Exploration of the Potential of Using the Concept of the

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The provision of information that has currency and credibility is now a matter of how far a user really wants to go in. unearthing resources and the money willing to be spent But the way in which the user learns about geographical. space is generally limited to the use of information resources that are provided via the traditional map metaphor If. methods and means were developed to enable the user to experience geography in other ways and through other. methods in association with or by completely excluding in some cases the use of maps a better picture of. geographic reality could be assembled and experienced. 2 2 Map Shop, A virtual Map Shop complete with the many information resources as well as the conventional map resources could. give many alternatives to the spatial information seeker Imagine yourself in a map shop In the drawers and on the. racks are maps of places and countries throughout the world They range from general interest map to tourist map to. road map It seems as if almost every map that was ever produced is there But there also are atlases globes city plans. political and thematic maps airline route charts and nautical charts The layout of the Map Shop is illustrated in. Figure 1 Map Shop concept,2 2 1 Using the Map shop. Move to another part of the map shop and you will find books written as both factual accounts and fictional. travelogues with descriptions of exotic and not so exotic countries and places Titles include personal travel. experiences and travel that fictional or real voyagers have made recently or in the past They include biographies of. interesting travellers and their thoughts as they moved through the countries that the corresponding map collection. Move over to the artifacts section and you ll find how to tourist guides giving information about customs. accommodation travel tips and general information about what to see and do in the countries that you intend to visit. Here are collected essays and letters of travellers to places you might wish to visit from either intrepid travellers or. titled expedition members on a 19th century global tour Journals and travel diaries can be found here items that give. insights into the inner thoughts of fellow virtual travellers and provide an insight into the trials and tribulations that. took place in journeys that would normally only appear as a sketched line on a world map. Go along to the magazine area Look at the rows of glossy publications produced by commercial houses and societies. Pour over the text illustrations and photographs in The National Geographic Journal and the Geographical Journal or. read travel stories in popular magazines like International Traveller or Vogue Living Here are international. newspapers and news bulletins from around the globe that provide access to current stories and background briefings. about what is happening at home and abroad, Move to the video storage shelves Here on display are travelogues and presentations from publishers like Lonely. Planet and Rough Guides as well as specialist movies made by travel entrepreneurs Feature movies can be found here. as some people may prefer to be told a story on film so as to aid their personal methods of visualising faraway places. before they actually go there, Some titles show that what is on offer is also historical footage as both documentaries and movies portraying fictional. characters The travel tool publications also stock the shelves as are English French English dictionaries. phrasebooks for Spain and 1001 useful tips for backpacking in Thailand You can listen to some of the audio tapes that. provide the means of learning other languages and use them to mimic the way in which the locals ask for directions and. order meals, This fictional map shop is what would be an ideal place for prospective travellers to gain access to a wide range of.
geographical information sources before actually beginning their journey The useful adjuncts to mainstream. publications available can be viewed as invaluable assistants that make the other mainstream travel publications. actually work They can select the combination of artifacts that best provides tools for preparing themselves for their. voyage of geographic discovery,2 2 2 The On line Map Shop. Now imagine the walls of the map shop were removed and that resources beyond the physical room were available By. making the map room accessible through the use of electronic digital communications it no longer has to be the. repository of geographic discovery tools that are frozen in time Links to other map collections databases film. archives news services map publishing houses and related information providers expands the scope of the map room. well beyond the limitations imposed by the physical presence of walls and existing resources to one that can act as both. a storehouse of geographic information within the Map Shop and links to useful resources without The Map Shop. would now have access to both discrete and distributed multimedia services Figure 2 illustrates the typical links. between discrete and distributed resources, Figure 2 Multimedia hypermedia and links to other packages and distributed media. Links could be provided to update discrete resources available within the Map Shop like map collections and atlases on. CD ROM to show other paper maps of the same series or complementary series that exist in other map rooms and map. collections or those available from commercial and government mapping agencies Connections to the databases of. numerous national geographic information providers gives access to digital map files and information regarding the. products they currently market Map and guide publishing houses could give details of updates of their maps and. directories making current existing publications between issues Access to book publishers databases and the means. to conduct searches on books in print would enable users of the map shop to find travel stories biographies historical. novels and factual accounts of adventures that are directly related to the parts of the world about which information is. being sought Geographically related games like SimCity that would normally only be made available for individual. gameplay could be expanded and made more relevant if other players from anywhere in the world could participate If. additional players could be found who lived in the part of the world about which information was being sought then. personal insights into how individual citizens of countries around the world viewed their own could be collected An. even better discovery scenario could be painted if both or many participants in their own geographical game could. mutually benefit from the interactive nature of finding out about each other s part of the globe. This on line Map Shop would provide tips for the intrepid traveller by providing publications and marked up maps. that were previously used by other customers in the shop Some of the products could physically reside in the map. room whilst others could be provided through on line connections E mail would be an ideal communication medium. for establishing links between expert travellers and the newcomer Willing experienced voyagers could make their. services available even for a fee to give insightful information about places that they are most familiar with or about. thematic aspects of certain areas about which they have expert knowledge. 