[Locative Media] IFTF Geoweb experiment in the Feature

Howard Rheingold briefly describes some concept about the geoweb in the Feature as well as telling us the story of geo-freak Mike Liebhold. It also deals with standards to be chosen for the geoweb.

At the beginning of the two-day Geoweb and Deep Place Fall Exchange organized by the Institute for the Future, participants in the event rode a bus to Fort Scott and walked around the unoccupied base with tablet PCs equipped with software from Map Bureau ("mapping for the rest of us"). My team happened on the Jerry Garcia geotag at the perimeter of the old base's parade ground at the same time that a large, hawk-like bird perched on a telephone pole in the physical world. We walked as close as we could to the bird and took a picture. We tagged a note to that spot. Later, the photographer could post the photograph online and amend the tag to ask the next people attracted to that geo-info node what kind of hawk it might be. A few hundred yards away, a geotag informed us that we were standing on the future site of the Starfleet Academy. If you've seen the Star Trek movie where Kirk and Spock go back in time to the Starfleet Academy overlooking the Golden Gate, you will recognize where we were standing.

The software enabled us to browse Geographic Information Systems layers that could be toggled on and off, overlaid over the photomap of Fort Scott. We figured out how to overlay topographic or demographic or photographic maps, geonotes and Web searches associated with the locale. We didn't zoom to that level of sophistication immediately, however: my team took ten minutes and a call to the software provider to figure out that we had to turn on the GPS and then reboot the software.