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Promise and Concern: The Future of Social Media and Real-Time Awareness

On Feb. 3, 2012, the U.S. State Department hosted its eighth conference in the Tech@State series. The two-day symposium focused on how social media and other internet-enabled data streams are used to create real-time awareness in different contexts, with sessions looking at analyzing large amounts of data, enhancing the understanding of consumer behavior, and live-mapping crisis situations.

 

One particularly interesting panel focused on the future of social media and real-time awareness, not only for individuals, but for a society that is still learning to deal with developments in social media, communication technologies and crowdsourced information. The speakers discussed how this pervasive technology could aid in real-time awareness, but also raised legitimate concerns about impacts on security and privacy.

 

Panelist Lou Martinage, with business intelligence firm MicroStrategy, offered the perspective of the private sector, focusing on how social media can be mined for real-time information on consumer preferences and behavior. Martinage described how MicroStrategy works with its clients to dig into the vast amounts of data available in the digital communication sphere, aggregate and analyze the information, and derive insights that can help the companies better address their customers’ needs.

 

For the past few years, MicroStrategy has been honing in on the potential of Facebook and the valuable consumer data that can be accessed through the platform. For Martinage, the primary use of Facebook is in the field of sentiment monitoring. In other words, Facebook is a spectacular tool for obtaining information on how consumers feel about a company’s product, allowing businesses to personalize marketing and commerce through promotions and offers.

 

Martinage says the culmination of this effort can be seen in a MicroStrategy application called Wisdom, which allows companies to analyze massive amounts of data to identify trends, gauge consumer confidence, and answer questions about market perception of a product or brand.

 

Others looked at the potential “dark side” of social media. Rand Waltzman, with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, pointed out that “as more life takes place in the network public sphere, the more good and bad things will happen,” highlighting privacy and national security concerns in particular. One of his main fears is the ease with which individuals can disseminate false or harmful information through the very same technologies that aid in real-time awareness and disaster relief.

 

For example, Waltzman cited Operation Valhalla in Iraq, where American troops succeeded in rescuing a hostage and confiscating weapons from a terrorist group, killing 16 members of the group in the process. However, before the troops had returned to their base, other members of the terrorist organization swooped in and rearranged the bodies onto prayer mats, took a picture using a mobile phone, and uploaded it to the social media space — making it look like Americans had killed unarmed civilians in the middle of prayer.

 

Waltzman’s concern lies in the fact that the information can reach a large number of people before the damage can actually be addressed and the false information refuted. The speed at which the internet moves is light years ahead of our capacities to monitor the information available.

 

Unfortunately, Waltzman added, social media and the internet is an environment filled with contradiction: One can attempt to protect their own privacy, but has a very limited ability to control what others may say about them. In the end, Waltzman said, the positive aspects of social media can easily be perverted, and we need to tackle the policies that are preventing us from better addressing these issues.

 

While Waltzman’s comments deserve serious consideration, the panel did end on a hopeful note, with the words of Patrick Meier, of the Ushahidi Project. Ushahidi is a platform that allows for the crowdsourcing of information through Twitter, SMS text messages, and other internet sources onto a live map that allows for real-time crisis-mapping. The success of Ushahidi in crises situations, such as the Haiti earthquake in 2010 and the Arab Spring uprisings, has brought the social media and emergency management community’s attention to its potential. The project is a prime example of crowdsourcing working to increase situational awareness in crisis situations.

 

Meier brought the audience’s attention to the needs of volunteers in crisis situations. Ushahidi currently does much manual crowdsourcing in real time, but developments in machine learning and natural language processing are allowing algorithms to do more work separating valuable information from useless information in the stream of text messages and tweets. Meier’s outlook is very positive, and he has given great thought to issues arising from credibility of information.

 

Overall, the mood at the conference was one of endless possibilities. Nonetheless, Waltzman raised valid concerns regarding privacy and security in the growing, interconnected network that is the internet. And while Meier and Martinage point out the immense potential for real-time awareness, we must not forget that there are very legitimate concerns that need to be addressed before these technologies can truly permeate every level of our society.

