- NGA Releases Hi-Res Elevation Data — 30-meter topographic data for the world.
- Soft Robotics — a collection of shared resources to support the design, fabrication, modeling, characterization, and control of soft robotic devices. From Harvard.
- OpenGov — In many domains, it’s not so much about “big data” yet as it is about “clean data.”
- Mitnick’s Zero-Day Exploit Shop — marketplace connecting “corporate and government” buyers and sellers of zero-day exploits. Claims to vet buyers. Another hidden economy becoming public.
"geo data" entries
Toxic Behaviour, Encryption Deception, Foursquare Strategy, and Problem-First Learning
- Toxic Behaviour — only 5% of toxic behavior comes from toxic people; 77% of it comes from people who are usually good.
- More Encryption Is Not The Solution (Poul-Henning Kamp) — To an intelligence agency, a well-thought-out weakness can easily be worth a cover identity and five years of salary to a top-notch programmer. Anybody who puts in five good years on an open source project can get away with inserting a patch that “on further inspection might not be optimal.”
- On Location With Foursquare (Anil Dash) — Foursquare switched from primarily being concerned with the game-based rewards around engagement and the recording of people’s whereabouts to a broader mission that builds on that base to be about location as a core capability of the Internet.
- The Flipped Flipped Classroom — the “exploration first” model is a better way to learn. You cannot have the answers before you think of the questions. (via Karl Fisch)
Commonalities between the Knight Foundation's News Challenge winners hint at journalism's networked future.
It’s not just a focus on data that connects the most recent class of Knight News Challenge winners. They all are part of a distributed civic media community that works on open source code, collects and improves data, and collaborates across media organizations.
These projects are “part of an infrastructure that helps journalists better understand and serve their communities through data,” commented Chris Sopher, Knight Foundation Journalism Program Associate, in an interview last week. To apply a coding metaphor, the Knight Foundation is funding the creation of patches for the source code of society. This isn’t a new focus: in 2011, Knight chose to help build the newsroom stack, from editorial search engines to data cleaning tools.
Following are four themes that jumped out when I looked across the winners of the latest Knight News Challenge round.
An intercontinental project that bridged citizen science, open data, open source hardware, civic hacking and the Internet of things to monitor, share and map radiation data? Safecast is in its own category. Adapting the system to focus on air quality in Los Angeles — a city that’s known for its smog — will be an excellent stress test for seeing if this distributed approach to networked accountability can scale.
If it does — and hacked Chumbys, LED signs, Twitter bots, smartphone apps and local media reports start featuring the results — open data is going to be baked into how residents of Los Angeles understand their own atmosphere. If this project delivers on some of its promise, the value of this approach will be clearer.
If this project delivers on all of its potential, the air itself might improve. For that to happen, the people who are looking at the realities of air pollution will need to advocate for policy makers to improve it. In the future, the success or failure of this project will inform similar efforts that seek to enlist communities in data collection, including whether governments embrace “citizensourcing” beyond natural disasters and crises. The idea of citizens as sensors continues to have legs. Read more…
Prank or mistake? A QR code on a TSA poster links to a non-TSA site.
Fred Trotter discovers that a QR code embedded in a TSA poster at the Orlando airport links to justinsomnia.org, which is about as far as you can get from a government website.
The joys of animated geo data, Angry Birds and the future of mobile testing, and a look inside The Guardian's creative process.
This week on O'Reilly: Andy Kirk explained why data, maps and animation work so well together, we discovered the connection between a game-playing robot and the future of mobile app testing, and we learned how The Guardian develops its data journalism.
Your phone can get you to the museum, but it can't guide you to the T-Rex.
The mapping applications built into smartphones are fantastic … until you arrive at your destination. Here, Nick Farina explains how indoor navigation apps can and should work.
Organisational Warfare, RTFM, Timezone Shapefile, Microsoft Adventure
- Organisational Warfare (Simon Wardley) — notes on the commoditisation of software, with interesting analyses of the positions of some large players. On closer inspection, Salesforce seems to be doing more than just commoditisation with an ILC pattern, as can be clearly seen from Radian’s 6 acquisition. They also seem to be operating a tower and moat strategy, i.e. creating a tower of revenue (the service) around which is built a moat devoid of differential value with high barriers to entry. When their competitors finally wake up and realise that the future world of CRM is in this service space, they’ll discover a new player dominating this space who has not only removed many of the opportunities to differentiate (e.g. social CRM, mobile CRM) but built a large ecosystem that creates high rates of new innovation. This should be a fairly fatal combination.
- Learning to Win by Reading Manuals in a Monte-Carlo Framework (MIT) — starting with no prior knowledge of the game or its UI, the system learns how to play and to win by experimenting, and from parsed manual text. They used FreeCiv, and assessed the influence of parsing the manual shallowly and deeply. Trust MIT to turn RTFM into a paper. For human-readable explanation, see the press release.
- A Shapefile of the TZ Timezones of the World — I have nothing but sympathy for the poor gentleman who compiled this. Political boundaries are notoriously arbitrary, and timezones are even worse because they don’t need a war to change. (via Matt Biddulph)
- Microsoft Adventure — 1979 Microsoft game for the TRS-80 has fascinating threads into the past and into what would become Microsoft’s future.
Darian Shirazi on location's trickiest issues and how an open places database could work.
With the goal of indexing the entire web by location, Fwix founder Darian Shirazi has had to dig in deep to location-based development issues. In this interview, Shirazi discusses challenges he sees in location and how Fwix is addressing them.
Urban Mapping's Ian White on the shift toward data as a service.
Urban Mapping CEO Ian White discusses the changing way that data is being sold, and the move to providing data as a service.