Geo-Spatially Mapped Life-Lines Will Soon Amplify Our Memories

October 21 2008 / by Alvis Brigis
Category: The Web   Year: General   Rating: 4 Hot

A few years into the future when someone says, “I think I’ll use my lifeline,” they will no longer be referring to Who Wants to be a Millionaire?, but instead their geo-spatially coordinated content history.

According to John Schneider, CTO of clever geo-web annotator, we’re about to experience a powerful convergence of mirror worlds and life-logging that will enable all sorts of interesting applications including community feedback mechanisms and amplified memory.

“You’ve been to something like an antique shop last month with your wife, and you just can’t for the life of you remember where this place was or what the name of it was,” lays out Schneider, “But because you’ve life-logged you can get on your account, you can take the time slider and move it back in time to the place you were. ... Now you project that lifeline on something like Google maps, bring up the Street View, look around and there it is – there is the place you’ve been looking for.”

I totally buy that scenario. Do you?

For more interesting future videos be sure to check out the MemeBox YouTube Channel

Will the juxtaposition of personal data atop geo-spatial simulations fundamentally augment our memory?

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Open Street Map Editorial Timelapse Reveals the Global Brain at Work

January 22 2009 / by Alvis Brigis / In association with Future
Category: The Web   Year: 2008   Rating: 4 Hot

For those of you still wondering about the awesome power of open-source software and web apps, which some forecasters believe will comprise 40% of all IT jobs by 2020, the Open Street Map (open version of Google Maps) editorial timelapse above is an illuminating demonstration of how individuals scattered across the globe can work together to quickly assemble a complex information graph.

Still doubting the power of digital altruism?  Consider that over the next few years we'll move closer to always-on, hi-def, GPS-enabled life-logging devices, which will make contributing rich information to such 3D wikis much easier, if not nearly automatic. Mix in some smarter software that understands where to contextually arrange data and we're likely looking at serious acceleration of open-source graphing projects, which would help explain why the % of open-source jobs is expected to rise so significantly.  

The Global Brain is hard at work.  Emerging technology, software, information and social norms are speeding up its top-down, bottom-up and hybrid knowledge generation.

(via The Future is Awesome)

Geothermal power receives boost from US Department of Energy

October 07 2008 / by Garry Golden / In association with Future
Category: Environment   Year: 2015   Rating: 2

Geothermal energy could emerge as a vast resource for the next century if we can engineer next generation systems.

Geothermal power generation gained considerable attention in 2007 following the release of the MIT’s study‘The Future of Geothermal Energy’ which estimated that within the US alone 100 MW of energy could be established by 2050. Apparently the US government is now taking this recommendation seriously.

Yesterday the US Department of Energy announced support for 21 Research, Development and Demonstration Projects tapping $78 million in public-private partnerships. The DOE’s goal is to prove the technical feasibility of Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) by 2015.

The Earth Policy institute reports that in 2008 total worldwide installed geothermal power capacity passed 10,000 megawatts producing enough electricity to meet the needs of 60 million people. The US leads the world in geothermal energy power generation with 2,900 MW followed by the Philippines, Mexico, Indonesia, Italy, Japan and a dozen other countries.

While the global outlook for geothermal remain positive, the US market is receiving considerable attention due to its growth prospects in the years ahead. Nordic bank Glitnir estimates that ‘the overall number of projects has increased and projects currently underway would expand installed capacity in the U.S. by a 100-130% in the years to come.’

It is possible that geothermal energy sector will never become a darling of the energy sector as the list of award recipients hints at the no-frills futures to geothermal energy. Extracting this form of energy is an engineering intensive job and there is still a considerable amount of academic field work ahead to make EGS feasible. While the majority of funds went to universities and research institutes, there are some familiar energy industry names including Baker-Hughes (Houston, TX), GE Energy (Niskayuna, N.Y.), Chevron and Schlumberger (Sugar Land, TX). Given the potentially high returns on tapping geo-engineering skills we might see more ‘Big Energy’ developers throw their resources into expanding geothermal capacity around the world.

Image credit: Lydus Flickr CC License