IT STARTS WITH MAPS: We’ve used maps for hundreds and hundreds of years to understand the earth… Nowadays, everybody is texting and sending geotagged information. We have the speed of the internet, remote sensing satellites, software like Google Earth and that nice lady with a beautiful voice that tell us to turn right… It’s the geospatial revolution!
HOW WE GET THERE: GPS receivers are a miracle of science and technology… the first GPS in 1982, took two men to carry it. Its antenna was one square meter-square piece of aluminum, and had to have massive battery generator for it! Now I am here, and… where is the nearest Starbucks? Where is the nearest hospital? Where to have dinner? Which places people rated highly? Maybe you want a particular kind of food within a 15 minute walk. You got the map, the reviews and the menu. In a mobile device you’re the center of the map and the city is around you. Not you see the city and then look for yourself in the map. It’s really putting you in the map!
WHY WE NEED IT: We’re becoming individual sensors. We’re creating this huge sensor network of people holding mobile devices not just to know how to get to some place, but also to report problems that affect the community. Aid workers and Haitian nationals were posting for help during the earthquake in 2010. With crowdsourcing and geospatial technology you can aggregate this information and map it to be used by rescue workers or anyone else. Besides that, Haiti maps weren’t up-to-date anymore after the earthquake. Haitians were also able to report changes and report future alerts, simply sending SMS messages, translated by the effort of 2.000 volunteers from 49 countries. Maps help save the world!