Monday, July 14, 2003

Semantic algorithms and then some

Last week, Anselm Hook was kind enough to share a draft paper on the headmap open geosemantic search engine he's been working on. Finding Patterns in Space "presents a simple embeddable semantic search engine with source code and discusses its applications for helping filtering knowledge on the semantic web." Very interesting. Thanks Anselm!

Possibly the most interesting application is simply to act as a personal filter for geotagged content. As discussed in the introduction likely one can expect in the near future to be bombarded with geotagged notes. Disambiguating between signal and noise here may be crucial to the growth of geotagging.

I'm especially interested in the noise that will come with digitally annotated city spaces, but remain ambivalent about the possibility of semantic algorithms to improve our interactions with pervasive computing.

Something about Engelbart's augmentation of human intellect bothers me. It relies too much on notions of cybernetic control and rules-based systems. Sociality just doesn't work that way, and I worry about what we will lose in the process of gaining new connections. But this requires much more thought than I am able to give at the moment.

Things around here will be pretty quiet over the next two weeks as contract work takes over and I get a beta site ready for user testing. If I owe you an email response, please know that I haven't forgotten and it is coming.

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