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Location Is Everywhere
Location is Everywhere, How is it Changing our Lives? It affects everything in our daily lives. How do we manage it to live, work and play smarter?
Curated by Luigi Cappel
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Hunt for Kiwis after powerful Nepal earthquake kills more than 1300 - National - NZ Herald News

Hunt for Kiwis after powerful Nepal earthquake kills more than 1300 - National - NZ Herald News | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
More than 1300 people across four countries have been killed after a powerful 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal causing massive damage in the country's capital. - New Zealand Herald
Luigi Cappel's insight:

New Zealand has had a long relationship with Nepal, ever since Sir Edmund Hillary reached the top of Mt Everest. I remember in my youth having a school presentation when they were collecting money to build schools and hospitals. I remember blowing a Sherpa alpine horn. In later years several friends went to Nepal, some to climb, some to enjoy the alpine tourism.

In previous blogs I have asked about how ready we are for earthquakes and we have learned a lot http://bit.ly/1z5uDsI

It was great to read that Google came to the party straight away with their Person Finder application https://google.org/personfinder/2015-nepal-earthquake which was one of the excellent outcomes of the Christchurch earthquakes.There have since been many more location based applications showing the state of roads and infrastructure to help people find their way around. There were applications to tell people where to find essential services like water, toilets, communications, generators, shelter. I'm hoping all of those will be made available as quickly as possible, including showing people how to set them up and use them.

The world came to help New Zealand in our time of need and I hope that we will be sending experts over there, both for Search & Rescue as well as rebuild.

Over this weekend in New Zealand when we remember our brave ANZAC Kiwis who went to the other side of the world to help restore peace in countries we had never heard of, to help people we had never met. On the 100th Anniversary of the ill fated Gallipolli landing, it would be a poignant and fitting end to this commemoration, for us to do whatever we can to help the people of Nepal. I look forward to seeing Kiwis continue our proud tradition of helping people in need, in other parts of the world, especially given we have plenty of experience.

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Google shaking up search recommendations on...

Google shaking up search recommendations on... | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Google shaking up search recommendations on smartphones - Google is about to change the way its influential search engine recommends web sites on...
Luigi Cappel's insight:

This is big and companies who haven't added the word 'responsive' to their web vocabulary could find themselves losing business opportunities very quickly.

In simple terms, if your web site does not effectively make it easy for small devices like Smartphones to access them, you are going to go down in the rankings very quickly for people searching for your business, products and information.

Call it Mobile-geddon or just plain common sense. Many web sites get more than 50% of their traffic from mobile devices today. Why would you not make it easy for users to navigate them. You have had many years to do this.

You probably have a smartphone yourself and you probably get frustrated when you visit a site and you can only see part of the page, you ave to scroll from side to side to read information, having zoomed in to increase the font sizes to try and read information before you give up and go to a competitors site.

In my opinion, Google is doing us a favor in this one. I was surprised to read that Google are only doing this if you use them to search from a mobile. This means that (for now) your rankings will only go down if the person searching is in fact doing so from a mobile. That adds significant complexity because effectively it means containing additional mega-data in it's tables to support that part of the search for every web site.

I don't know how long it takes for Google to scrape all websites in the world and whether it looks just at the home page or every page on a web site. What this does mean, dear reader, is that even if you now quickly fix your web site and make it responsive, but Google has already visited your page for search engine rankings, it may take quite some time before they come back.

If you business or reputation is impacted by losing large numbers of visitors, I suggest you talk to your web developers very quickly.

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Unstoppable online continues to define travel sector marketing - eTurboNews

Unstoppable online continues to define travel sector marketing - eTurboNews | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Mobile first is no longer a nice to have. This was the sentiment at day two of World Travel Market Africa in Cape Town.
Luigi Cappel's insight:

The world is full of experts and specialists, many of whom hold very strong views on particular areas of the tourism business and how to attract customers. This is important because our customers change.

There are some very interesting propositions being put forward at the World Travel Market Africa event.

Native apps vs web apps is an interesting example. I happen to agree to a degree. You can make a slick native app that works really well with elements of the mobile. However, this does not appeal to all segments of the market. If you are making a really slick app for a hotel that works really well, providing their room key, breakfast orders and more is great for certain demographics, as it works really well with airlines. Excellent for regular business visitors, but how are you going to convince a one time visitor to your country to install a native app, where they have to go onto an app store to download it, to use it? You will need to have some very compelling features to convince them to install it.

My first question in regard to this is, what is your web site like? If your web site is the first port of call and it is not responsive (i.e. it dos not work well on a plethora of mobile devices, then I would suggest you start there while asking your customers what they would like to use. How well do you know your customer base? Do you know their age groups? Are they baby boomers who will eat in your boutique or luxury hotel and spend money on quality services, or millennials who will spend as little as possible on their stay in favor of partying and  adventure tourism experiences? Which is the best type of customer for your property and what is their mobile expertise or even interest.

I live in a geek community that is frequently surprised when they find that their clients do not use much in the way of apps, including social media such as Twitter and Facebook; and location based services, like Waze or Google Maps. In many cases it doesn't matter how intuitive a solution is, many baby boomers struggle with even the basics on Smartphones and just don't get why they should bother.

I'm not saying don't use apps, I'm am one of the original PDA and Smartphone evangelists. I'm just saying make sure it fits your target market, or you will have an immaculate app, that 5% of your customers love.

I do really like the awards at this event, particularly engagement, poverty reduction and wildlife conservation. These are obviously very important and good use of technology will assist those target markets and will resonate with tourists.

I'll finish with two thoughts.

