#geowebchat transcript, 23 August 2011


@joeeckert Welcome to Tuesday’s #geowebchat! Anyone out there after all the scheduling snafus? Today’s topic — control and regulation. Tue Aug 23 17:59:13 +0000 2011

@joeeckert What are some ways that control is exerted over geoweb? Data? People? Programming? Economics? How do we integrate this? Can we? #geowebchat Tue Aug 23 18:01:03 +0000 2011

@burnsr77 #geowebchat something else to think abt: what kinds of control does the geoweb *encourage*/provoke/facilitate? Tue Aug 23 18:01:05 +0000 2011

@burnsr77 #geowebchat winner had a very convincing argument that large-scale technol. projects work best when under centralized control Tue Aug 23 18:03:50 +0000 2011

@peterajohnson @burnsr77 well, I think in a best-case scenario it can help shift control from few:many #geowebchat Tue Aug 23 18:04:40 +0000 2011

@joeeckert @peterajohnson in one way it does — expertise limitations shift. sort of. but how much control can many have w/1 programmer? #geowebchat Tue Aug 23 18:05:48 +0000 2011

@burnsr77 @peterajohnson so u think there’s not a centralizing force in eg software dev, etc., but that the majority *controls8 geoweb? #geowebchat Tue Aug 23 18:06:44 +0000 2011

@joeeckert or, in the case of STS studies, how the moment of design helps set the tone for use. or classes a la star’s “sorting things out” #geowebchat Tue Aug 23 18:07:47 +0000 2011

@joeeckert or, to turn it on it’s head, what is the power being afforded the many? at the very least, accessibility seems key. that’s up. #geowebchat Tue Aug 23 18:09:13 +0000 2011

@peterajohnson @joeeckert @burnsr77 just sayin’ that geoweb tech has enabled many + things, including citz involvement in decision-making #geowebchat Tue Aug 23 18:10:03 +0000 2011

@peterajohnson isn’t that a shift in control? From top-down to bottom-up (again, in an ideal case – there are too few real examples). #geowebchat Tue Aug 23 18:10:44 +0000 2011

@peterajohnson @burnsr77 I don’t think the majority controls the geoweb – but there are many uses that help to shift control #geowebchat Tue Aug 23 18:12:42 +0000 2011

@burnsr77 @peterajohnson #geowebchat i see what u mean. the “public’s” behavior is shaped, limited, and conditioned by how geoweb is dev Tue Aug 23 18:12:57 +0000 2011

@joeeckert @peterajohnson not sure that access is control – there’s no property of definition. maybe in #osm we see free definitions, [+] #geowebchat Tue Aug 23 18:12:57 +0000 2011

@burnsr77 @peterajohnson #geowebchat there’s always room for re-appropriation, of course, as wajcman has noted Tue Aug 23 18:13:37 +0000 2011

@joeeckert [+] but even those definitions seem to crystallize over time as proponents push for particular definitions. is that then maj.[+] #geowebchat Tue Aug 23 18:13:55 +0000 2011

@peterajohnson @joeeckert isn’t fix my street a good example? Puts the screws to decision-makers? #geowebchat Tue Aug 23 18:14:02 +0000 2011

@joeeckert [+] control, or is that an example of adherence to norms? #geowebchat Tue Aug 23 18:14:35 +0000 2011

@joeeckert @peterajohnson sure, and I love it! any idea what the gov’t response is though? and the site itself is still owned, coded, etc. #geowebchat Tue Aug 23 18:17:07 +0000 2011

@joeeckert i guess the point i’m trying to make is that there are several gatekeeping mechanisms that sharply limit “full” control. these+ #geowebchat Tue Aug 23 18:18:54 +0000 2011

@joeeckert [+] ought to be highlighted, or at least acknowledged alongside a discourse of “for the many” — few actually profit. #geowebchat Tue Aug 23 18:19:26 +0000 2011

