Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Wired GEO: The Location-Enabled Society, a conference at Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet & Society

A few weeks ago, the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard hosted a conference titled Creating the Policy & Legal Framework for a Location-Enabled Society.  The notion of local-to-global scale connected and enabled sensor networks for decision support is fast becoming a reality - many of the topics listed in the conference session agenda were considered forward thinking not long ago.  I will be looking for archived videos and/or synopses from conference attendees, and will follow with additional discussion.  The events in Moore, OK from earlier this week underscore the importance of these discussions.

 Taken from the conference announcement:
Location matters. Energy, sustainable agriculture, biodiversity, natural hazards, traffic and transportation, crime and political instability, water quality and availability, climate change, migration and urbanization – all key issues of the 21st century – have a location component. Critical geographic thinking, understanding and reasoning are essential skills for modern societies, and geospatial technologies for location based data collection, management, analysis and visualization have developed rapidly in recent decades. Today, these technologies are widely applied in routine operations in large corporations, entrepreneurial businesses, government agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the social media of our daily lives. They save cost, improve efficiency, increase transparency, enhance communication, and help solve problems. Location-enabled devices are weaving "smart grids" and building "smart cities;" they allow people to discover a friend in a shopping mall, catch a bus at its next stop, check surrounding air quality while walking down a street, or avoid a rain storm on a tourist route – now or in the near future. And increasingly they allow those who provide services to track, whether we are walking past stores on the street or seeking help in a natural disaster.

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