1. Pick your target market well when creating websites, apps or using social media. Understand the demographics of what sort of customers you want. Do you want profitable customers, short term, long term, big spenders, or perhaps people who care about your community and improving the lot of your staff.That doesn't necessarily mean they are the type of customers you currently have.

2. Understand what their skill levels or interests are when it comes to mobile devices, Is their killer app voice and SMS, or are they tech savvy and keen to install apps? What things might they want to be able to do? It might be as basic as how do I get to your property, checking your hotel menu and booking a table, or it might be the ability to book tickets to tours, shows, or get deals at local retailers that you co-market with. What are the unique value propositions you can offer? Do you need a native app to achieve that and why would people install one if they are only likely to stay with you once (we are talking tourism right?).

 

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Maps reveal which countries have the most endangered mammals - Daily Mail

Maps reveal which countries have the most endangered mammals - Daily Mail | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
London-based The Eco Experts created the maps using World Bank's World Development Indicator for deforestation and biodiversity. Sumatran tigers endangered in Indonesia are pictured.
Luigi Cappel's insight:

When was the last time you went to the zoo? I enjoy the zoo, but the thought that in the not too distant future, the zoo might be the only place you could see some of these animals is pretty scary. Take it a step farther, without breeding stock or programs to reintroduce wildlife into supportive habitats, our children and grandchildren will not have the chance to see some of these animals at all which would be a crime.

It also makes me wonder what this is doing to the delicate balance of the ecosystem. Every creature has its place and in some way supports the balance of life. We need to be aware of the implication of this situation because it isn't just about cute animals, its about the survival of the planet as we know it. We are the root cause of this problem and the only animal with the ability to do something about protecting other species.

These maps are a great way to become aware of what is happening around the world and get some perspective of what a problem it is. Whether you start at home or abroad, this might be an opportunity to do something. It really IMHO isn't about saving a particular species from extinction, ultimately we could find our own survival at stake because we have destroyed the planetary ecosystem in our hunger for more space and a better lifestyle for mankind.

Check these maps out and see if there is anything you can do to help, somewhere. If nothing else, go visit your local zoo because they are involved in giving back and trying to restore habitats.

 

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Ride-hailing Cars with Smart Navigation? Almost There - CRIENGLISH.com

Ride-hailing Cars with Smart Navigation? Almost There - CRIENGLISH.com | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
CRIENGLISH.com
Ride-hailing Cars with Smart Navigation?
Luigi Cappel's insight:

This is going to be a short post, more of a brief rant. I catch a lot of taxis for business. The business prescribes which brands I use.

Over half of the rides I take, ask me for directions or are vague in their response to my questions of "Do you know where that is?" and "Do you know the quickest way to get there."

Most of them have GPS in their cabs, some of them have a TomTom or other device, but they also have nav built into their dispatch systems, the touch screens they have on the windscreen between themselves and the driver door so you can't quite see what is on it.

As per this blog I wrote a couple of years ago http://ow.ly/LpaHF about how to get an honest fare out of a cabbie, I reckon there is a syndicate that trains taxi drivers and send them out of their homeland to a country where they don't speak the local language (or English) (or pretend not to) and don't know the local roads. It is a rarity in many cities (not so much small towns) I go to, to find a local driving a cab.

So the reason his little story caught my fancy was that the taxi company is telling their customers that they use GPS navigation in order to help customers trust them.

As I've said in previous blogs, if taxi drivers were more honest with their customers and give them what they want, they would be able to get more repeat business and wouldn't have to compete against the likes of Uber. Do they know what customers want? Of course they do, cabbies know everything, they overhear conversations all day every day, many of which they shouldn't. If you want to know something ask a taxi driver right? So why don't they give us the best deal? Because every extra mile is an extra dollar.

I challenge taxi drivers everywhere to be honest, drive by the fastest or best route using GPS (with real time traffic) and let your customer know you are dong the best possible job for them. Then, like Uber, get them to rate you, give them your business card and tell them next tie they are in town you will give them the same high quality service. Build trust and loyalty and the competitors will struggle to take your business off you.

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Could this be the ANSWER to traffic congestion in our cities?

Could this be the ANSWER to traffic congestion in our cities? | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
The technology, which sits on the windscreen like a sat-nav, is designed to reduce congestion and pollution and help motorists drive more efficiently
Luigi Cappel's insight:

There are certainly vehicles that should get priority either because it is urgent, or because of certain rules. Ambulance time is very relevant because for certain conditions, it is known that every minute counts to saving a patient's life or their quality of life. There are trials of green-wave technology taking place right now in many cities around the world and they work, particularly where it is a predefined route, because it doesn't put to much pressure on other parts of the network.

One of the 'obvious when you think about it' learnings is that as Isaac Newton said, "For each action, there is an equal and opposite reaction." Traffic demand engineers spend a huge amount of time trying to generate harmonious interaction between intersection controls. They know that once a degree of harmony is in place, changes can have far reaching ripples throughout an urban network.

Managing a common route, say from a freeway to a hospital can be relatively easy and justified, especially if it is fundamentally one route.

This concept has been used for many years for urban bus routes, that effectively allow buses traveling at an optimal speed up a major route, typically a motorway feeder, can have green lights all the way.

The concept of a system being suggested here is very complex. It is something that will work in the future, but requires massive computing capability and the ramifications when it fails are significant, because the network has to be able to reset itself.

This would be a great concept to try with consumers at night when demand is low. We all hate getting stuck at red traffic lights late at night when there is no traffic coming the other way, in fact I've often seen frustrated motorists 'run the red' in those situations. Often successfully.

