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Real-Time Collaborative Mapmaking

timothy posted more than 10 years ago | from the every-city-could-use-this dept.

Technology 179

savetz writes "Throughout October and November, citizens of Amsterdam were invited to wear a GPS tracker as they went about their lives. Their whereabouts were forwarded to a server which created a map of the city in real-time, based on "the sheer movements of real people." The site includes aggregate maps, and those created by individuals, including a subway driver, cyclist, and marathon trainer."

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2nd post! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#4796067)

I AM the man from Nantucket!!!

IN SOVIET RUSSA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#4796322)

Nantucket is the man from you.

thumbs up to big brother (1, Offtopic)

inteller (599544) | more than 10 years ago | (#4796071)

you've come a long way baby. next stop....AMERICA!

Re:thumbs up to big brother (1)

KingJoshi (615691) | more than 10 years ago | (#4796199)

thumbs up to paranoia, you've come a long way.

next stop....every...

Oh no. it's already everywhere. Everyone's already infected. what do I do?

fp? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#4796078)

can it be? I can't help it..

Subway driver? (4, Funny)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 10 years ago | (#4796085)

They gave a GPS to a subway driver? What next? GPS maps of deep mineshafts? : )

Re:Subway driver? (2, Informative)

inteller (599544) | more than 10 years ago | (#4796114)

actually GPS in it's purest form could never map the subway, just places where it went above ground. TO map underground they'd need some sort of OnStar type system that relied on more than just a GPS signal.

Re:Subway driver? (2, Informative)

CrazyJoel (146417) | more than 10 years ago | (#4796153)

The a lot of the "subway" in Amsterdam is above ground.

Re:Subway driver? (1)

kraksmoka (561333) | more than 10 years ago | (#4796490)

i thought all of the city transport was above ground, big trolleys with bus drivers that weren't picky if u reused your ticket. heck, even most of the trains were above ground there.

it really adds all of the charm to almost being run over by something every second on the street :) ring ring! ring ring!

Re:Subway driver? (2, Funny)

bootprom (585277) | more than 10 years ago | (#4796419)

How about strapping mini-GPSes to ally cats, or maybe even cockroaches? Better yet, politicians. Could get interesting.....

Anyhow, as far as I recall, and my memory of Amsterdam is a little hazy (forget why, though), there *are* no subways. The public transport is electric streetcars [hotels-of-amsterdam.org] that kind of look like subways trains, but are much shorter and do not go under the ground. Warning: these things are actually very dangerous as they basically run on the sidewalks, have a tendency to sneak up on you, and need considerable room to stop. Be careful.

Dan

Re:Subway driver? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#4796486)

Was just there, and can understand why your memory might be a little hazy, but they have a subway (metro) system apart from the trams.
Amsterdam Metro [metropla.net]

Well (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#4796097)

For one thing, the moon has 1/3 less gravity than your Earth. I don't know if you can understand that, but our vertical leap is beyond all measurement.

Re:Well (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#4796116)

and we smoke when we steal!

Re:Well (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#4796120)

Is this a conversation between a black guy and a white guy?

Re:Well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#4796229)

And we have 5... 000.. yes, 5000 dimensions. Don't question it.

Re:Well (1, Offtopic)

Tattva (53901) | more than 10 years ago | (#4796375)

Thank you, offtopic Aqua Teen Hunger Force-quoting anonymous guy.

Yay... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#4796104)

3 cheers for my country for thinking of such a cool project

reminds me of the half a car joke (5, Funny)

Brigadier (12956) | more than 10 years ago | (#4796105)



this reminds me of a story of two guys who at intersections would carry the back wheels of the car over wheel sensors. thus the traffic department would have to account for 64.5 cars passing through the intersections.

Re:reminds me of the half a car joke (3, Funny)

greechneb (574646) | more than 10 years ago | (#4796179)

Were these the guys with the 2.3 kids?

Re:reminds me of the half a car joke (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#4796204)

Great, except traffic counters dont count in .5 cars. If one axle somehow did not trip the air tube, it would show up as one full car short (depending on tube and machine setup).

Re:reminds me of the half a car joke (3, Funny)

PunchMonkey (261983) | more than 10 years ago | (#4796254)

this reminds me of a story of two guys who at intersections would carry the back wheels of the car over wheel sensors. thus the traffic department would have to account for 64.5 cars passing through the intersections.

I think I'd just drive with two wheels on the sidewalk... but then again I read /. and have no muscles.

