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Tag "global"

Google presents fir the currently running I/O conference in San Francisco a new Google Chrome Experiment. The developers print a data globe for visualisation purpose. It’s an in-house production and is a sort of simplified Google Earth in black and white showing colourful data spikes.

Its part of the series to demonstrate the power of the web browser. The war is on for quite a while between the companies and is currently fought the hardest on the browser front. Firefox has only just recently launched the new version and Microsoft is currently putting up paper adds across London trying to sell the detail capacity of the all new Explorer.

Image taken from readwriteweb / Screenshot of the WebGL Globe showing world population. Click the image for the interactive version

The chrome Experiments are already an established institution and contains a large selection of projects. Brilliant stuff like the interactive human body in 3D, the TimeLaps GigaPan or last years music video feature the Wilderness Downtown. Its an ongoing collection, so some new features will come up all the time.

The WebGL Globe uses web GL for the rendering all based on JavaScript. Doug Fritz of the Google Data Arts Team explains the challenges as: “The primary challenge of this project was figuring out how to draw several thousand 3D data spikes as quickly and smoothly as possible. To do this, we turned to Three.js, a JavaScript library for building lightweight 3D graphics. For each data point, we generate a cube with five faces – the bottom face, which touches the globe, is removed to improve performance. We then stretch the cube relative to the data value and position it based on latitude and longitude. Finally, we merge all of the cubes into a single geometry to make it more efficient to draw.”

Image taken from readwriteweb / Screenshot of the WebGL Globe showing Google Search results by language. Click the image for the interactive version

The second challenge was to create the interaction with the globe to enhance the experiment. since it is 3D users with the experience of Google Earth will want to drag and pan the globe. Using the mouse wheel there is also a zoom function so the data can be looked at locally. In this sense the interaction is quite nice however, the large spikes are difficult to grasp. The local level is really only for the smaller spikes.

The Google Arts Team has put online two data visualisations. One is showing the world population showing at three intervals 1990, 1995, 2000 accessible via some click links. The second visual is showing Google search volume by language.

Currently the tool seems only to offer point data and they have not yet announced a plan for additional features. It is not much more than an visualisation. However they are hoping it will be picked up by the community and have set up a Google code page, but not yet put the code for donned. Currently there seems to be only one custom visual, showing the bloggers mood around the world, based on the english speaking blogger community.

The language for the visualisation is not based on KML, but a sort of JSON interpretation. not sure how the transformation will work but apparently this should be simple. The package is now available for download on the projects Google Code page, including the two examples for reference. If you have a play with it and come up with some exciting stuff you can submit your project to Google HERE.

Image taken from alignedleft / Screenshot of the WebGL Globe showing Recently Blogged Feelings based on english speaking blogs.

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“Giving is an act that improves the capacity of the other person.” we can learn in this recent Lars Mueller Publications with the fitting title ‘World of Giving‘. The book is by Jeffrey Inaba / C-Lab and Katharine Meagher and a collaboration between Columbia University GSAPP, the New Museum ad Lars Mueller Publishers. So in this sens a complicated construction, but one that could prove very productive and positive.

Image by urbanTick / A spread of the book showing maps and text.

Similar the topic, ‘Giving’ is not obviously the topic one would expect from such a prominent collaboration, but that probably has more to do with the cliches attributed to the term ‘giving’. But as the introduction of the book demonstrated the world of giving, in the sense of the book’s title, is extremely divers and opens a different alley to approach widely discussed topics. This mainly because it is such an everyday term and as “…it is so ubiquitous that it often goes unseen, … It is even said that it is most virtuos when it goes unnoticed.” Further on in the book the focus shifts more towards large scale ‘giving’ in the work of NGO’s, World Bank or ‘professional givers’ such as nuns (were in ‘Givingness is Next to Godliness’ the term ‘economy of spirituality’ is introduced). In a sense this moves away a bit from the everyday sense of the community ‘giving’ or even the ‘giving’ between friends, a Birthday present perhaps.
For this, although, the content is researched over three years and a number of global ‘giving’ networks are highlighted and discussed. The books has come out of an exhibition project by Jeffrey Inaba and C-Lab with the title ‘Donor Hall‘ at the New Museum New York. Yes, the project realised by Sanaa.
The book’s style at first remembers me very much of the book ‘Massive Change’ by Bruce Mau and Jennifer Leonard. Not exactly sure why this is. Maybe because of the direct and a little bit out of the blue introduction part at the beginning of the publication? By the way, would be interesting to look up a few of the people who contributed to the ‘Massive Change’ to see how it developed in the past six years.
In terms of design the publication is a pure as possible, very simple. The only element are different colours used for, not sure, chapters? The print is not in black, but in colour and this ranging from blue to orange. A very simple tools to structure and intensify the content. However, it’s got drawbacks. The colours change often between the chapters because of the production. Each booklet is printed with one colour and the chapters often dont fit the booklets. Nevertheless, I very much like the way colour is utilised here as a real element of the book.

