Where 2.0 Am I?

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You're at the Where 2.0 conference! A gathering to discuss maps, global positioning, mobile devices, and anything else that relates to your location on the planet. We spoke with a handful of the presenters at Where 2.0, rode someone else's electric scooter, and wrapped up the evening with some thoughts from Tim O'Reilly himself.



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The Discussion

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    Matthew Mushall

    Pun intended. I discovered how inaccurate and uncooperative GPS can be during my Ecology class a year ago. I was totally unaware that WiFi is being adapted to location finding.  Then again, it's perfectly suited for the task and could even perform multiple tasks at once - determine your position, transmit information between users and update networks at once.

    The technology to integrate the two systems should be in development.  Iagine GPS locators with built-in WiFi transponders. We'd have a seemless network that could determine your location from anywhere.

    That global mapping technology was impressive. It reminds me of a high resolution Google Earth. Thanks for pointing out where 10 is on the Microsoft Campus. I liked what Tim had to say. We are headed to some kind of system between Second Life and realty. Global surface area is limited, however. I'm surprised that no one has taken the time to seriously invest in underground habitation.

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    JD Lewin

    I've seen some eBay auctions for old underground military command posts..I'd love it!

    And you're right, GPS is great for what it was designed for, but I think we've found the limits of accuracy. Some WiMax-esque triangulation is going to have to win out. Ultimately that's probably a better scenario anyhow, as having your location service support a massive amount of bandwidth can't be a bad thing Wink

  • User profile image
    I know I've been watching way too much Alias, but I would hope for location to be based off of many different things.  GPS, Wifi, Visual Detection, whatever people come up with.  Seems to me the more indicators the better.  At some point, one of them will fail (for whatever reason) so if you have bunches, your chances of having it "just work all the time" will be much greater.  Not sure where Alias fits into all of that though unless you're a spy using this location stuff to thwart the enemy!  Wink
  • User profile image
    Matthew Mushall

    Yeah, I've seen some of those auctions too.  Most of it is left over Cold War command bunkers.  There are even a few former missle silos for sale.  I was thinking more along the lines of the 1930's art decco transit systems or Japanese underground gardens.  One way windows would allow for sunlight on the top most level.  There are serious applications for underground habitation, but investors are hard to come by.

  • User profile image
    Matthew Mushall

    Alias...hehe.  I can understand the need for a quadruple redundant locator with four systems that find your location from anywhere...but I don't think we need more than that at any given time.  Sure, the system would be dependable...but also invasive.  There are times I simply don't want to be found and don't want anyone else monitoring me.  Visual and motion tracking systems are going a little too far for comfort.  Working at microsoft, imagine a new policy where all employees had to wear a communicator badge, like Star Trek, that enabled employees to communicate with just a press and a name, but also kept track of your location anywhere on or around the campus.  Everyone could know where you were at any given moment...and cameras could lock onto you and show your activity on any computer monitor.  While thats efficient...it's also pervasive and a little creepy...spying or not.

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