In a wide-ranging interview with James Fallows of The Atlantic, Kalanick introduced his company as part of a new wave of tangible technology that is changing urban policy and city protectionism, starting with the taxi lobby. In Washington, he said, a late-night attempt to pass a law to effectively ban Uber prompted a voracious social media response, including 37,000 tweets, which eventually defeated the so-called Uber Amendment. The experience created a “playbook” that Kalanick is taking across the country, and overseas, as he fights to popularize his app, which connects wannabe passengers with on-demand drivers.
‘Geography of Hate’ Maps out Racism on Twitter
Zeitgeist Google Borders - mapping the borders of google’s autocomplete (note: the site is disabled now)
The data scientists at Facebook – particularly Eytan Bakshy – have produced an excellent set of public analytics on Human Rights Campaign‘s equality avatar initiative, which some have called slacktivism. Facebook’s full report is here. Of the many graphics Facebook produced, the one below particularly caught my eye:
It reveals the likelihood that a person in a given US county would change their profile pic to HRC’s red and pink equality symbol. The darker the shade of red, the more Facebook users in the county were likely to adopt the equality symbol. Of course, seeing that map made me think of this map:
The map above, created by The Washington Post, shows 2012 voting behavior by county. Here, the strength of the red or blue tone of the county indicates the strength of the Republican or Democratic win in that county.
First of all, I love that the Facebook data people, perhaps unconsciously, used the image of the red county to represent strong support for a socially liberal cause instead of strong support for a socially conservative party.
But what I really love is how the map shows that Americans are a lot more tolerant and liberal than electoral maps indicate. Based on the electoral maps we have all seen so often, we think of the US as having liberal coasts and cities and a conservative “heartland.” The Facebook map of avatar changes doesn’t show such clear geographic distinctions. Though the South is a notably paler than the rest of the country, the Southwest, West, Northwest, and Great Lakes region are all pretty rosy.
Let’s take Wyoming as an example. Looking at the electoral map, we see a deep red state with a blob of dark blue on the western edge, along the border with Idaho. Looking at the Facebook map, we again see this area is darker red than the other Wyoming counties, but the darkest red county is actually in the southeast corner of the state, and there are a number of other counties that are distinctively pink. None of that support for progressivism is captured in the electoral map.
So what does this mean? Clearly this is a map of one particular instance of digital activism, and it is a model, not a count of actual profile changes. Still it reveals that Americans all over the country support marriage equality and that the red and blue of electoral differences fails to capture the subtle distinctions of political opinion. Though the man in Cheyenne may vote Republican, he may also have gay co-worker whom he goes out to lunch with every day.
Thanks to Facebook for mining their data on digital activism, and for making the results public.
“Twitter NYC” gives you a bird’s–eye view of the multilingual conversation — Spanish, Portugese, Japanese, Russian, Korean, Turkish, Arabic and Italian — happening across the five boroughs.”
Map by James Cheshire, Ed Manley, John Barratt, and Oliver O’Brien.
I love love love Rob Kitchin’s and Martin Dodge’s work so much and am so excited they have a whole book on code/space! I remember the first time I read Flying through code/space: the real virtuality of air travel in 2005 - I haven’t been able to see the world in the same way since then. Rob and Martin are show how good theory is embedded in the everyday - it doesn’t have to elitist and removed.
"After little more than half a century since its initial development, computer code is extensively and intimately woven into the fabric of our everyday lives. From the digital alarm clock that wakes us to the air traffic control system that guides our plane in for a landing, software is shaping our world: it creates new ways of undertaking tasks, speeds up and automates existing practices, transforms social and economic relations, and offers new forms of cultural activity, personal empowerment, and modes of play. In Code/Space, Rob Kitchin and Martin Dodge examine software from a spatial perspective, analyzing the dyadic relationship of software and space. The production of space, they argue, is increasingly dependent on code, and code is written to produce space.
Examples of code/space include airport check-in areas, networked offices, and cafés that are transformed into workspaces by laptops and wireless access. Kitchin and Dodge argue that software, through its ability to do work in the world, transduces space. Then Kitchin and Dodge develop a set of conceptual tools for identifying and understanding the interrelationship of software, space, and everyday life, and illustrate their arguments with rich empirical material. And, finally, they issue a manifesto, calling for critical scholarship into the production and workings of code rather than simply the technologies it enables—a new kind of social science focused on explaining the social, economic, and spatial contours of software.”
Rob Kitchin is Professor of Human Geography and Director of the National Institute of Regional and Spatial Analysis at the National University of Maynooth, Ireland.
Martin Dodge is Senior Lecturer in Human Geography at the University of Manchester’s School of Environment and Development.
For the area ground truth data in form of a 2D map provided by the German land registry office (Katasteramt) is available. This map contains the buildings with a precision of 1 cm. In addition, we obtained airborne based 3D data. Based on this data so-called reference data is generated as follows (see Figure below): The 2D map is extrapolated to 3D by vertical 3D points and fused with the 3D data from the airplane. The result is a precise 3D reference map. Using this 3D reference map, we generate ground truth poses for all 3D laser scans by matching the scans with the reference map.
“The design of our new map was inspired by antique maps and star charts, and alludes to the historic connection between submarine cables and cartography.”
A multinational security firm has secretly developed software capable of tracking people’s movements and predicting future behaviour by mining data from social networking websites.
A video obtained by the Guardian reveals how an “extreme-scale analytics” system created by Raytheon, the world’s fifth largest defence contractor, can gather vast amounts of information about people from websites including Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare.
But the Massachusetts-based company has acknowledged the technology was shared with US government and industry as part of a joint research and development effort, in 2010, to help build a national security system capable of analysing “trillions of entities” from cyberspace.
The power of Riot to harness popular websites for surveillance offers a rare insight into controversial techniques that have attracted interest from intelligence and national security agencies, at the same time prompting civil liberties and online privacy concerns.
The sophisticated technology demonstrates how the same social networks that helped propel the Arab Spring revolutions can be transformed into a “Google for spies” and tapped as a means of monitoring and control.