Re:reminds me of the half a car joke (0)

nickclarke (606395) | more than 10 years ago | (#4796307)

then you'd register as a motorbike - do a wheely over one on a bike and see what they make of a one-wheeled vehicle!

Reminds me of Cryptonomicon (5, Interesting)

devphil (51341) | more than 10 years ago | (#4796258)


There's a great scene in Cryptonomicon where he writes about attaching lights to people's heads, then tracking the lights from a side view as they walk on and off street curbs. Graphing over time would produce a square wave, with sidewalks showing up as high lines, and streets as low lines.

The point is that Waterhouse is one of the kinds of people who could stare at boatloads of those graphs, and then emerge with an extremely detailed street map of London.

Re:reminds me of the half a car joke (3, Funny)

isomeme (177414) | more than 10 years ago | (#4796324)

Or 64 cars and one Segway.

Re:reminds me of the half a car joke (1)

ianjk (604032) | more than 10 years ago | (#4796363)

What about vehicles with 3, 5, or 7 axles???

Re:reminds me of the half a car joke (3, Interesting)

nairnr (314138) | more than 10 years ago | (#4796403)

This would be the case if only cars went passed an particular intersection. In real life, you would have both the sensor, and then a study where people actually do a car count to determine a reasonable ratio for car / truck traffic. Think about it. The sensor is only measuring axle passages. Cars may have two, but trucks can have anywhere from 3 axles up.

If you ever wonder why there are a number of cars sitting on the grass around intersections or interchanges that is what they are doing.

It would be a lot more fun to sit at the sensor and go back and forward...

Re:reminds me of the half a car joke (1)

phreakmonkey (548714) | more than 10 years ago | (#4796533)

It would be a lot more fun to sit at the sensor and go back and forward...

Oh c'mon, that's what pogo sticks are for! When I was 14 I bounced on one of those pneumatic car-sensor tubes at a dry-cleaner in my neighborhood with a pogo stick... I think the entire staff came out looking for me, and they were carrying big sticks. :-)

Ah, the good 'ol days....

Re:reminds me of the half a car joke (1)

CyberKnet (184349) | more than 10 years ago | (#4796558)

Aaaaah, so the "$4,300 O.B.O" sign in their window is only there to confuse the "Big Brother" naysayers!!!

I'd been wondering.

Cause $4,300 (or best offer) for some of those cars is outrageously high!

Re:reminds me of the half a car joke (1)

The Bean (23214) | more than 10 years ago | (#4796544)

Surely it would be easier to hop on the nearest sport bike and do a wheelie over the sensor?

Of course, any dual axle truck would screw it up as well. Or a heavy unicycle.

I may also just be over analyzing the joke in which case I apologize.

If they gave it to me. (1)

Skynet (37427) | more than 10 years ago | (#4796110)

I'd spell out "PWND" by walking in the correct pattern!

sweet! (1)

mschoolbus (627182) | more than 10 years ago | (#4796117)

This is a great idea! If only my country could embed a chip inside of me and everyone in the U.S., then we can bring spam to a whole new level!!!

Are you sure you don't already have it? (2, Funny)

Subcarrier (262294) | more than 10 years ago | (#4796267)

This is a great idea! If only my country could embed a chip inside of me and everyone in the U.S., then we can bring spam to a whole new level!!!

Let me get this straight. You want a subcutaneous chip that will turn yours and everybody else's brains into spiced pork and ham?

Minority Report (2)

peter303 (12292) | more than 10 years ago | (#4796466)

Every public wall and floor is a continuous video advertisement in Spielberg's 2002 movie "Minority Report". It is keyed into the biometrics of the passerby. No special chip needed.

Could this finally do spam in? (3, Insightful)

steveadept (545416) | more than 10 years ago | (#4796122)

Okay, it may seem a funny jumping-off point, but stick with me for a second. Digital society hates spam, but not nearly enough for anything to actually be done about it. I think that's because it's basically limited to doing damage to your Inbox.

Yet when everybody's walking around with wristwatches connected to GPS and the 'net, and Joe's Pizza and Meg's Jewelry and Walmart and Target all want to spam your watch with their current specials as you walk within a hundred feet of their stores, people would (I hope) find that far too invasive and seek iron-clad control over the data they receive.

Unfortunately, I don't think this is the likely scenario. Probably most device manufacturers will provide a preference which permits you to turn off "unsolicited advertising" delivered via a certain protocol, but other delivery methods (http, pop3, etc.) will remain just as viable. Too bad.