Image by urbanTick / The colour code that runs through the book.

Don’t expect too much from the book, it is very much about what the title already sais ‘World of Giving”. It is about global players and interlinkages of givers and beneficiaries and this very much in a general sense, eg. I give you because I think you are in need.
The book does hint at a debate about these different and possible ways of communication but for my understanding does not go into depth at this point with the examples. On the other hand one can only ask for more because the product has already lit a fire of interest for the topic. And definitely the book’s focus on global mechanisms and strategies of giving at large with all sorts of different agendas, backgrounds or goals is revealing.
The books first chapter ‘Giving’ by Jeffrey Inaba can be read HERE on the C-Lab website. However you won’t get the nice differences in colour that there are in the book.

Inaba, J. & Meagher, K., 2010. The World of Giving, Lars Muller Publishers.

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Actually the GPS signal can be manipulated, who would have guessed otherwise? The system being a American Military Defense innovation initially, this is one of the strategies implemented to prevent enemies using the system against US targets. The other system implemented was the selective availability (SA) restriction imposed on the signal for civil, e.g. non military, use. Today a large variety of digital gadgets are equipped with a GPS receiver, ranging from in car navigation systems to mobile phones and cameras. This was kicked of by the former president Bill Clinton’s decision to lift the imposed selective availability (SA) restriction in 2000 (Prasad 2005, p.7). Following the SA removal, civil and commercial GPS accuracy increased from around 100m to somewhere between 3m and 15m (Pendleton 2002 as cited in Spencer Spencer 2003, p.56).
However to come back to the temporal and local jamming of the GPS signal holds still a very important status in the strategy of US military action. This is that the European system Galileo is still under construction and its partial launch will not be until 1012 or beyond. The other functioning system is the Russian Glonas. However this is not covering the entire planet with constant signal as it only operates from 18 satellites (2008) covering Russia. In this sense the US holds a monopoly on this location based information system.

Image taken from Wikipedia

The jamming of the signal is normally not know to the public and only speculated over. However it is very likely that it is used in current war zones, like Iraq and Afghanistan. There are reports over this jamming to be found on the internet.
Computerworld has an article on the subject quoting some GPS experts on the matter. “Sam Wormley, a researcher at Iowa State University in Ames and manager of an authoritative GPS resources and accuracy Web site, said that the Pentagon “definitely” has the capability to jam civilian GPS signals in a given area without interfering with more precise military signals. Wormley said that’s because the military signals occupy a different and smaller slice of the GPS frequency band than that used by the civilian signals.” The jamming most likely is achieved through a slight desincronisation of the clocks. For military purpose this can easily be decoded.
There are very funny discussions going on out there on the web around the possibility of jamming satellite signal. A good one is on yahoo.answers.com, where some guy accuses his neighbor ‘Joe’ to jam his satellite dish, because when ever Joe is home the guy thinks his TV signal is disrupted.
Thinking this further, how do we know that the actual position is correct? As we have seen in the introduction of this post, as well as in last weeks new Argos catalogue, consumer GPS products have become immensely popular and everyone needs to know where they are. Whether this is true or not in this case is probably not that important. So to say, we don’t know if the represented location on Google Earth is actually the true position as in lat long, yes we can see that this image shows the street we’re in, but the structural framework of the Lat Long coordinate is not necessarily the ‘right’ one. But I guess this is the question of the artificially impose grid that we can only virtually refer to and belief in as a convention.
So next time you end up in New York, rather than the planned Newark because of a spelling mistake while typing it into the gadget, you can blame the US for temporarily jamming your specific satellite. But if you are after your neighbor here are some web stores where you can purchase your own satellite jammer to annoy your ‘Joe’.

