Google and CCTVs = Real Time Maps

Below is an amazing video showing what a group out of Georgia Tech did by combining Google Maps with real time public CCTV data. Now you can see car going down the roads, clouds in the sky and people at play in real time. It is both really cool, and really scary at the same time. Who needs spy satellites?

To me this video is about a lot of things, but one that may not jump immediately to mind is information organization. I gave a talk at the last ALA on the Death of Documents. Part of that argument is that more and more of the data folks are going to use/create/look for is not bound and static like our current perceptions of documents.

Take a look at what these folks have down. They have mashed up (mind you with some very high-level programing) all sorts of geospatially encoded data (video, maps, etc) and even added real time interpolation (i.e., not all the data being shown is “real” data – some of it is simulated), to create a fascinating (and slightly creepy) information space for folks to navigate.

Does it make sense to put this in that catalog? How would you even do it? Not the paper they are presenting, but the actual system.

As librarians we must greatly broaden our concepts of the services we provide, and how we organize them. One could imagine a transportation library where this is the primary interface for members. Add to this real time world links to planning and environmental data (click on that road, up comes the construction records – click on that bridge and access the inspection schedule).

Anyway, plenty to think about.

4 Replies to “Google and CCTVs = Real Time Maps”

  1. My thoughts:

    To remain relevant, libraries must adapt and overcome the challenges posed by society’s changing information dynamics (production, consumption, distribution, etc.). Failure to do so in a relatively short time will relegate libraries to the same place as other information age relics (see AOL, Juno, etc.).

    These organizations once provided valuable services, and were industry leaders, innovative, and worth millions. They also failed to adapt to the changing demands of their customers, and as such, have found themselves irrelevant and forgotten in a mere matter of years.

    I’m not intending this post to be one of doom and gloom, just offering that the challenge of incorporating digital and user-created content is the next great hurdle for libraries and librarians.

    I’m confident that some of my colleagues, perhaps with Prof. Lankes’ guidance, will tackle and ultimately overcome this problem.

    Hopefully they can do it in time!

  2. On one hand, the initial hand, I’m always excited by these type of innovations. This could be a wonderful tool. A few years ago, a buddy of mine and I tried to create a travel website that including footage of popular places, how to navigate them, what to do and see, using google maps interlaced with HD video footage that I would capture. Long story short, we didn’t have the time between the two of us to really dig into the project.

    This project takes my project and puts it on IT/IS steroids! The usefulness of the program is evident to me. But the privacy issues and ownership issues bug me A LOT. This program isn’t just big brother, it’s BIG OLDER ALPHA MALE BROTHER. I studied in London and CCTV was EVERYWHERE -elevators, stores, streetcorners, phoneboths etc. CCTV is used in conjunction with police to issue traffic violations i.e. speeding. So, if we really want this tool, then I’m afraid we’ll have to accept the possibility of more invasion of privacy especially dealing with GOOGLE.

    Just like google books, they are your buddy until they get what they want. In this case, it could be government purchasing or licensing of the CCTV’s etc etc etc.

    These are my initial thoughts. I’d say I’m more scared than excited.


  3. sorry for my ranting previously. Through my rudimentary understanding of IT/IS, this type of issue seems to be a new trend. Doing and recording things in real time. Families do it for their children. You go to any Hollister store and they have a live camera of Huntington beach in California- perhaps hollister has no need to record it and so they probably don’t.

    But I guess I do see the potential need for this type of program to have interested people needing previously archived media for research. Possibly to show construction, crimes, significant events. The real question seems to be do we value that type of information? Do we want a billion gagila-flops of footage when only 0.02% of the population will access 0.0001% of the data?

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