I believe an AI based transport network is possible when a critical mass of vehicles have appropriate technology and that has to start somewhere. Probably one of the biggest concerns is if we get to a point where it works and then it fails, due to power outages, or technology failures, do we then get such an utter "equal and opposite reaction" that we wind up with total gridlock?

So the question is how do we get from here to there? For me it is start with emergency services and public transport. If we can get that working effectively, we save lives and move more people more efficiently. Do that and we might even get more people out of their cars into those buses.

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Six Navigation Features To Look For In Your Next Car - Forbes

Six Navigation Features To Look For In Your Next Car - Forbes | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Navigation is an aspect of car technology that's benefiting the most from connectivity and the rapid evolution in the space.
Luigi Cappel's insight:

I guess if the writer is looking to what you would want in your car in the next 5-10 years, then fair enough, but having been in the car navigation business, you also need to consider the degree at which the technology is available to give a quality result.

I'll go for two of the features in the story and let you decide about the rest:

Parking. I totally agree that people want to know where to park. They want to know that parking is available. This has come up in surveys all around the world. There are some very good systems being developed and installed for this purpose like the excellent Frog Parking system out of New Zealand that even solar charges it's sensors. They provide API's for developers of systems like car nav to be able to identify where parks are free. When I presented to the national parking association I had to remind them that they are not the destination, so digital information and even booking a car park needs to ensure that it is handy to the destination, that the duration fits the reason you are going to the destination and that there will still be a park available when you get there. The easiest solution to me is pre-pay and reservation. If you don't use the park, that's fine but the parking company doesn't lose out. The fatal flaw when I interviewed car park chain managers was that they did not want to EVER tell potential customers that their car park was full. Footnote on this one, if you have a hybrid or electric car you also want to know if they provide chargers and then there is mobility parking....

Navigation Tour Guide. Fortunes have been made and lost in this market. Most people end up turning them off. Navigation instructions can tend to get intrusive when you are listening to your Pandora or Spotify, or simply having a conversation. On the other hand it is a great module to have as an option. Will it sell cars or add value that will make people want to buy that for the car they mostly use to take the kids to school, commute and go shopping?

Final thought, w are still not in a mature age where it is easy or cost friendly to update maps and services in cars. I can't buy a nav disk for my $6,000 OEM car navigation device. The market was too small and they stopped producing them. So I use a portable TomTom, and the $6,000 car nav computer takes up space under my driver seat and half of my DIN slot (it has a motorized drive for the display to come out when  need it. I think tomorrow's cars should focus more on features under control of the manufacturer such as in car entertainment, climate control etc, and then provide a WiFi interface for mobile solutions. Something like the Navdy, but OEM factory installed, then give the customer the choices.

How would you feel if you bought a nice VW Golf and found that the mobile mount only supports an iPhone 4? True story.

 

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Crave giveaway: Arccos Golf GPS performance-tracking system

Crave giveaway: Arccos Golf GPS performance-tracking system | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
The Arccos Golf system includes 14 disc-shaped sensors, plenty to attach to all of your golf clubs. Arccos Golf...
Luigi Cappel's insight:

I'm not a golfer so I have a casual interest in this. We appear to be taking baby steps in this industry. 20 years ago there were apps that could use GPS to identify where you were on the world's top golf courses. They could tell you whee you were in relation to the hole and which club to use.

Surely by now it should be possible to have sensors in the balls themselves that don't interfere with the flight and travel (perhaps RF) and therefore the ability to track everything. You could then have a virtual coach and a full record of everything you do. I wouldn't expect it to be cheap, but neither are coaches and caddy's.

Which club to use? How far did the ball travel? Where is the ball? How far to the T, Heck why not also include IoT access to weather stations around the course that tell you what direction the wind is coming from and us the compass on your smartphone to tell you what direction that is.

Purists might hate that idea, but if it improves your game and makes you a better golfer, what's the difference between that and millionaires' yachts that do everything from navigation to sail trimming at the push of a button if you can even be bothered to do that?

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Voice-controlled GPS helmet to help bikers

Voice-controlled GPS helmet to help bikers | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
TechnologyVoice-controlled GPS helmet to help bikersMotorcyclists will no longer have to rely on maps or GPS systems, both of which require riders to take their eyes off the road, once a new Russian...
Luigi Cappel's insight:

As long as it doesn't include the ability to respond to TXT messages, read emails and various other things, I think this is a great idea. If I was still riding, I'd buy one:)

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Apple Maps Connect services branch out to Italy, Mexico, Switzerland

Apple Maps Connect services branch out to Italy, Mexico, Switzerland | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Apple on Monday expanded the reach of its Maps Connect service for small businesses to three more countries, namely Italy, Mexico, and Switzerland.
Luigi Cappel's insight:

As Sales & Marketing Manager for the company that supplied map data to the major car nav brands (and web portals) in New Zealand for 8 including Navman, TomTom and many others, we used to get a lot of calls from businesses who weren't on the map or were in the wrong location.

Many people today use car navigation and mapping applications to locate pretty much anything from petrol to shops, tourist attractions, public toilets and rest areas, to name a few. There are literally hundreds of categories and being on them is extremely valuable to a business in this world of ubiquitous smartphone usage.

The problem until recently was that unconnected systems like Portable Navigation Devices (PND's) had to come out of your car, get connected to a PC and updated, typically a maximum of 4 times a year and frequently less, not counting the likelihood that people do it even when they can. With many brands it is not as easy as it sounds.

I still have problems with my current TomTom because my computer is set up for my previous model and I can't seem to change it to the newer one (which is now 2 years old).