Via Richard Petry, Scott D.Warner, R.L.S.
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Land Surveyors
Land Surveying, being one of the oldest professions in existence, is practiced at a local level, state level, national level, and globally.
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NEPAL-INDIA Border Markers known as "Junge Pillar"

NEPAL-INDIA Border Markers known as "Junge Pillar" | Land Surveyors | Scoop.it
There are 8,553 boundary pillars, subsidiary and minor pillars marked on the strip maps along the Nepal-India boundary line. Among them, 5,276 pillars had been…
Scott D.Warner, R.L.S.'s insight:
Can Political Boundaries and Instability among Nations be Overcome?
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What trades compliment Engineering/Land Surveying?

What trades compliment Engineering/Land Surveying? | Land Surveyors | Scoop.it
I often think to myself while working on site, " am I missing a trick here".



Working as an engineering surveyor on site I commonly work with Plumbers and Steelies, but always providing a service to the other trades. I've always thought how beneficial it would be to own a ...
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Salary Increase with Land Surveyor License

Salary Increase with Land Surveyor License | Land Surveyors | Scoop.it
I recently got my land surveyor license and my yearly salary increase.
 
I was a bit disappointed when I found out that it was only a 5% increase, because I wa…
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Where there are footsteps, others may follow.

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Last night we watched a movie on Netflix staring a Land Surveyor!!

Last night we watched a movie on Netflix staring a Land Surveyor!! | Land Surveyors | Scoop.it
My wife and I were searching Netflix for a good movie last night and came across "The Castle" a 1997 foreign film with the land surveyor as the STAR!



I have never seen any movie with a land surveyor as the key story line but here it is!
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Attribute Display in New Points Spreadsheet TBC ?

Attribute Display in New Points Spreadsheet TBC ? | Land Surveyors | Scoop.it
Hello Fellow Surveyors,

Can anyone tell me how to set defaults so that Attributes entered in the field with codes are displayed along side Pt numbers in the N…
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Scott D.Warner, R.L.S.'s curator insight, August 14, 2013 2:43 PM

Need an answer to a land surveying question?

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In your opinion

In your opinion | Land Surveyors | Scoop.it
There are many different opinions out there even when it is in Black and White and with that being said.........



What is a Property Survey and why do you think so?
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June Includes Two Major Global Land Surveyor Events

June Includes Two Major Global Land Surveyor Events | Land Surveyors | Scoop.it
The two major events occurring in June are International Surveyors Week 2013 and on June 21st at Noon, we will be participating in Survey Earth in a Day 2.0.
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Asian Surveying and Mapping (ASM) Magazine shares an article on Survey Earth in a Day.

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Setting the Benchmark in Geomatics: Surveying, Laser Scanning & BIM

Setting the Benchmark in Geomatics: Surveying, Laser Scanning & BIM | Land Surveyors | Scoop.it
BIM & Land Surveying (RT @RLSurveys: Latest blog on #BIM - have a read at http://t.co/AXMoAFoWi3)
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Surveyors Invited to 'Survey Earth in a Day'

Surveyors Invited to 'Survey Earth in a Day' | Land Surveyors | Scoop.it
On the day of the solstice, June 21, geospatial professionals around the world and members of Land Surveyors United (a global support network for land surveyors) will be simultaneously recording su...
Scott D.Warner, R.L.S.'s insight:

Thank you GPS World Magazine!

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WORLD TRADE CENTER CONSTRUCTION SURVEYING - Land Surveyors United

WORLD TRADE CENTER CONSTRUCTION SURVEYING - Land Surveyors United | Land Surveyors | Scoop.it
I thought the history of the World Trade Center Twin Towers layout might be an interesting piece of history. This history was written by my friend, William B.F…
Scott D.Warner, R.L.S.'s insight:

The surveying that took place "at ground level" is typical of all masterpieces of architecture.

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Scott D.Warner, R.L.S.'s comment, May 6, 2013 5:54 PM
What is property, and how can it be surveyed?
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What is a Property Survey? - Land Surveyors United

What is a Property Survey? - Land Surveyors United | Land Surveyors | Scoop.it
What is a Property Survey?
See what the WSLS has to say...


http://www.linkedin.com/groupAnswers?viewQuestionAndAnswers=&discussionID=222964943&am…;
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Land Surveying

Land Surveying | Land Surveyors | Scoop.it
National Surveyors Week
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Celebrate Surveying!