@burnsr77 anyone read n fraser? underused in geoweb. talks abt needs e.g. the conditions under which people are limited when talking needs #geowebchat Tue Aug 23 18:19:30 +0000 2011

@peterajohnson @joeeckert tough to say what the total impact of fms is. But if see fix click is any indication, govs are interested #geowebchat Tue Aug 23 18:19:31 +0000 2011

@bricker #geowebchat I’m following VGI related to the earthquake right now! Tue Aug 23 18:20:18 +0000 2011

@peterajohnson @joeeckert yeah, but ‘full control’ is a requirement for what exactly? Do citizen groups even want full control? #geowebchat Tue Aug 23 18:20:43 +0000 2011

@burnsr77 for me this means that code and software set the conditions in which people *must* express needs. so for FMS, the tech limits #geowebchat Tue Aug 23 18:20:53 +0000 2011

@joeeckert @bricker where are you following it? #geowebchat Tue Aug 23 18:21:23 +0000 2011

@burnsr77 does “full control” exist? or does it work in a more distributed manner? #geowebchat Tue Aug 23 18:21:31 +0000 2011

@burnsr77 @bricker send links! :) #geowebchat Tue Aug 23 18:21:49 +0000 2011

@joeeckert @peterajohnson i don’t think it’s a requirement — but i do think it’s disingenuous to only present the techno-utopian side. ;) #geowebchat Tue Aug 23 18:22:34 +0000 2011

@joeeckert @peterajohnson an attention to code/design shows how certain comm. choices can be “coded” out of existence. rarely discussed imo #geowebchat Tue Aug 23 18:23:47 +0000 2011

@burnsr77 also, control isn’t just about limiting; it’s also enabling and productive. so ppl using FMS may re-appropriate in some ways #geowebchat Tue Aug 23 18:25:46 +0000 2011

@peterajohnson @joeeckert I’m not denying that this happens or that it is an issue. Just trying to bring it down to earth #geowebchat Tue Aug 23 18:26:18 +0000 2011

@joeeckert @peterajohnson for sure. we’ve sort of seen this through PPGIS methodology experiments, on a empirical level. people tend to[+] #geowebchat Tue Aug 23 18:28:50 +0000 2011

@joeeckert [+] choose what they’re given. i think there’s a grounded effect here. and thankfully due to accessibility, we can look into it #geowebchat Tue Aug 23 18:29:46 +0000 2011

@joeeckert so i guess there’s that — researchers certainly have a lot to gain from UGC. maybe that’s why we’re dog-piling on it. :) #geowebchat Tue Aug 23 18:31:54 +0000 2011

@burnsr77 what abt OSM vs. MapMaker? does control matter there? #geowebchat #geowebchat Tue Aug 23 18:31:56 +0000 2011

@bricker #geowebchat @joeeckert are you saying that the only way people can become truly empowered is to become programmers? Tue Aug 23 18:32:45 +0000 2011

@burnsr77 control in: design, data ownership, legal structures, what’s mappable #geowebchat Tue Aug 23 18:33:12 +0000 2011

@burnsr77 @bricker but i don’t think someone is either A)empowered or B)not empowered. differing degrees, capacities, etc #geowebchat Tue Aug 23 18:34:04 +0000 2011

@joeeckert @bricker wasn’t my argument, but that’s been expressed before. code or be coded? i don’t think that’s the only route, but [+] #geowebchat Tue Aug 23 18:34:13 +0000 2011

@joeeckert @bricker [+] I definitely see that as one of the bottlenecks in the road toward empowerment. Hardware’s just as bad. Servers = $ #geowebchat Tue Aug 23 18:34:47 +0000 2011

@bricker I know that argument well and that is where it feels this convo goes each week #geowebchat Tue Aug 23 18:35:56 +0000 2011

@joeeckert @burnsr77 OSM v. MapMaker derails accessibility of data all together. so that’s a huge difference (legal + social) #geowebchat Tue Aug 23 18:36:03 +0000 2011

