Mapz has posted a great list of free geospatial tools that he uses. Where his list really stands out is the great description of each package/service. You should definitely head over and check it out.
The Bio Mapping project is an example of creative research that seeks to combine information gather about our bodies’ measurable responses to the world around us, and how those responses vary across space and time.
According to the project’s website: “The Bio Mapping tool allows the wearer to record their Galvanic Skin Response (GSR), which is a simple indicator of emotional arousal in conjunction with their geographical location. This can be used to plot a map that highlights point of high and low arousal. By sharing this data we can construct maps that visualise where we as a community feel stressed and excited.”
The test example on the site shows an individual’s path around London displayed in Google Earth as a 3D path, with the peaks representing high stress areas. Although it seemed a little out there at first, something like the Bio Mapping project could have real applications in areas like the studies of communities’ perceptions of fear or comfort and could help with things like crime prevention or community improvement.