With global brands of mobile map apps starting to make it much easier (as explained in the attached article), companies can go online, verify that they are the rightful owner of the business or location they are sharing information about, add or edit the data. As soon as it is verified and the database is recompiled, application users can start finding those businesses and services.

If you are in business, I strongly urge you to make sure you can be found on the major map data bases, whether you are an alligator hatchery in Louisiana or a petrol station in Madison Tennessee. if you don't know how to do that, ask your children or your friendly geek. There might be a business opportunity for school children to charge a nominal donation for this service.

Having done a few straw polls, ubiquitous the smartphone and tablet devices may be, but that doesn't mean that the average business person knows how to do these things. Many of my geek friends have been very surprised to find out that outside of their immediate techie circles, most people have no idea what they are talking about. That's the real challenge here. Baby boomers in business when they say they are not interested in today's technology often mean they don't get it. One of the things those people also may not be getting is willing customers who don't know they are there when they are open to buy.

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Goodbye GPS? DARPA preparing alternative position-tracking technology

Goodbye GPS? DARPA preparing alternative position-tracking technology | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
DARPA considers GPS unreliable, as it isn't always available and signals can be easily jammed.

Via TechinBiz
Luigi Cappel's insight:

What takes this into a step change from evolution, is that's what it is, is the use of ordinary every day objects. Whether it is revolutionary or evolutionary may be something they don't share for now if it is about getting an edge on military opponents.

A key issue is the cost of technology. When I got my first in-car navigation system, the NASA designed gyros and accelerometers which gave me high accuracy put the retail price tag at around US$4,500. I didn't lay for it, part of my job was the launch of these systems in New Zealand.

Our mapping car however had a system which was also large and bulky and in the region of $200,000 and the reason was that it had to be accurate to within 15cm even when no GPS was available, because being down at the bottom of the planet, the spread of GPS signals was not designed to cover all of our country down at the bottom of the planet.

Today the use of assets or Points of Interest can be valuable, but of course there are questions about how permanent those assets are. Systems like iBeacons make a lot of sense. After all it worked for Hansel and Gretel. Passive RF devices can be placed pretty much anywhere, they can be dropped on or into dirt, placed on buildings and can provide breadcrumbs anywhere. As long as you have the technology to know where they were placed, they can work for a long time because some of those technologies only consume power of significance when they are activated.

When they talk about TV, I wonder if that is designed to put us off the scent or whether they are talking about Internet connected or smart TV's because they, being effectively WiFi access points therefore are transmitting a unique signature.

Google got itself into hot water by tracking WiFi signals from people's home WiFi transmitters which also have a unique signature and aren't likely to move very often, therefore if DARPA uses technology to map the location of those access points (they don't need to spy on what is being communicated across them, all they need is a unique identity of a fixed router, whether it is in an office, a public device on a street or in a home. Triangulate those unique mapped signatures in an urban area  and you will have pretty good accuracy. Telco's have been doing this and improving on it for years. It's much cheaper for them than GPS, which requires either legislation or informed permission from consumers, which is typically only given for the purposes of the apps they are using. Then there is GPS assisted tracking which is probably what DARPA are using. It doesn't replace GPS altogether because there are inherent safety elements to GPS and typically other technologies, such as those we used in our mapping cars were still based on starting each day with a highly accurate GPS fix. From there we could function without it for long periods of time. More satellites are going up and jamming them or using EMP bombs on a satellite is likely to be more difficult.

The consumer will ultimately benefit from these technologies if we are serious about driverless cars. Cars that navigate themselves without a human sanity check solely based on GPS will fail, even in urban canyons where the signals bounce of he glass and metal foundations on urban buildings. Have you ever sat at a red light in a city and had your nav act as though you were still moving and instinctively pressed a bit harder on the brake pedal?

 

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Russell R. Roberts, Jr.'s curator insight, March 27, 12:01 AM

DARPA is the federal agency responsible for much of the classified research carried out for the Department of Defense.  If DARPA is concerned about the integrity, availability, and security of the current GPS system, so should you.  DARPA is working on a new position-tracking technology that will be more available to users and more resistent to jamming.  Whether we realize it or not, we've been in a cyber security war for many years.  Aloha, Russ.

Oksana Borukh's curator insight, March 30, 3:18 AM

Quoted:

DARPA considers GPS unreliable, as it isn't always available and signals can be easily jammed.

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Spanish cities renamed after Islamic kingdoms in Google Maps prank - Telegraph.co.uk

Spanish cities renamed after Islamic kingdoms in Google Maps prank - Telegraph.co.uk | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Unknown Google Maps users altering names of Spanish towns to reflect their former status as Islamic kingdoms
Luigi Cappel's insight:

As I have said in a hundred blogs or more, maintaining a national accurate map data-set is a costly exercise. It takes time, local knowledge, a lot of relationships and a passion for your country.

It has been interesting spending 8 years in one of those companies to see on one side, staff working really hard to get every single street name right, or making sure the speed zone or intersection controls are accurate and current, mapping road centre lines to sub 15cm with a car that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, and then having major brands of car navigation and fleet management putting the squeeze on price so they can sell their product for a pittance.

When you devalue knowledge or provide open source access to modifying the core data, without expert checking, or it is managed by people who do not live in a country, or have a local customer advocacy focus, you have risk. In the car navigation and Fleet Management industries that risk is brand (or expensive tax or insurance audits) , and can end up being very expensive for the consumer who paid $99 for the device.

There are multiple edges to open source data. What level of information are you willing to accept from total strangers and build into your critical data set? This example demonstrates that not all contributors are benign.