Steve

SMS spam is illegal in many countries (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#4796404)

Thus GPS isn't a big problem in a country which doesn't tolerate spam.

Total information archive (3, Redundant)

BWJones (18351) | more than 10 years ago | (#4796126)

Boy, what do you think the odds are of a U.S. sponsored project like this that will dump all of the data into our new government database?

It gives new meaning to "Where Do You Want To Go Today", and sounds like a marketing/GOP wet dream.

Re:Total information archive (1)

SolarInfinity (630291) | more than 10 years ago | (#4796176)

It'd be more of "Where You Went Today", since the government would have it all recorded.

Re:Total information archive (2)

BWJones (18351) | more than 10 years ago | (#4796191)

As a follow up to my previous post, I suppose there could be some good reasons for wanting this sort of data such as disaster planning, urban planning, resource management, service availability etc... However, this sort of data would be just what companies would want to target ads and its availability should be severely limited for obvious reasons of privacy. What worries me though is that cities and other organizations with this sort of data would realize they are sitting on a goldmine that could be sold off to the highest corporate bidder.

Re:Total information archive (2)

Alien Being (18488) | more than 10 years ago | (#4796236)

It gives new meaning to "Where Do You Want To Go Today"

Apple switch story: And my PDA was all like 'Beep, Where the hell do you think *you're* going?'

Re:Total information archive (2)

tswinzig (210999) | more than 10 years ago | (#4796355)

I know! Just think of what PURE EVIL the goverment could do with a database filled with coordinates of where people travel the most. The horror! ::shudder::

ummm oh nevermind.

Re:Total information archive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#4796395)

Aw, put your foil beanie back on and go back to work/play...

Re:Total information archive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#4796467)

How does a totally paranoid, immature troll like that get modded up, anyway? Oh yeah, I forgot you guys don't bother to think for yourselves...

what about... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#4796127)

This fellow [goatse.cx] ? I'm sure it would be very interesting to see where life leads him.

Re:what about... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#4796190)

This fellow [goatse.cx]? I'm sure it would be very interesting to see where life leads him.

oh, come on. you didn't even take the time to make a referrer link so that people wouldn't immediately realize it's a goatse link. how do you expect to troll properly if people KNOW you are trolling?!

WARNING! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#4796300)

The parent post links to a picture of a naked man presenting his posterior to the camera and pulling his cheeks apart, revealing a angry red, alarmingly distended anus.

Think of the children!

I don't understand.... (1)

KristsInferno (630282) | more than 10 years ago | (#4796134)

What is it about this that excites people? I am in no way one of those freaky-conspiracy-paranoid people, but this freaks me out.
"This map does not register streets or blocks of houses"
Sure, it doesn't register streets, but the data is there. Which smoke house did YOU spend the afternoon in?

GPSr fun (5, Interesting)

faeryman (191366) | more than 10 years ago | (#4796135)

I was sitting around yesterday thinking about what else can be done with GPS besides geocaching, etc. This is pretty cool.

If you like this, you might like GPS drawing [gpsdrawing.com] too.

Drunk (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#4796136)

Give it to me after a night of drinking. I'll make you one hell of a map!

Re:Drunk (1)

mark_lybarger (199098) | more than 10 years ago | (#4796282)

it would probably make a more interesting map if given out before the night of drinking. i'm not sure i would want to see my own map though, nor hear the stories that go with each twist/turn.

Excellent! (5, Interesting)

Marxist Commentary (461279) | more than 10 years ago | (#4796150)

I've been using a Garmin GPS II+ that I originally bought for mapping backcountry nonmotorized trails, using a mountain bike. It was great for that, including its ability to upload its waypoints and track log to my PC, where I could integrate the data into mapmaking (GIS) software.

On the water, I found its articulated antenna and lack of waterproofing a liability. I used it in a housing (heavy-duty ziploc type), but found
it awkward. I just got a new Garmin eTrex, a 12-channel waterproof (1m for 30 min) unit that has the features I want. No internal maps, but I've never seen a handheld GPS that can compete with
the big-screen units in that department-- they're as good as an actual NOS chart.

If it were possible to do so, I would love to donate my map data to such a project - perhaps an open source map project? It could make for some exciting orienteering!

Re:Excellent! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#4796231)

I agree ... this could give a very very interesting view on how people have actually populated the earth. Do any of you have any idea how much of the planet is covered with us ?

Re:Excellent! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#4796274)

shut up.

Re:Excellent! (3, Interesting)

flippet (582344) | more than 10 years ago | (#4796325)

That would certainly be useful for those times when you're hopelessly lost, find yourself and spend ages wondering exactly where you went.

