Mscape – HP Labs tries some LBS

This project probably has already had some coverage, but I just found out about it, and thought it was worth mentioning. Basically, the mscape project is an initiative from HP Labs to explore location-based services from a social media angle, by creating a set of tools that allow users to create, access, and explore mediascapes, which they define as “mobile, location–based experiences that incorporate digital media with the sights, sounds, and textures of the world around you. A mediascape blends digital images, video, audio and interactions with the physical landscape.” In order to participate in the project, you need a GPS-enabled Windows Mobile device, and you need to download the player software. There is also a toolkit for creating mediascapes which can be downloaded from the project’s software page

The mscape project already has some examples of mediascapes that have been created by HP Labs people and early users, and some of the mediascapes include walks through Bristol in the UK, and in Shanghai. There are also more game-oriented mediascapes and, of course, you can make your own. There are of course numerous applications for a project like mscape, and I think I am going to try it out myself.

US wants to censor satellite imagery

The good folks over at Ars Technica are reporting an AP article that says the US Intelligence community wants to have the license to censor satellite imagery. The idea is for the government to be able to control what the public can and cannot see in times of war or emergency via satellite. That way, people can’t take advantage of the situation by using the imagery. Although I can see the NGIA’s concern, I have to say I’m highly skeptical of the ability for the government to even begin to do this. Buying up all the data like they did before Afghanistan is impractical and the US isn’t the only game in the space town anymore. How can you stop data from around the world making it onto the Internet for all to see? Also, it’s always important to remember that that which can harm often can do good as well. Certainly however one feels on the issue, it will be an interesting development to follow.