We have some wonderful people who help with data and really want to do good work, just for the sake of being a contributing citizen. Others may want to pull pranks or have a bit of fun, which is fine if it is corrected in time, but there are others with more sinister objectives and maps have of course been a military tool for disinformation for millennia.

Whatever the cause behind the people who changed the names of Spanish towns to reflect their former Islamic status, it exposes a weakness in the management of curated tools, especially when people rely on them for accuracy to run business, to travel, to manage their lives. That's why local mapping companies are so important. As they disappear, so do years of passion, commitment and experience.

I'm not criticizing the model or Google. I doubt there is a day in my year that I don't use a Google map. I'm just suggesting that here are inherent dangers that can't be mitigated by simply revoking someone's account. How long does it take to set up a new Google account?

If you are working in open data, there are degrees of open and I suggest that you add some form of vigilance early in the process. Is near enough good enough? What are the risks to your customers, to your reputation? How do you ensure that your data product can be presented as consistently accurate and reliable?

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Farmers of the future will utilize drones, robots and GPS - Phys.Org

Farmers of the future will utilize drones, robots and GPS - Phys.Org | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Today's agriculture has transformed into a high-tech enterprise that most 20th-century farmers might barely recognize.
Luigi Cappel's insight:

Thus the race continues. We have this paradox with humanity that through our management (perhaps an oxymoron) of the planet's ecology, we live longer. That is those of us who can afford food. We know we can't sustain the global growth in human population. We have tried GM, we use more modern technologies for every aspect of the process and this is just another leap forward. My biggest concern is that every step on this process removes the human labor element, which displaces people who can no longer pay for the food they buy, because they can no longer get jobs growing it.

If we lived in the utopia I was promised as a youth, we wouldn't have to work, but our desire for power and a lifestyle that is measured by assets and financial wealth makes it near impossible to come up with systems that redistribute resources including equal opportunities for health, education and opportunity.

We went from horse to tractor to automation of so many aspects of agriculture, at least where farms are big enough and the education is available for those who can afford it to use it. Great if you are a giant and this technology will level the playing field for western agricultural producers who have farms large enough to justify it.The costs will be significantly less.

This is not science fiction dear reader. In the past I worked for a company that pioneered such technology for the forestry industry. Using light aircraft it could count trees from the sky, genus type them and even report on their health. It also had technology from the ground that could scan a tree and tell you how much harvest-able timber each tree contained. Unfortunately the industry went into a nosedive and many companies couldn't afford the technology.

Today even small farms (by western standards) use GPS daily in farm management, but there is still the element of how much an experienced farmer, vs farm hands and casual labor can cover on motorcycles, horses, tractors and SUV's. Many farms share equipment and  technology and often a contractor will develop a specialty and provide that service to others. The concepts here will work well and increase yield and production, enabling us to feed more people.

But what about the 3rd world. If we could enable farmers in small villages in Africa, Asia, South America with technology like this, we could up production and feed more people. This would be great for the ecology, for the planet in so many ways from providing healthy food, to greater production of bio-fuels, to balancing the planetary ecosystem.

The fatal flaw that I don't see being answered anywhere is the rampant population growth will escalate. We may delay the tipping point on climate change, we may improve the standard of living all over the globe, but we will also promote even more rapid growth of population. That can't go on for ever. There are always other planets, but I can't see us getting to them in a hurry and unless we invent new means of mass transit across great distances, that might mean that the human race itself is not doomed, but it may not solve the problems on Earth. On that front we are our own worst enemies and as long as enough of us feel we have more rights, or are more right, than our fellow man, the clock continues to tick to our race's impending doom.

In New Zealand there is a TV advertisement that says the planet doesn't need us. It managed very well before humankind and will manage after we have moved on. What's sobering to a thinking person is that this is a very true statement. Do you think birds and cockroaches care about OLED TV's and self driving cars?

 

 

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10 travel apps to download to your Apple Watch - CNN.com

10 travel apps to download to your Apple Watch - CNN.com | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
A handful of wrist-ready apps are already promising to transform the way you navigate the globe.
Luigi Cappel's insight:

Does this remind you of Google Glasses? I suspect many of the apps are in fact the ones that lay in waiting for Google Glasses and with that project on 'hold' they will be looking to tweak them a little and get a return on what was going to be the next big thing since sliced bread.

So how's your eyesight? This is a very small screen for some of the detail that is being suggested in these apps. I have a Smartwatch and if I want to look at the start of an email, or a tweet, I need to hold my watch as far as my arm will allow, to be able to read it clearly, depending on the lighting conditions. I love it and am a fan of this technology, don't think I'm a naysayer, I'm an early adopter, although not at Apple pricing, which I suspect is what stopped many of us from being plain glass wearers. It's not the only thing, I am not a huge Siri fan except in the car, so walking along talking to my glasses after I've tapped them was never going to rate as my favorite user interface.

Anyway, IMHO the Smartwatch is going to be the next big thing. They will range in price from a sophisticated pedometer in the tens of dollars, to the Apple around the $500 mark and then come the specialist, diamond crusted watches. I predict that they will cross the chasm into mass adopter very quickly and we will enjoy some great apps designed for the form factor.

Whether it is just the ability to have a watch face that suits your mood, or you want navigation and contextual real time traffic information at a glance, this is going to be a game changer in the way we live. It's a little thing, possibly a savior for the watch industry itself (from Casio to Rolex, in fact my Smartwatch has an optional Rolex , but can make so many important things easy to access without getting out your phone or tablet.

