What is Geolocation?

Everything on the Earth’s surface has a location that can be expressed with just two coordinates. Using the new classes of geolocation tools, it is very easy to determine and capture the exact location of physical objects — as well as capturing the location where digital media such as photographs and video are taken. The other side of this coin is that it is also becoming easier to work with the geolocative data thus captured: it can be plotted on maps; combined with data about other events, objects, or people; graphed; charted; or manipulated in myriad ways. Indeed, such data are leading to entirely new forms of mapping. Devices we commonly carry with us increasingly have the ability to know where they (and, consequently, we) are, and to record our coordinates as we take photographs, talk to friends, or post updates to social networking websites. The transparency of this group of technologies — they are increasingly imbedded in all sorts of devices and technologies — is making them very much an essential part of our lives.

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(1) How might this technology be relevant to the educational sector you know best?

  • Geolocation provides very useful metadata to content that has a spatial reference. It has gained some traction in the humanities and is a pillar for areas like earth and natural sciences, geography and archaeology. - KeeneH KeeneH Oct 17, 2010
  • In campus locations, libraries and increasingly in the internet of things to aid navigation, location based services, where are collections or resources or people, how can I use this room, this equipment - DaveP DaveP Oct 18, 2010

(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

  • The analysis of geolocated data is a promising area related to visual data analysis. As more geolocated data becomes available as geotagged images, videos and other objects, the analysis of these locations can reveal useful patterns and trends. - KeeneH KeeneH Oct 17, 2010
  • As things outnumber people on the internet, will our interaction become too crowded - good metadata and tagging will be required to restrict noise - advertisers may dominate. Copyright/libel/privacy who owns the data, what can people say about your services, buildings, architecture, cars? - DaveP DaveP Oct 18, 2010

(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on teaching, learning, or creative expression?

  • Geospatial information can provide interesting and important metadata that can enhance digital storytelling in new ways. Literature in particular can mine geolocation in studied works. Place can become more important with geolocation information, yielding new twists to old stories and helping to create new ones. - KeeneH KeeneH Oct 17, 2010
  • Action learning, assignment and assessment in the landscape both digitial and physical, gaming, room occupation or use, theft and maintenance? Register, attendance, rights, access, ID and authentication can solve educational and administrative challenges in education - DaveP DaveP Oct 18, 2010

(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?

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