"selectively geonetworking with my friends."<br>That is a cool thought. Nay, a fantastic thought!<br>Let's say someone finds a really cool spot in the middle of nowhere. He could pull out his OpenMoko-powered device, mark the location he is currently in (being located by GPS). When he gets home, it could be made available to his friends via some mystical but safe means. Planning becomes easy with the locations marked as efficiently as the dates.
<br>Produces a neat way to interact with people and makes a big leap connection between technology and the actual physical world, which is being pushed these days with projects like Surface. I guess I'm thinking along the lines of that GeoCaching idea (which has many fans).
<br><br>I think a central server is necessary only to read initial location data from, such as famous landmarks in one's region or really big wifi access points (since this is an open project that could be open for additions, of course). Would probably be wise to not download locations around the whole world if they are being downloaded instead of accessed directly on the web service... there could be the local database and the web database, with the web database accessed when possible.
<br>However, an additional service could provide that instant geonetworking idea. I suppose a central server specific to the task could do it, or email, or quiet transfer between idle devices when nearby, or all of those!
<br><br>An existing system like email strikes me as the most feasible for transfer over the Internet, with it being possible to use many email (or email-like) services for the same job. Perhaps that transferred data could be opened automatically following some mystical security checks by a local email program. Emails containing these locations and information could be dealt with automatically and transparently, appearing with a message explaining that some location (or schedule?) data has been sent, offering to add it to the local database.
<br>Easy to set up, too, with a trusted friends list just using email addresses and maybe some type of personal identifier for security.<br><br>-Dylan McCall<br><br><div><span class="gmail_quote">On 7/3/07, <b class="gmail_sendername">
Ryan Prior</b> <<a href="mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org">email@example.com</a>> wrote:</span><blockquote class="gmail_quote" style="border-left: 1px solid rgb(204, 204, 204); margin: 0pt 0pt 0pt 0.8ex; padding-left: 1ex;">
That's not as far as it goes, either -- if the software required to set up and maintain a geolocation database is free and open source, then anybody who does not trust the central provider can set up a dedicated machine with any desired level of security and privacy measures taken.
<br><br>There are some who would not think twice about letting their location be known to those that they list as friends -- users of Twitter and similar services come to mind immediately. At the same time - thanks to The Magic of Free Software - corporate users, journalists, and privacy-minded individuals can keep close tabs on what happens to their information.
<br><br>On that note, nothing stops servers running the same sort of geolocation databases from networking, either. If I host such a database on my own trusted machine in order to increase my privacy, I could still export choice data points (once per day, or upon special request, for instance) to a public database where anybody on my friends list can get at them. That way, I can carefully restrict the ability of any third party to amass information about me, while still selectively geonetworking with my friends.
<div><span class="e" id="q_1138fe182d444175_1"><br><br><div><span class="gmail_quote">On 7/4/07, <b class="gmail_sendername">Nick Johnson</b> <<a href="mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org" target="_blank" onclick="return top.js.OpenExtLink(window,event,this)">
email@example.com</a>> wrote:</span><blockquote class="gmail_quote" style="border-left: 1px solid rgb(204, 204, 204); margin: 0pt 0pt 0pt 0.8ex; padding-left: 1ex;">
On 7/4/07, Ryan Prior <<a href="mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org" target="_blank" onclick="return top.js.OpenExtLink(window,event,this)">email@example.com</a>> wrote:<br>> You seem to imply that there is a technical infeasibility that cannot be
<br>> overcome. If the public point database were segregated by a UNIX-style
<br>> permissions system and connected to via SSH, wouldn't it be just about as<br>> safe as any public file server or database? Files that are "shared" can be<br>> accessed, files that are private stay private. A server-side daemon could
<br>> negotiate friends lists, proximity, and other details without ever exposing<br>> private position data publicly.<br>><br>> Am I missing something on the privacy front? Perhaps I just didn't grok your
<br>> example.<br><br>SSL would be better suited - perhaps that's what you meant.<br><br>The main issue, I think, is that it requires users to trust this<br>third-party database with some very personal information - possibly up
<br>to and including an ongoing log of their location. Even if the site<br>itself is trustworthy, if it were compromised it could easily be<br>exposed.<br><br>The obvious solution, of course, is to simply restrict your userbase
<br>to those that are happy with the tradeoff.<br><br>-Nick Johnson<br></blockquote></div><br>