Here's my number one wish, it sounds stupid but I predict within 5 years it will exist. Voice is still the killer app for mobile. I want my watch to also be my phone audio interface. It might start as simply having a microphone and speaker, but the next step should be the ability to put a finger in my ear from the hand wearing the watch and for the audio to be broadcast through my finger to my cochlea. Most people say "I predicted that" but they say it after it happened. Anyone can do that, so I'm telling you now. You will see people with a finger in their ear having a conversation that is easy to hear, even in a noisy environment, using their smart watch.

I also predict that within a couple of years at least 25% of the people I know will be wearing a Smartwatch. Mine just told me its got an 86% charge and that's it's time to get to the office. If I forget to grab my phone, it will warn me about that before I get to the front door. Oh and it also tells the time:)

When are you getting yours?

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How effective is a GPS Monitor? - Albuquerque Journal

How effective is a GPS Monitor? - Albuquerque Journal | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
In the 2015 legislative session, state Rep. Carl Trujillo, D-Santa Fe, introduced a bill to address using GPS data in restraining order cases.
Luigi Cappel's insight:

I'm very surprised at the headline. It doesn't gel with what is actually a very interesting story and one I haven't come across before. Using GPS anklets for convicted offenders who are on home detention, or on a restraining order is becoming more common.

In this case we are talking about a bail condition on someone who might otherwise not meet the bail conditions pre-trial.

This is a very low cost solution where the premise is that this is a lower level crime and there is little risk of flight, given that if the person goes somewhere they shouldn't, an email gets sent out and this may count against them.

Arguments as to whether it is against someone's constitutional rights are moot. One would assume that most people would prefer to wear an ugly bracelet than go directly to jail to await their day in court and be happy to waive those rights. The cost savings to all are significant.

I do not get the reference to whether a GPS monitor is effective. Unless they are faulty, GPS monitors are always effective. The question is whether the software and the alerting system is effective.

If, as in this story, they are happy to have an email go to the Court's Pretrial Services Division, then they clearly do not see that offender as a risk.

Where these systems fall down is in the commitment to monitoring the systems and training those responsible for monitoring and maintenance. However even when these systems are poorly maintained, there will be a percentage of people who are more likely to comply, simply because they are wearing the monitor and don't like the alternative.

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Mobile travel and millennials: Simplicity is key - News24

Mobile travel and millennials: Simplicity is key - News24 | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
The WTM Africa discussion around millennials and mobile has rehashed a few useful insights into what travellers expect when it comes to travel information in the palm of their hands.
Luigi Cappel's insight:

It seems that things have moved on quite well since I chaired the mobility steam of Customer Contact World in Johannesburg some years ago.

As a frequent traveler I get so frustrated with the evolution of mobile brochure-ware that simply takes printed content and presents it as a magazine with hyperlinks for mobile, and often as this story says, not 'responsive' which is industry jargon for a mantra we started probably 20 years ago which was Acubed, i.e. anytime, anywhere, any device.

I have been involved in massive amounts of expensive research, both as a consultant and as a sponsor. A lot of the research is based on assumptions and is often biased towards the theories or opinions held by the researchers or those funding the projects, often motivated by a requirement to be seen to be researching rather than by outcomes.

In the tourism industry one would think the key outcomes would be profit and positive GDP for the tourist regions and businesses, together with very happy travelers who have such a great trip that they either come back themselves or tell their friends they must go visit that place. Word of mouth is far more valuable than a nice colored brochure or app.

I totally agree that having apps is not essential, unless they are awesome and really add value. In the USA a shining example of great apps for venues is the Grand Ole Opry http://apple.co/1jr6iVI in Nashville Tennessee.

App fatigue is a major issue for travelers and a focus on what they actually want is key. The real problem is understanding what they want and it is important to find out without leading the questions, i.e. qualitative research. I love the ending of this article which is about hack events. I was involved as a guest judge in HackAKL, last year, which was about hacking travel and public transport information which resulted amongst other things in a fantastic public transport app. It was very clear in the concepts that came from the more than 300 attendees (which were not just developers, but a wide variety of people) that they were motivated, not by making lots of money, but by solving customer problems.

If you can inspire your customers into hack events, you have a much better chance of finding out what they really want. Just a suggestion on that, if tourists are your target market, domestic or international, they need to be involved in the hack event. Obviously local business, tourism, government, transport and the industry need to be involved, but somehow you need to engage your target customer base. With today's technology and the customer details you have kept of visitors to your country, city and attractions, combined with universities and some spend into the target markets, this shouldn't be too hard. For example http://www.govhack.org/ is a hack event that will run concurrently in many cities throughout New Zealand and Australia. With sponsors such as Google, the technology barriers disappear.

If you are able to provide for tomorrow's customers and engage with them in the ways that they want to be engaged, your future tourism market could be a shining example to the rest of the world.

Then of course, they need to be able to stay connected. That has long been your challenge. Perhaps Google can help there too?

 

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Where women have the most economic opportunity and security, in 5 maps - Washington Post (blog)

Where women have the most economic opportunity and security, in 5 maps - Washington Post (blog) | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
A new study offers a national tour of the economic conditions for women.
Luigi Cappel's insight:

So in the land of the brave, home of the free, are things all as they need to be?

One does need to be careful interpreting some of these statistics. Not all women want to have high profile careers. Not all people want to live an affluent lifestyle. For many women, supporting their family is a top priority and having a nice home that doesn't look like a handyman's dream, close to family and in a safe environment for kids to go out and play represents total success.

However, the American dream, which to me has focused on the right and ability for all people to be treated equal, regardless of race, creed, color (does it say gender?) should mean equality anywhere in the country.