@peterajohnson @joeeckert well, in a way. Analyzing a UG dataset is not very easy. Much easier for research to use trad. data methods. #geowebchat Tue Aug 23 18:36:14 +0000 2011

@peterajohnson @joeeckert but what are you serving? Most webhosting is cheap these days. No one needs their own server = less control. #geowebchat Tue Aug 23 18:37:28 +0000 2011

@joeeckert @bricker hm. wasn’t what i was trying to convey, so apologies there. crit. minded design is def. possible. problem seems [+] #geowebchat Tue Aug 23 18:38:34 +0000 2011

@joeeckert [+] to me to be one of finding one willing to work on the cheap. but that’s what grad students are for, neh? ;) #geowebchat Tue Aug 23 18:38:53 +0000 2011

@joeeckert @peterajohnson tiles tend to be awfully big. i think there’s a control implication if amazon is running your server. wikileaks? #geowebchat Tue Aug 23 18:40:06 +0000 2011

@burnsr77 this actually gets to the heart of the issue, i think: does it matter if amazon controls your server-space, datasets, etc? #geowebchat Tue Aug 23 18:41:11 +0000 2011

@peterajohnson @joeeckert apples and oranges meets the conspiracy theory. Avg. community group using geoweb isn’t whistleblowing state secrets #geowebchat Tue Aug 23 18:41:52 +0000 2011

@burnsr77 actually, rather than “does it matter” i’d ask “what are the implications of…” #geowebchat Tue Aug 23 18:41:55 +0000 2011

@burnsr77 wow, conspiracy theory? #geowebchat Tue Aug 23 18:42:34 +0000 2011

@peterajohnson @joeeckert sure, if you are hosting your own imagery. I’m thinking of groups just using osm or google maps base #geowebchat Tue Aug 23 18:42:55 +0000 2011

@joeeckert @peterajohnson sorry, to clarify: amazon has the ability to shut down a server for whatever reason they choose. external ctrl. #geowebchat Tue Aug 23 18:42:57 +0000 2011

@peterajohnson @burnsr77 it only matters if it keeps you from doing what you want to do. #geowebchat Tue Aug 23 18:43:25 +0000 2011

@peterajohnson @burnsr77 it only matters if it keeps you from doing what you want to do. #geowebchat Tue Aug 23 18:43:25 +0000 2011

@bricker @peterajohnson @burnsr77 #geowebchat have you heard of amazon manipulating data hosted on their servers? Tue Aug 23 18:45:15 +0000 2011

@burnsr77 @peterajohnson sorry, not to be standoffish, but that’s actually far from true – decades sociological work show that concern [+] #geowebchat Tue Aug 23 18:45:57 +0000 2011

@burnsr77 [+] is unrelated to one’s own activity #geowebchat Tue Aug 23 18:46:14 +0000 2011

@joeeckert @bricker not manipulating data, but I think their response to state i’net taxation (pull out) leaves small biz in the lurch #geowebchat Tue Aug 23 18:47:16 +0000 2011

@joeeckert @bricker not manipulating data, but I think their response to state i’net taxation (pull out) leaves small biz in the lurch #geowebchat Tue Aug 23 18:47:16 +0000 2011

@burnsr77 @bricker manipulation is only one implication among many of control. #geowebchat Tue Aug 23 18:47:29 +0000 2011

@peterajohnson @burnsr77 sorry, concern about what? Losing the thread with all the double tweets here #geowebchat Tue Aug 23 18:47:34 +0000 2011

@peterajohnson @burnsr77 sorry, concern about what? Losing the thread with all the double tweets here #geowebchat Tue Aug 23 18:47:34 +0000 2011

@joeeckert @bricker i could see geoweb regulation limiting similar functions. their server outage in april was another reminder. #geowebchat Tue Aug 23 18:48:38 +0000 2011

@burnsr77 @peterajohnson sry, meant to say concern with diff kinds of control: policing activity, or here we could say data/srvr control #geowebchat Tue Aug 23 18:50:15 +0000 2011

