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ike™, or: The Amazing Geospatial Intelligence Mobile Mapping and Photographic Tool

With ike™, you can gather incredibly rich, georeferenced spatial data sets with point-and-click precision and ease. Packed inside its relatively tiny but rugged casing reside a mobile GIS with a GPS, a digital camera, a compass, an inclinometer which eliminates the need for a tripod, and a laser distance meter. The laser, in fact, also eliminates the need to be on site, allowing for data collection to be conducted from as far away as 1km. The perfect accessory for The Bleex.


In a disaster scenario, for instance, you can photograph and map out the location of breached levees, downed electricity pylons, impassable points on roads and bridges, pockets of survivors, etc., all at a safe distance, then quickly disseminated at headquarters or analyzed on the field by yourself. And the photos, hopefully, should prevent, or at least reduce, the lies and obfuscations at future congressional hearings.

All it needs then is a blog editor and a wireless internet connection. Bloggers embedded as citizen soldier-engineers in post-apocalyptic disaster zones. Reading the terrain, directing aid relief traffic.

Once, for a school project, I was tasked to delineate the border of a large waterbody in a wetland using an ancient GPS device, getting as close as possible to the water's “edge,” whether accessible or not, and shouting at frequent intervals the coordinates to my partner. This had to be done a second time, in fact, after originally misreading the “edge” entirely — only to end up with mildly accurate, incomplete data sets, which someone then painstakingly entered into ArcGIS. Suffice it to say, with ike™, the entire process would have quickly produced far more extensive and far more accurate information. And also been a lot less wet.
  • e-tat
  • March 27, 2006 at 6:22:00 PM CST
  • WET® is good. Wet is better than dry. Like sex is better than abstinence, and clay is better than dust. In the future, gadgets will be dropped in the mud and students will get dirty retrieving them, and, in the process, develop an aesthetics of real-world engagement. The radio-telemetry of disengagement will be reserved for those too squeamish to take on any meaningful work, and whose careers will be spent transcribing between imperial and metric units, and telegraphing them into space for future civilizations to decipher.

  • Alexander Trevi
  • March 27, 2006 at 7:20:00 PM CST
  • How about the complete archives of the USGS? Some lone landscape-architect-astronomer, high on an Andean observatory, perhaps here, flashing the universe with the georeferenced spatial data of Yellowstone or the entire city of Chicago. Cosmic background radiation? Nope, that's actually my mother's allotment garden, Andromeda bound. So that, as you've no doubt correctly predicted, billions of years from now, when we've all been sucked into the sun, future civilizations can reconstruct an extinct Earth.

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