You could look at some of these maps and say, well this is a poor state, it's not just women who are on low incomes, low educations and lifestyle. But there are indisputable trends that this map shows that are work looking at.

I live in New Zealand, the country which first gave women the right to vote. I live in a country that had one of the first woman Prime Minister's and many of our companies are ably led by women. That doesn't mean that gender doesn't still sometimes come into the equation, and I'm sure if I had time to dig down I would find towns or areas where we could do better, but fundamentally I believe our maps would show far greater equality than the country that more than any other, espouses to stand up for full and equal rights for all citizens. I find that interesting.

Check out the maps and let me know what you think.

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Delta Now Offering Pet Tracking with Wireless GPS

Delta Now Offering Pet Tracking with Wireless GPS | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Delta Now Offering Pet Tracking with Wireless GPS
Luigi Cappel's insight:

Delta has got it right in this case, pun intended.  Not only will they let you track your luggage and pay you a penalty of 2,500 Sky Miles if your luggage doesn't turn up within 20 minutes, but they will also track your pet for you with GPS. 

This is a great response to a PR debacle when people flew to New York for the prestigious Westminster Dog Show, but their pets ended up in Seattle and other places, not New York. Unlike United, they have taken a really bad situation, learned from it, committed to a better result and now provide a service which people will trust.

As to United, not only do they have a reputation for damaging guitars, they don't appear to have learned from it. I stopped flying with them after a trip to Orlando, where I took one of my favorite guitars in a brand new case. When I picked up my guitar from the fragile luggage counter, it rattled. The bridge was broken and the piezo microphone power pack had been knocked out of its mount, which takes an enormous amount of pressure. When I asked for support from United staff at the airport they told me I obviously had a faulty case and that it was my fault. I've done a lot of travel since then, but not with United. They would not accept a claim and I spent my first day in Orlando getting it fixed so I could play a gig  in Longwood.

I love the idea of luggage tracking and I know SITA has been looking at this for years. My question is, if we have to have our mobile devices in flight mode when we fly, how can they have a cargo hold with a concentration of luggage and pets all transmitting their location in a fly by wire plane?

Anyway, I did fly Delta a couple of years ago and whilst the plane broke down in Denver and their agent thought Auckland was in Australia, the service was pretty good. I was too scared to carry my new guitar home as hand luggage so sent that by FedEx, but that was a hangover from my United experience, not Delta.

Word to the wise, I've been told a number of times that the care some ground crew treat your luggage with is inversely proportional to the number of fragile stickers on it.

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How This $7000 E-Bike's GPS Tech Thwarted a Thief - Wired

How This $7000 E-Bike's GPS Tech Thwarted a Thief - Wired | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
With the help of some built in theft-deterrent technology Bill Kiriakis was reunited his brand new e-bike just two hours after discovering it was stolen.
Luigi Cappel's insight:

My first thought was who buys a $7,000 bike unless they are seriously into cycling as a sport, but then you could ask, who buys a Maserati?

This is obviously a very cool, bike, event the thief said so.

I love the feature that says the bike has been stolen, locks the back wheel, starts lights flashing and even has a light that says 'THEFT'. The best part is that you can lead Police to the exact location of the bike.

What I like the most is that all of this, including the pairing to the phone, which I assume includes other features, is that it is a standard feature of the bike, not an optional extra, hence the ability to do things like lock one of the wheels. Regular bike thieves will quickly learn to leave bikes of this brand where they are. Those that don't, and those purchasers who don't raise an eyebrow when they pay $100 for a sophisticated bike, might find it extremely good value when a night's accommodation is included......in a Police cell.

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GPS tracking counts as a "search", says US Supreme Court - Naked Security

GPS tracking counts as a "search", says US Supreme Court - Naked Security | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
The court sided with an offender who argued that being forced to wear a location monitor for the rest of his life is unconstitutional.
Luigi Cappel's insight:

Hopefully this will simply result in a modification of the wording. It means that the convicted criminal as a condition of parole consents to the GPS anklet, or serves more of their sentence. The anklets are only there for people who are at risk of re-offending and I would have thought home detention would be preferable to being in jail.

These challenges are a legitimate way of making sure that the wording of a sentence is legal and if not, the wording needs to keep up with changes in technology. Thousands of people would still be in jail without the chance to redeem themselves and start fresh lives if it wasn't for GPS anklets. Recidivist criminals would otherwise have  conditions including daily reporting or have to be checked to make sure they are still at home or where they are supposed to be and often without a deterrent, would violate their conditions, with the consequence that more police are required to  watch parolees instead of being out and about preventing or resolving crimes.

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ByHours Now Lets You Book a Hotel Room in London for 3, 6 or 12 hours

ByHours Now Lets You Book a Hotel Room in London for 3, 6 or 12 hours | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
If you think the only accommodation you can book by the hour is the sort of end-of-the-line motels you might find littering parts of the US, then ByHours’ decidedly conventional hotel…
Luigi Cappel's insight:

A few years ago, some bright spark saved the company $100 on a return trip to Amsterdam where I was an international speaker at a conference on location based services.

My return flight was Lufthansa from Amsterdam via Munich to San Francisco and then via Air NZ back to Auckland. I arrived in San Francisco around 6AM and in order to save the company $100 I had to stay there until around 9PM for my flight home. Whilst I have been to California several times this was my first trip to San Fran and I was excitedly trying to work out what I could fit into a 12 or so hour day.

I arrived and so did my luggage, but it transpired that Air NZ did not have a luggage handling agreement with Lufthansa, so I had to hang on to all my luggage until the Air NZ check in people arrived.

