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Agi Foresight Study - Christopher Osborne

Agi Foresight Study - Christopher Osborne

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Published by cloudsourced
My contribution to the AGI Foresight Study, predicting the shape of geo in 2015
My contribution to the AGI Foresight Study, predicting the shape of geo in 2015

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Published by: cloudsourced on May 18, 2010
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05/18/2010

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AGI Foresight Study - OpenStreetMap, Crowdsourcing and the Sensor Web
“Why I ignore all 
ʻ  
5 year plans 
ʼ   
: 5 years ago, YouTube and Twitter didn't exist, and Facebook was only for college kids.” 
- Clay Shirky
OpenStreetMap
OpenStreetMap stats report run at Sun Oct 18 2009:
Number of users174823Number of uploadedGPS points1229384032Number of nodes467418975Number of ways34718890Number of relations251896
At the start of 2009, there was ~85,000 OSM users, and by October 18th 2009 there are174,823 users. While not all users are active, the percentage of users contributing per
 
month is consistent at 8%, and the rate of growth is massive. Five years agoOpenStreetMap didn
ʼ
t exist, so forecasting the future of crowdsourced data feelsparticularly futile. However, the UK is predicted to be complete, at the street level, in 14months time. There will be more than 1,000,000 users in much less than five years time.In terms of global datasets, there are very few commerical players - NAVTEQ, Tele Atlasand to a lesser extent AND. With the previous acquisition of NAVTEQ and Tele Atlas byNokia and TomTom, and the as yet un-confirmed deal between Google and AND, it is apartisan world. It is in Nokia and TomTom
ʼ
s interests to restrict the use of their data foractivities that would impact on their own development plans, and extract as much revenuefrom their existing markets. All of this points to serious commercial involvement with the
ʻ
open source
ʼ
alternative, OSM. Over the next five years we can expect to see largeinvestments, in terms of data, code, company time and money from internet and mobilephone companies in OSM. The parallels with Linux and IBM are clear, those who needunrestricted access to geodata but cannot fund their own geodata creation, a la Google,will invest in OSM.Traveline, the UK
ʼ
s national public transport data partnership, has donated their NaPTANdataset to OpenStreetMap. With over 346,000 public transport nodes in the database,their is 0% chance that the dataset can be maintained to a completely accurate level withthe limited resources available to local authorities to maintain the data. The import ofNaPTAN data to OSM, allows for crowdsourced improvements to the data that can be fedback to Traveline at a later date. We can expect much more of the same in the future, fromboth public sector and commercial organisations.Leveraging excess cognitive capacity through crowdsourcing will become commonplace.
Crowdsourced Data - Sensor Web
Going back to the opening quote: “
5 years ago, YouTube and Twitter didn't exist, and Facebook was only for college kids”,
we can see how far web2.0 and social applicationshave come in this short time. The amount of personal information that most of us now feelat ease with sharing is growing at an unprecedented rate. It has even been suggested thatMoore
ʼ
s law, may apply to the rate of growth of sharing personal data. If an application canoffer a tangible benefit to the user sharing their information, with no perceived loss ofcontrol or negative impacts, then they become happy sharing their personal information.Some have dubbed this
ʻ
perkonomics
ʼ
- it is advantageous for me to share my roughlocation details with my bank so they don
ʼ
t block my credit card while travelling abroad.Mobile phones have become an essential item, an extension of your social andprofessional life that is indispensable for a modern existence. The smartphone was one ofthe few
ʻ
luxury
ʼ
items that saw an increase in spending during the recession. Within fiveyears most people will own a GPS enabled smartphone, permanently connecting you tothe internet. All of the social, entertainment and practical applications you use arecommunicating two-ways, there is a transfer of data back to the application provider viathe internet. We are all sensors now. Your photographs, tweets, restaurant reviews, thespeed at which you are driving are all geocoded data that is being recorded and can bemined and analysed. The increasing development of location enabled mobile applicationsand the sensor web will create huge new datasets.

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