2 3 GeoExplortorium, The GeoExploratorium is regarded to be a virtual space that would enable users of the Map Shop to explore geographic. information using different metaphors Many of the components of the on line Map Shop would be duplicated in the. GeoExploratorium but they would be able to be used in combination with the metaphors provided within the. GeoExploratorium It uses a metaphor set and the links to external resources that provide reality links As well as. providing access to multimedia hypermedia and interactive maps the GeoExploratorium would provide links to other. world wide resources The requirements of the Literate Traveller outlined earlier depended upon mostly tactile. multimedia products By applying the concept of the GeoExploratorium provisions for the pre journey deliberations. and decisions could be assembled from tactile discrete and distributed resources If these resources were made. available along the lines proposed in the GeoExploratorium a composite and comprehensive collection of at hand on. computer and on line interactive tools could be assembled. Not everyone can be an expert Every spatial information user cannot hope to know every answer or have easy access. to experts in specialised fields New mapping technology providing access to wider information sources using. distributed multimedia can be used to enable a mapping systems to be utilised to make provision for a more holistic. view and therefore better appreciate the make up of reality better than only if parts were only visible The expert when. providing information draws upon extensive experience during re telling or informing and takes a story beyond mere. description by providing authority Jach 1996 Life long experience of farmers can provide knowledge about soils. crops and effects of the weather that graphics may fail to impart workers involved in deprived urban areas can paint a. lucid picture of what it is like to be poor and expert geologists can enhance a picture of subterranean structures The. Sage injects experience and expert knowledge into the telling Multimedia can contain elements of oral print and. electronic expert storytelling Multimedia mapping packages enable The Sage to provide audio descriptions of static or. dynamic maps and to appear in videos that elaborate on the underlying facts behind the phenomena being depicted. Cartwright 1997e, 2 5 SAGE Specialist Adviser on geography and the Environment. The availability and access to geographic and environmental information is growing at a staggering pace a pace which. far outstrips our ability to use it credibly for not only the planning and conduct of operations and routine activities but. for strategically more important purposes such as strategic national development homeland defence and security and. so on We now need to consider the concept of designing and creating virtual advisers or artificial agents One such. concept might be that of a Specialist Adviser on Geography and the Environment a SAGE However if we embrace. the concept of an artificial agent then we need to investigate the scope and context of the world in which the SAGE. would function, It seems intuitive that the SAGE would need to know about the past The SAGE would need to have available a.
comprehensive knowledge of the sciences technologies and disciplines of the past and the implications to present. databases and archives The SAGE would also need to know about previous studies and reviews previous initiatives. and activities and the SAGE should have access to documentaries narratives histories and so on In addition it seems. that the SAGE would need access to a plethora of policy guidance documents agreements memoranda etc. The SAGE needs access to the nation s geospatial information infrastructure the ASDI via accredited portals etc The. knowledge base needs also to include white papers and a comprehensive range of scientific and technical sources. suitable to both na ve and expert users, Furthermore it seems that the SAGE needs a visionary component The knowledge and vision of domain experts needs. to be elicited and this information organised into capability development strategies Such strategies need to be cognisant. of acquisition processes and scope the near mid and long terms acquisition programs of an organisation Overall the. concept for the SAGE can be shown in the illustration below. Figure 3 Concept of the SAGE Specialist Adviser on Geography and the Environment Williams 2002. 3 APPLICTION GEOGRAPHIC INTELLIGENCE, Technological advances in computer systems over the past two decades have provided mapmakers and land resource. managers with capabilities to perform increasingly sophisticated mapping and geographic analysis functions For much. of this period development has followed two distinct streams one concerned with automating the map making process. and favoured by the traditional mapping organisations and one focusing on environmental analysis and land planning. functions preferred by regional planners asset and facilities managers etc. We have now reached the time when we now have a range of technologies and these technologies are enabling the. fusion of the two trends However the World Wide Web the e phenomena and society s desire to be better informed. now mean that the simple fusion of the existing capabilities from those two traditional trends is no longer adequate We. now need to know far more about our environment than ever before and we need to make decisions far more quickly. than ever before We need to embrace the concept of a geospatial information infrastructure and geographic. intelligence, The success of any technological development depends on an effective capability development and acquisition process. The outcome of this process should be an information infrastructure in which the innovation resides As such the. future SAGE needs to be a part of an organisation s Geospatial Information Infrastructure GII. A Geospatial Information Infrastructure can be defined as an enabling infrastructure to meet the needs of the. The demands for access to geographical information that has integrity currency and comprehensibility now mean that the traditional formats of information delivery need to be addressed assessed and evaluated for their effectiveness as conduits that inform The plethora of information that is gathered stored and disseminated can mean geo

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