It turned out they didn't arrive until 2 hours before the flight departure so I had to look after my luggage (which was too much to cart around) for 13 hours.

Because of anti terrorism laws I couldn't leave my luggage anywhere at the airport, although I was thinking you could put plenty of explosives into the tiny little lockers available for rent.

If I'd had an app that told me about local places where I could get a day room I would have happily put that on my company credit card, grabbed a shower and maybe a nap between sight seeing and returning to catch my flight that evening.

Unfortunately my next longish day stop will be in China, not the USA, but to avoid having a really tiring and annoying trip like my San Francisco experience, you might consider an app like this a great investment.

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Zoologists tap into GPS to track badger movements - Phys.Org

Zoologists tap into GPS to track badger movements - Phys.Org | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Zoologists from Trinity College Dublin's School of Natural Sciences are using GPS tracking technology to keep a 'Big Brother' eye on badgers in County Wicklow.
Luigi Cappel's insight:

I guess I've seen a badger at a zoo somewhere, obviously they didn't make a big impressions on me. They can make a big impression on dairy or beef farming because they spread TB. but apparently little is known about exactly how the disease transfers from one species to another. That's part of the purpose of this exercise which shows another great use of GPS as a technology to understand how things happen in our world. Obviously this study is in Ireland, but our part of the world isn't immune.

In New Zealand bovine tuberculosis is known to be spread by possums. Same problem. What happens if our beef, dairy and deer were to get TB? Have a think about our economy and the fact that 14 Billion dollars of our exports are from parts of these three animal groups. All it would take is a major reputation scare to send our economy down the drenching chute.

What other problems could we solve or gain better understanding of with the use of GPS and other locational technology?

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GPS navigation involved when car plunges off demolished Indiana bridge

GPS navigation involved when car plunges off demolished Indiana bridge | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
EAST CHICAGO, Ind. (AP) — Police say a driver apparently was following GPS navigation when he drove off the ramp to a demolished bridge that had been closed since 2009, killing his wife. The Times ...
Luigi Cappel's insight:

I can't comment on the GPS navigation map. It could be that the map data hadn't been updated by the car nav manufacturer, or it could be that the driver was using an old device with an old map data-set. A huge number of people don't update their navigation maps. When was the last time you updated your maps?

Bottom line as I have said in so many blogs. The navigation is a guide. You are not in a driverless car. You have windows and as the disclaimer says when you start up your navigation, it is an aid only and you must drive based on what you see out of your windscreen. Clearly the road was well marked and blocked off. Enough said.

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Mawson Lakes: Police arrest two boys with machetes after they allegedly steal car fitted with GPS tracking device

Mawson Lakes: Police arrest two boys with machetes after they allegedly steal car fitted with GPS tracking device | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
TWO teenage boys were allegedly found with machetes in a stolen car after SA Police tracked their every movement using a GPS system fitted to the vehicle.
Luigi Cappel's insight:

Have I ever told you I love these stories? A question for you. Do you have a where's my phone app installed on your mobile?

Here's a thought about vehicles. With vehicle tracking devices now being available for less than $100 if  you buy enough of them, why don't insurance companies give them to you as part of your insurance package? It could be limited to cars over a certain value, but simply  means of shared risk. Whenever a car is reported stolen, it s tracked, governed or disabled, depending on how fast it is going and where, and reported to the police complete with it's current location. Why not even lock the doors so that the thieves are stuck in the car until the police arrive. Yes I understand there are safety risks to those people who accidentally found themselves driving a car that didn't belong to them, but you could use the technology that alerts you when you aren't wearing your seat-belts, to lock the belts from opening as well, that way they can't hurt themselves, although they could cut themselves out with their machetes.

With so many new cars coming out with GPS based technology, hopefully it will become increasingly more difficult to steal them, although given stories I have heard about sophisticated crooks able to hack the key-less entry systems, particularly of top of the line cars, they are going to need to get smarter.

So the last question is, who has more to lose if your car gets stolen, you or your insurance company. Perhaps it depends on how easy your car (and the things in it) are to replace.

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ESPLORIO An online social media travel diary - Geographical

ESPLORIO An online social media travel diary - Geographical | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Esplorio is an online travel diary that brings together Twitter, Flickr, Instagram, Foursquare and several other social networks.
Luigi Cappel's insight:

On my last road trip I made extensive use of Foursquare to track where I had been over a 4,000 mile journey across 4 states. It was incredibly useful because I had taken so many photos on my mobile and I didn't have location working on my camera, it was all but impossible to identify which photos I had taken where.

I bought a couple of travel diary apps, but because I was an FIT and spent many evenings looking for accommodation, deciding on attractions to visit (most of the state tourism operators still do tourism guide books, not apps) ans negotiating on accommodation, writing a diary in one of the beautiful applications was just more than I could deal with.

The photos and check ins worked a treat, but then I still had to deal with working through them all. So I was very pleased to find Esplorio before I leave for my next trip, especially because it links multiple social media apps together.

I installed it this morning before work and it took me all of about 2 minutes to link half a dozen social media accounts and hey presto it showed me where I had been yesterday. Now the main thing I need to focus on is having fun and collecting my favorite shots as I did last time to print a photo book of my trip.

There is suggestion that in future it will also offer travel information around the locations you go to which is welcome because I am looking for new places to see and new things to do. Foursquare and Swarm are pretty good at that, but I don't want to miss out on anything.

If you want a travel diary but can't be bothered making entries because you want to experience your trip while you are on it. Check this one out. It's free.

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