However I wanted to link a creepy James Bond extract, where the space craft swallows the satellite, but you guess it is not out there yet. So if anyone has this sequence laying around please upload and link it here.
However I therefore link to a very boring but scientific clip that actually visualises the GPS signal availability in Kabul during the course of one day. The scientist, Richard Langley, a professor of geodesy and precision navigation at the University of New Brunswick has observed the predicted position of the satellite versus the actual signal strength in the are and there seems to be clearly a jam. However, that was recorded back in 2001, but most certainly this has taken place before and after, as well as in other places than Kabul too.

Clip by Richard Langley – Kabul.GPS.Visibility.mov

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The beat as a driving force has been used on this blog already a number of times. It refers to a constant that imposes a rhythm on activities. There is the beat of the drums, the scheduled beat of trains, tubes and buses, the beat of events and shows or the beat of the shopping street with opening times and new trends. In all this we, as individuals are swirled around in a big buzz but still we have and keep our own bet. On to level of our personal body a number of elements beat in sync. There is the heartbeat, the blink of an eye and the breath that keep us going.
In the visualization breathingearth, this body functions are taken onto a global level. Not individually but collectively and in the form of births and deaths. By visualizing the starting beats of the births and the ending beats of the deaths, a global picture of how the earth beats individually might be drawn. How ever sad the death of an individual and how joyous the birth of a new life, the striking thing on this is how continuity emerges.
Animated as flashing dots the map visualizes births and death on the planet in “real time”. Every country on the map features with information on population, birth and death rates. In addition the amount of CO2 produced by country is displayed in black and red.
Get a feel for the beat – click on the image!
Image from breathingearth – click on image to see the animated visualization

Where does the data come from for this visualization? According to the producers, all data used on Breathing Earth is the latest available, as of December 2008. Birth and death rates: 2008 estimates, from the CIA World Factbook. Population data is based on July 2008 estimates from the CIA World Factbook. When Breathing Earth is started, it uses each country’s birth and death rates to calculate how much its population has changed since July 2008, and adjusts its population figure accordingly. To calculate the total world population, Breathing Earth adds up the population figures of all countries. It continues adjusting the various population figures as you watch it, each time a person is born or a person dies.
CO2 emission rates are 2004 figures from the United Nations Statistics Division.

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Queen_Btch: just landed in London heading to the pub for a drink then im of to bed…so tired who knew hooking up on an airplane would be so tiring =S
jvirgin: Just landed in Maui and I feel better already … Four days here then off to vegas
jchecrothers: Just landed in Dakar, Senegal… Another 9 hours n I’ll be in South Africa two entire days after I left … Doodles

Just landed… twitter tweets like this are sent out to let the world know what one is doing. Previously the Phrase was I’ll call you mum, when I‘m there…
Tweets with this phrase have been used in project by blprnt, to map global movement. Simply by searching the twitter posts and combining them with the home location from this persons twitter home page the path are generated. It is done by using the twitter API and MetaCarta for lat / long information. To put everything together processing is used.
The result is very intuitive and beautiful, global movement is this simple. It turns out that there is a lot of movement from the United States in this animation and this makes one wonder, large areas on the world map are not flown to it seems. Twitter movement is not equal to representative movement; the technology is not available to everyone. Old stats from last year (twitter is not very open with its user numbers) show 40% of usage in the states and 60 in the rest of the world. Japan has a share of 36% and the rest of the 60% are divided almost equally by the western European countries.
Nevertheless this animation is a great usage of this informal, I let the world know, tool.

Just Landed – 61 Hours from blprnt on Vimeo.

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