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April 22-25, 2003, Santa Clara -Explore. Invent. Connect.
Butterfly.

Session

Mapping the Wireless Revolution
Schuyler Erle, MetaCarta
Rich Gibson, Locative Technology

Track: Untethered
Date: Wednesday, April 23
Time: 1:15pm - 2:00pm
Location: Stevens Creek

The advent of widespread 802.11b has burst open not merely one, but in fact two, revolutions in data networking: First, people can now use computing devices in more places than ever before; and, second -- and perhaps even more importantly -- individuals and grassroots organizations can now build high-speed network infrastructure, where previously they were constrained to the whim of the telecommunications monopolies. The common need between the twin revolutions of ubiquitous network access and grassroots peer-to-peer infrastructure is the need to discover and understand the implications of location.

Starting with the line-of-sight requirement for long-distance 802.11b networking, the NoCat Network attempted to build a database of interested participants, with the hopes of: (a) generating a variety of maps to aid in plotting and sighting prospective point-to-point links, and (b) developing applications to automatically explore this database and recommend the likeliest links. Out of this project, we have begun development on a suite of Open Source tools intended to facilitate the use of open data sources like TIGER and GIS in building the next generation of location-based applications.

We will discuss the creation of these tools, and demonstrate some basic applications, such as our line-of-sight profiler and our network map generator. Furthermore, we will discuss how these and other similar tools can leverage the increasing relevance of location to computation and communication, in order to build some truly amazing applications.


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