Posts Tagged ‘Google’

Footprints and priorities

Friday, March 16th, 2012

Goodchild’s (1998) ‘Geolibrary’ chapter is a great introduction to the geolibrary field and the challenges it poses. However, it should be noted that it was published 14 years ago, which may mean that some of the questions raised have already been answered, while others still remain problematic, and further, new questions are anticipated. In particular, geographical footprints have become more complex in search queries. “But the current generation of search engines, exemplified by Alta Vista or Yahoo, are limited to the detection and indexing of key words in text. By offering a new paradigm for search, based on geographic location, the geolibrary might provide a powerful new way of retrieving information” (2). Now that we have Google as the most used search engine, I agree with Jeremy regarding his reference to Google Maps and searches related to businesses. I believe it is a type of geolibrary, although the economic and legal issues that Goodchild poses come to mind (8). As Google as a business the payment for its maintenance and the legal rights it holds become convoluted and at times questionable to the users. Would open-source map applications such as OpenStreetMap be more appropriate to manage financial and legal issues with fewer controversies?

Geolibrary footprints continue to be interesting due to its ability to enhance or hinder the amount of sources a user is exposed to. The more in the vicinity a user is to the specific location they are researching and want to extensively explore the database of a particular geolibrary, the more information that individual will find. This can be problematic for remote researchers that are constrained to a geographical location, and at a great distance from their research study area. This can have serious implications on the research conducted as the way the research unfolds drastically alter based on the amount of sources available. In a sense, it is stifling the global aspect of geolibraries as a plethora of sources about a location is still only available in the proximity of the location in question. As the questions a geolibrary can answer revolve around area, geographical footprints can play a significant role to diminish uneven distribution of place related information in a digital form.

-henry miller

Disappearing Buildings!

Thursday, March 1st, 2012

The two assigned topics for Friday’s class are relevant to one another. It can be so frustrating when trying to search for a place, store or location on a smart phone. Depending where you are, how zoomed in you are and especially the spelling, the results can have huge amount of variance.

The other day I was searching for The Bell Sports Complex in Brossard, but my phone was incapable of finding my query. I had successfully performed the search before, but for some unknown reason, it no longer existed. Perhaps the disappearance of the Habs’ practice facility could explain their recent woes…

Jiang’s article on LBS provokes a question: Does a feature in a landscape possess different coordinates if it is a point, or does it have different extents (if a polygon) depending on the scale? For example, at a global scale, Montreal might appear as a point feature, but at a larger scale it may instead be a polygon. Does each map of a certain scale possess the address and location for different features? This seems redundant; but perhaps necessary right now. I can imagine that one feature could potentially hold different types of representations. When a certain type of representation is required, it could simply be called upon instead of having repetitions within the database.

I am sometimes concerned about privacy with regards to LBS, but more impressed with how internet searches have become more efficient with the integration of LBS. There are positives and negatives, and at this point, I’m not so concerned with people knowing my exact location. I really enjoy how in GEOG 201, it was mentioned that Google’s goal was to integrate all searches into a map-like interface. Four years later, I can definitely see this as a possibility. It was a little foreign to me at the time, but I am able to see that almost everything has a spatial component to it.


Please… Stop working and start conversing!

Sunday, November 23rd, 2008

(A reply to An environmentally friendly world, made possible with GIS)

You and I work very hard and we often do not take the time to chill out and talk… Conversation is one of the most important social activities but because of time, we forget how important this social act is for us! We are social animals…

Anyway, on a usual Friday diner, my dad, little brother and I opened a nice bottle of wine (I must say that it was a real discovery. For those of you interested Don Pascual reserve Shiraz Tannat 2007 produced in Uruguay available at SAQ). We were discussing about the week main news as we like to do when we get together. We discussed about the US government’s possibility of helping the car industry with $25 billion (owners went to Washington D.C. with private planes), economic crash, Québec election, etc. Later on, when my mother joined us, we opened a second bottle of wine and we did not leave the table at that time.  Haha! We kept discussing and the point that I want to go is the importance of discussing because we can share our opinions but also share news that hit home everyone single one of us (I do not know if his sentence make sense, hope you got it).

I am not telling new thing here but pay attention to this… My dad mentioned that Google continues of getting crazy. After revolutionized the World Wide Wed search engine by adding search options like scholar, images, news, Google Earth, etc, Google can now helps out epidemiologist predicting pandemic. How? Well, I will ask you a question… When people get sick, what do you think they are typing in Google search tool bar? Hahaha! Exactly! I was almost shocked when I heard that from my dad… I just looked online to prove if this is true and was again really surprised to notice that this information is even published in the NATURE website! Wow! Is it surprising or scary? It becomes really powerful and Google possibilities are unlimited as GIS is also. But if I think on that a little bit… in fact, I am not really surprised of this discovery. I am more surprised of the persons that made the link between flu fluctuation and the amount of Google searches over time. See the graph taken from the Nature website.

GIS, Google, … what’s next? This world becomes really crazy! These technologies performed really well but it is our obligation to use them in the right direction.