I spent two hours last month hacking round in a forest after going off the track while cycling; I'd _love_ to know where I went, and how close to various paths I must have gone...

Phil, just me

WANK WANK WANK WANK WANK WANK WANK, PULL UP PANTS. (-1)

Subject Line Troll (581198) | more than 10 years ago | (#4796389)

Re:Excellent! (2)

WPIDalamar (122110) | more than 10 years ago | (#4796397)

but if you had the GPS... would you have been lost for that long?

Re:Excellent! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#4796536)

Open source mapping projects? Rrruh roh!

So all big brother needs to say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#4796160)

...is "it's to make maps! I swear!"

The Site Itself (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#4796170)

Has anyone actually gotten onto the site?

hey... (4, Funny)

Niles_Stonne (105949) | more than 10 years ago | (#4796174)

Hey, what's that one that keeps wandering around that street corner...

real time vice-tracking (5, Funny)

sssmashy (612587) | more than 10 years ago | (#4796178)

Finally, a way to track the "real people" movements of residents of Amsterdam. Now I can find the marijuana cafes and red-light clubs frequented by Dutchmen who know what they're doing, as opposed to settling for the crappy spots they push on tourists.

Re:real time vice-tracking (2)

Cy Guy (56083) | more than 10 years ago | (#4796343)

Unfortunately it seems the red zones that appear on the map [waag.org] aren't color coded to represent that. Also aparently absent from the color scheme are green spots to identify the hash bars.

If they could get a representative sample of the population, this would be a great technology for city planners. What I would like to see are maps that instead of giving a week at a time - give cumulative maps for each half hour during weekday mornings and afternoons to identify which traffic routes to take or avoid.

Given enough devices with a real-time hookup and it would be invaluable in directing traffic around problem spots. The same could be done in the NorthEastern US by putting ez-Pass readers into all highway onramps and offramps that didn't charge a toll but tracked traffic flow. Of course this could also have serious privacy implications as well.

"How big is your world" (5, Insightful)

Tony.Tang (164961) | more than 10 years ago | (#4796193)

The images are absolutely fantastic, and go to demonstrate just how small our lives are. Cumulatively, all their users contribute to a very revealing map of Amsterdam; however, individually, most stay in a very small subset of the area. It's easy to see how those east-side/west-side stereotypes can develop given that most people really only live on one side and never really go to "the other side."

The visualization technique that they use is really cool too -- it lets you see more vividly the areas that get traversed (cumulatively) more heavily.

Re:"How big is your world" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#4796423)

I spend most of my time within 1 mile of my house.

Sometimes I'll go nuts and go up to 5 miles away.

Sad to look at it that way.

That's great... (1)

norweigiantroll (582720) | more than 10 years ago | (#4796203)

This is what I want todo myself with my etrex, mapping motorcycle trails (as tracks), and having a website to share them ... Never thought of putting them on random people and telling them just to go wherever ;)

uh, hello? (2, Funny)

tps12 (105590) | more than 10 years ago | (#4796222)

Government tracking with satellites == bad, remember?

I swear, when they finally start installing video cameras in everyone's houses, all they'll have to do is say they're BlueTooth enabled or XML-RPC enhanced and the geeks will eat it up.

Re:uh, hello? (3, Insightful)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#4796293)

Government tracking == bad, private group tracking data for limited purposes == good.

Tracking me to give me a speeding ticket every time my car's speed > 66 mph == bad... tracking me so that the world can know trafic's moving at 75 mph on route 3 good.

Re:uh, hello? (2, Informative)

faeryman (191366) | more than 10 years ago | (#4796305)

I know this is halfjoking, but ...GPS units like the ones used in this example do not transmit your position, only triangulate it and store it locally. Someone has to download all the routes off of it to track you.

Some systems (like the vehicle locator systems) use a satellite uplink though to transmit the position given off by the GPS though. This is totally different than Big Brother stalking you just because you bought an eTrex :) But it is possible for it to happen given the proper combos of technology.

I tried this... (1)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 10 years ago | (#4796342)

when I first got my GPS, I tried this for a week. I got bored when all it showed was route from the coffee pot to my cube to the bathroom and back.

Re:uh, hello? (4, Funny)

nebenfun (530284) | more than 10 years ago | (#4796353)

Government Agent: How would you like a free child safety camera?

Average Geek: Screw you! You agent of MS...

Government Agent: What if I said that it ran linux?