@bricker @joeeckert #geowebchat server outages happen to everyone unfortunately Tue Aug 23 18:50:29 +0000 2011

@joeeckert @bricker totally with you. and it belies a world external to a project that can still effect its ability to affect change. #geowebchat Tue Aug 23 18:51:45 +0000 2011

@joeeckert @bricker def. a different control than data, but i think it’s important to look at the entire “web” for further implications #geowebchat Tue Aug 23 18:52:32 +0000 2011

@bricker @joeeckert #geowebchat so then paper based PPGIS projects are better fit for change? Tue Aug 23 18:53:21 +0000 2011

@peterajohnson @burnsr77 agree it is a big issue. Is trend towards more open or more restrictive? Isn’t data/servers more open now? #geowebchat Tue Aug 23 18:54:22 +0000 2011

@joeeckert @bricker not sure I can generalize, but I think it allows “the bottom” further capability to define their issues. that [+] #geowebchat Tue Aug 23 18:55:05 +0000 2011

@joeeckert @bricker [+] it frees up some of the issues from “sorting things out” that seem a weakness of prev. web based ppgis #geowebchat Tue Aug 23 18:56:20 +0000 2011

@joeeckert @bricker seems like (maybe false dichotomy here) a trade off between the freedom to define and the ability to reach lg #s of ppl #geowebchat Tue Aug 23 18:56:53 +0000 2011

@bricker @joeeckert #geowebchat I think in some cases you are right. Tue Aug 23 18:57:54 +0000 2011

@bricker @joeeckert #geowebchat there is still value in allowing/inviting participants to input their own data directly to the database Tue Aug 23 18:58:33 +0000 2011

@joeeckert @bricker sort of what RE was after with the rewiring for a GIS/2? and i agree, there’s definitely TONS of value in self-input #geowebchat Tue Aug 23 18:59:28 +0000 2011

@burnsr77 @peterajohnson not sure re:open/restrictive… definitions of “open” changing? eg, is MapMaker “open”? hmm…. #geowebchat Tue Aug 23 18:59:46 +0000 2011

@peterajohnson @bricker @joeeckert there is a LOT of value in that and I think most of it appears offline in communities supported by geoweb #geowebchat Tue Aug 23 19:00:29 +0000 2011

@joeeckert @bricker i’m just terrified that the “input of the people” obscures the mechanics that enable/constrain it. not sure that’s good #geowebchat Tue Aug 23 19:00:42 +0000 2011

@bricker @joeeckert #geowebchat that is what she was after in that paper, it is so cool to see real life examples of it now Tue Aug 23 19:01:20 +0000 2011

@joeeckert especially if our intention is to use these tools ourselves — I think we owe it to our partners to consider both ends. #geowebchat Tue Aug 23 19:01:31 +0000 2011

@burnsr77 thanks everyone for contributing this week! #geowebchat Tue Aug 23 19:02:08 +0000 2011

@joeeckert @bricker i’m not sure the real-life examples meet the ideal she set out…but we’re closer, at least. #geowebchat Tue Aug 23 19:02:54 +0000 2011

@bricker @joeeckert #geowebchat agreed, we do owe it to everyone involved to view both ends Tue Aug 23 19:03:00 +0000 2011

@peterajohnson @burnsr77 put simply much more data available publicly now. Tools also easier and more accessible isgd? #geowebchat Tue Aug 23 19:03:06 +0000 2011

@burnsr77 heading out… tweet with you all again soon #geowebchat Tue Aug 23 19:03:06 +0000 2011

@bricker @burnsr77 #geowebchat @joeeckert @peterajohnson thanks for a fun chat! until next time… Tue Aug 23 19:04:15 +0000 2011

@joeeckert welp, gang, thanks so much for coming to #geowebchat! see you next time around. #geowebchat Tue Aug 23 19:04:39 +0000 2011

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