta data (essentially what this is) may then lead to greater expansion of meta data. To wit: if geographical data is useful, why not attach the personal identifier as well? The slippery slope argume
  • The Exif [] file format, which contains header information for JPEG images is ready for location stamps. There are tags for longitude and lattitude. Exif is embedded in JPEG images and is in use by most digital cameras.

    This means that a GPS-enabled digital camera could not only store when a picture was taken, but automatically record WHERE it was taken. This could be a great asset for travelers, surveyors, journalists, etc.
  • I think one of the most exciting is for locating online conversations by geographic proximity

    Cos yeah - that's a good idea. I can see it now:

    * NiceMan ( has joined #teenchat
    NiceMan> Hello little girl, would you like to see my puppies?
    Jenny> you have puppees? can I see them?
  • Location-aware (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ward99 ( 660068 )
    While adding geo-information to web sites is interesting, I think the more compelling technology is the location-aware technologies that are starting to come out. Things like Vindigo []that provide that information ina package, or things like Geocache []and AnnotatedEarth [] that provide a user-driven community of location information. As the author says, Ultimately, the logical conclusion of wireless graffiti systems would be the ability to attach information to any object or place on earth with an
  • "What happens when all content is automatically tagged with..."

    The word "all"

    Some, or user selctable, but all?
    Thank you very much, but I'll pass.
  • I'd love to know where that Timex DataLink watch my ex lost is....

  • What's so awesome about geocoding is, if you get a geocoded spam, you can fwd the gps location to a tomahawk cruise missile, which navigates via gps, and it can fly into the spammer's face at Mach 3.
  • by realdpk ( 116490 )
    Yes, let's just "imagine" what would happen if all content is "geocoded". We could make it so people could only view certain content with certain geocoded viewers, and outlaw viewers that can view all content regardless of its geocode. Imagine how marvelous such a thing would be!!
  • What happens when all content is automatically tagged with the geographical location of its production?

    One thing: Filtering by geographic location. This creates ghettos. It's the electronic equivalent of redlining.

    Another: Privacy violations. It's yet another marker useful for identifying an originator that you must remember to spoof or disable if you want to publish anonymously.

    One of the most highly touted benefits of The Net is that "no one knows that you're a dog". Your ideas can be considered

  • I'd love to know where half the crap that appears in my daily newspaper and every other dead-tree rag was written...


    "Why we must bomb Iraq" - Jim Sneddon (Baghdad 010420030700)
    "Why we must bomb Iraq" - Jim Sneddon (Florida Keys 010420030700)

    BTW, April fools ! ;-)

  • adding an ICBM address at the bottom of your e-mails? Used to be popular once.

Forty two.