Average Geek: Screw you...hmmm, did you say linux?

Government Agent: Yes, I did.

Average Geek: Does it support...

Government Agent: Ogg Vorbis? Yes, of course.

Average Geek: I'll take five.

Government Agent: Going to run a Beowulf, eh? Hehe...you crazy geeks.

Re:uh, hello? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#4796381)

Its all just a useless waste of recourses, the dutch (military) intelligence does this for years now.
Not with GPS but with that GSM celluar that 2/3 of the people in the netherlands have. With a 98% coverage of the whole country there not restricted to Amsterdam. So where is your privacy here ?
Just be glad that there is too much data acquired to make an efficient big brother system.
Those agents are actually like real people, if they don't know you, they don't care either.

How can I do this? (2)

viper21 (16860) | more than 10 years ago | (#4796225)

Seriously. I've got a GPS, and a link cable for my PC. I want to make a map of my life travels :-)

-S

Re:How can I do this? (3, Informative)

faeryman (191366) | more than 10 years ago | (#4796268)

It's not too hard! I'm interested in this sort of thing too.

You'll need some software to gather your paths from the GPS, and some digital maps to overlay them on.

Some of the popular software is EasyGPS for the PC, and GPSy [gpsy.com] and MacGPS [macgpspro.com] Pro for the Mac. You can download a free version of each.

The maps are a little harder to come by though. Here is a list to get you started. [gpsy.com] Some are free, some cost up to about $100 depending on size, scale, and detail. You can scan in your paper maps and calibrate them in some software too.

I think this is really cool - I'd like to have a map of North America and see where all I've been :)

Re:How can I do this? (1)

Woogiemonger (628172) | more than 10 years ago | (#4796390)

I want to make a map of my life travels :-)

Possible uses for tracking your life adventures:

  • CIA knows where to point the orbiting laser if you need to be assassinated.
  • You have a built in alibi if you ever get accused of being somewhere you're not. (would require secure storage, including from you)
  • Stalker is able to view where you are and decides to drop in.
  • You might be well off, so muggers can see your routine, and wait till you're in the bad part of town.
  • You have built-in lo-jack in case you're kidnapped.
  • You can look at your "location log" to see where you made that wrong turn.
  • You can see pretty curves and loops from the night you attempted to walk home drunk.
  • Letting your children or future historians have a better idea of what your life was like.

Re:How can I do this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#4796420)

>>Letting your children or future historians have a better idea of what your life was like.

Drive to work. Walk to lunch. Drive home. Play computer games * 5 weekdays.

Drive to surplus computer place. Aimlessly wander about till something cool grabs my attention. Drive home. Play computer games. Go to friend's house. Pick up some brew on the way. Play computer games. * 2 weekend days.

Pretty sucky history project. Oh yeah ... also makes it hard to interface with a chick to produce any children.

poorly formatted post: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#4796421)

Please re-format your post in one of the acceptable standard /. formats. Suggested formats are:
  1. Top ten list
  2. Mastercard joke
  3. ???
  4. Profit!
Thank you,
The slashdot standard practices editors

Red Light (2, Insightful)

kiley (95428) | more than 10 years ago | (#4796240)

It is great to see that every one of those people spent some time in the Red Light District. :)

Distributed mapping is cool (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 10 years ago | (#4796248)

Now they need a distributed cluster of web servers to fight the /. effect. Can anyone mirror some of the better images from the site (if you can get them) so others of us can see them?

In a certain zone of Amsterdam... (1)

Wolfier (94144) | more than 10 years ago | (#4796252)

The GPS server will only record a whole bunch of coordinates oscillating up and down, up and down...

Who do you trust? (4, Insightful)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#4796265)

One use I can think of this would be a data source for traffic reports. If the sensor is moving quickly, it's safe to assume that whereever that sensor is, there's a highway operating perfectly fine. If a sensor comes to a stop or goes slower than normal speed on a highway (excluding tollbooths and rest stations, zones that I'm sure will be quickly identified) that indicates that something has gone wrong such as an accident or blockage. Whatever it is doesn't matter, so much as the fact cars aren't going at the proper speed. What would result from this data is a hot-cold map of the highways that indicates pixel by pixel where the road is at full speed, and where it's not. The only thing is, I'd much rather that sensor in my car be reporting to a private traffic-reporting company than the government....

Re:Who do you trust? (1)

boster (124383) | more than 10 years ago | (#4796399)

I forget the name, but there's at least one startup in the Bay Area proposing to do exactly this, but with cell phones. I think they are proposing to use the new GPS functionality required for emergency (911) calls.