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International Surveyors Week 2013 - Land Surveyors United

International Surveyors Week 2013 - Land Surveyors United | Land Surveyors | Scoop.it
International Land Surveyors Week 2013 (June 16-22) is for Land Surveyors in any country on earth to celebrate the value of professional land surveyors in soci…
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Methods in Surveying Highrise building (30 floors) with adjacent buildings approximately 10 meters

Methods in Surveying Highrise building (30 floors) with adjacent buildings approximately 10 meters | Land Surveyors | Scoop.it
Kindly help me.. i am a Survey Engineer and it is my first time to handle a HIGH RISE building 30 storey.. I am thinking, when i reached 15-30 floors.. how can…
Scott D.Warner, R.L.S.'s insight:

For all Building Surveyors, this is a discussion for you to chime in on:

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Survey Bolt Central Park NYC

Survey Bolt  Central Park NYC | Land Surveyors | Scoop.it
The bolt in this Central Park rock is believed to be one of the original survey bolts from when the city grid was first planned in 1811. Led by John Randel, su…
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How Does Right of Survivorship Work?

How Does Right of Survivorship Work? | Land Surveyors | Scoop.it
Rights of survivorship are a common means through which property can be passed between family members and business partners after death.
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Public Confusion Fueled By American Blog

Public Confusion Fueled By American Blog | Land Surveyors | Scoop.it
I was reading the CourthouseDirect.com Blog entitled New Article:  Why Public Records Matter:  The Hidden Value of Land Registry Systems   and realized why ma…
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Land Surveyors "as misunderstood as bigfoot"

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Category Members

Category Members | Land Surveyors | Scoop.it
Order of the Surveyor’s Chain awarded to MMirza. #TNMCorps data volunteers hailed. http://t.co/72ohfN9y0M #USGS #GIS http://t.co/0bT3DI3i9S
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International Surveyors Week 2013 Has Begun

International Surveyors Week 2013 Has Begun | Land Surveyors | Scoop.it
Professional Land Surveyors of the World UNITE!
As anticipated, the second annual International Surveyors Week begins now, once again uniting professional land…
Scott D.Warner, R.L.S.'s insight:

 A big thank you to all who make it possible... Survey Earth in a Day 2013.  

 

Scott D. Warner, RLS

Senior Director / Editor

Land Surveyors United

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Survey Earth in a Day 2.0

Survey Earth in a Day 2.0 | Land Surveyors | Scoop.it
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Scott D.Warner, R.L.S.'s curator insight, May 15, 2013 6:40 PM

You can help.  Be a part of the second annual Survey Earth in a Day event on the Solstice, 2013.  For even more information go to www.surveyearth.com

Land Surveyors United's curator insight, May 18, 2013 3:40 PM

gonna be a great day for surveying, as a community! @surveyearth

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Survey Earth in a Day 2.0 Press and Media Kit - Survey Earth in a Day™ 2.0 Remeasuring Earth as a Community 6-21-13

Survey Earth in a Day 2.0 Press and Media Kit - Survey Earth in a Day™ 2.0 Remeasuring Earth as a Community 6-21-13 | Land Surveyors | Scoop.it
cD-WK4eSu3ICcaSS5mLw8DUAHB8
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Scott D.Warner, R.L.S.'s curator insight, June 5, 2013 5:28 PM

Find your position.  Share it.  Easy, right?

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Are Surveyors In Your Area Being Represented? - Land Surveyors United

Are Surveyors In Your Area Being Represented? - Land Surveyors United | Land Surveyors | Scoop.it
Who Represents the Collective Voice of Surveyors in Your Area of the World?
Do you even know?  Is that voice identifiable online? Is it something that you can…
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Geography Strikes Back

Geography Strikes Back | Land Surveyors | Scoop.it
To understand today's global conflicts, forget economics and technology and take a hard look at a map, writes Robert D. Kaplan.

Via Land Surveyors United
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A map is a good snapshot of the world.  It's always interesting to see how things change over time.

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Wild Animals

Wild Animals | Land Surveyors | Scoop.it
While surveying, have you had a close call with a wild animal? What about a "domestic" animal, such as a bull, hog, or ram?
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Hello my name is... | Facebook

Hello my name is... | Facebook | Land Surveyors | Scoop.it
Dino Carlisle a écrit : Hello my name is Roger Carlisle, I have... Inscrivez-vous sur Facebook pour communiquer avec Dino Carlisle et d’autres personnes que vous pourriez connaître.
Scott D.Warner, R.L.S.'s insight:

Land Surveyor for Hire.

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