Wednesday, July 07, 2004

GIS Mapping in the Public Sector

Upcoming seminar on GIS Mapping in the Public Sector, although I can't really afford 300 quid, and I can't see any Wiki or IRC channel so looks like I might be left out of that one a bit. Wonder how many people there also saw the various geolocationary stuff at NotCon. Still, if not, they can always watch the video and listen to the audio - woohoo! Notes a go-go!

Alas, I can't really get a feel for what's going to be discussed at the upcoming seminar either, with the titles "Electronically Mapping the Digital Divide" and "GIS and getting the most from the pan-government agreement". From a historical perspective, "architectural" mapping of a city's population can be very.. interesting, and often crops up in the form of various councils wishing to segregate some aspect of society. Two that spring to mind are walls to contains Jews, and l'hopital generale (yeah, hat-less) to contain the down-and-outs. We've already heard tale of the possibilities of RFID-enabled car number plates in the UK, which could easily be used to track/limit movement via car, and many people were fooled by Politech's article on RFID-tagging the homeless.

OK, so I admit that there aren't going to be shadowy talks going on at the seminar, and that GIS is somewhat separate to RFID-tracking tech - for the time being. But one wonders what the possibilities are once a system has a). a way of categorising a population according to economic/"moralistic" factors, and b). a method of tracking individuals within it.

Yay, tin-foil-hat time!

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