The coming age of ambient information...

I blogged earlier about the DISTANCE project which I am involved with. This is related to the idea of the 'Internet of Things'. We are currently creating teaching resources related to this theme, and I spent some time yesterday working on them.
We are working with our partners which include Intel, ScienceScope, Open University and the Birmingham Climate Laboratory.
I'm grateful to Karl Donert for the tipoff to the European Geographer journal.

An article in Issue 11 is excellent, and outlines a speech made by Ed Parsons from Google. I've met Ed a few times in the past, and chatted at the GA Conference a few years back. Ed has a really interesting job within Google.
The article is on page 29 and 30, and is based on a session given at Leuven.
It describes the value of 'ambient information' which we communicate, often without knowing it...

I recommend reading the article if you're teaching about cities and futures. It's based on some conference sessions that Ed has done in the last few months.

While in Bristol towards the end of the summer holiday, I noticed that there was a sign saying that the harbour was going to be coming to life, using QR codes...

And in Birmingham I noticed sensors in the parking bays. A car parked over them would make them dark, so linked to an app they become an instant 'map' of available on-street parking which changes as people come and go...

Are cities becoming 'smart' or are the people who manage cities making more use of technology to support (or control) their residents ?

As Ed said:

“People define places” because place is a social construct. In order for one to gain a sense of what a place is like, one must build an idea about that place and what it means for people. 

This provides some interesting ideas for how we define what a city is....

One for my Year 9s to ponder...


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