Re:Who do you trust? (3, Informative)

nairnr (314138) | more than 10 years ago | (#4796501)

If you want to see something of interest that does this check out Houston Live Traffic [tamu.edu] They use toll-booth transponders with sensors every 1-5 miles. This then gives them a live map of average traffic flow. They also have web cams at various spots.
Overall this is an excellent demonstration of this kind of technology.

Why not me? (4, Funny)

r_j_prahad (309298) | more than 10 years ago | (#4796266)

They should have asked me to participate, they could be having a most excellent map of the red light district by now!

Oh, it wasn't funded? Never mind.

Ok I'm gonna strap a GPS on my... (3, Funny)

nlinecomputers (602059) | more than 10 years ago | (#4796272)

...cat. Just where the hell DOES he go when he vanishes for 3 days? Now If I can just tap into those orbiting "Star Wars" laser guns I could teach him to stay at home.

Bad KITTY!!! ***death ray come down from the sky***ZAP! Fried cat found 2 miles away.

Well maybe not...

It's playing "Cat Chess"... (3, Funny)

FyRE666 (263011) | more than 10 years ago | (#4796426)

It's a little known fact that the average moggy enjoys the intellectual pursuit of Cat Chess almost as much as sporadic violent confrontations with other random cats.

The rules (based upon observation) are pretty straight forward, and are as follow:

A point is scored by a cat that can simultaneously observe at least 2 other cats.

Any cat observed by 2 other cats simultaneously is out of the game.

That's it - so strategy plays a big part - on the one hand, a high vantage point lends itself to high scoring rounds, but has the increased danger of being spotted by other cats. These games can go on for days though, often ending only in a mass fight or when the competitors fancy some milk and maybe the chance to bat a small bird around for fun.

Where were you? (1)

Free Heel Skier (466717) | more than 10 years ago | (#4796276)

So, this way everyone would know that I skipped work on Friday, and spent it at the stip bar!

Mr. Johnson... (0, Redundant)

craenor (623901) | more than 10 years ago | (#4796298)

We have a clear indication of you Jaywalking on the 23rd of September and again on the 2nd and 15th of October.

I'm afraid you'll have to come with us...

This is freeking cool (1)

Gabrill (556503) | more than 10 years ago | (#4796318)

I wish I my city would use info like this for street planning. It would beat the heck out of those rubber lines counting axles by intersections.

If you followed people around long enough... (5, Funny)

unfortunateson (527551) | more than 10 years ago | (#4796328)

... you'd get a most excellent map of where the public restrooms are. Always useful when traveling to a foreign city.

APRS (1)

cryptec (630849) | more than 10 years ago | (#4796366)

This sort of thing has been achieved by ham radio operators for 10+ years now. In the ham radio community it is called APRS (Automatic Position Relay system). For more info check out http://web.usna.navy.mil/~bruninga/aprs.html

Better Maps? (1)

ThingOne (578618) | more than 10 years ago | (#4796373)

Over time this would develop better maps of surface streets and access. Some of the current maps of this scale would get you lost with non existent and mislocated streets. This could be used as a quality control for city maps. I would participate if given an opportunity

Interesting Concept, However..... (1)

LittleDustPuppy (588678) | more than 10 years ago | (#4796386)

I have to admit, as interesting as a concept as this is, just how much detail does the tracker obtain? Is it only the geographic position? (yes I realize that that is what it is named after...) How will this play in regards to the "Big Brother" theory? Though it would be a great idea for use in the parole system, how long will it take for it to go beyond acceptable boundaries? Numerous people wish they could be the stars the see on TV, at the rate this technology could go, we could very well find our lives being that much closer to those some admire. Exposed, and never again to be completely and privately our own.

Curiously... (2)

Shamanin (561998) | more than 10 years ago | (#4796417)

the amount of traffic in one section of town was mapped to a highway calculated to be 50 lanes wide, but upon further investigation turned out to be where the greatest number of brothels reside.

having been to amsterdam (1)

kraksmoka (561333) | more than 10 years ago | (#4796458)

i definately suggest a visit.

but seriously folks. that city is old, circular and downright confusing to find your way around. and that's when you're sober, after a couple of good coffee shop visits, forget it. everything looks the same (the locals should attest to this), and the city is a big horse shoe. so if you take one wrong turn you wind up who knows where!

hell. one night i spent 2 hours freezin my butt off, during the summer, at 3 am until i could find a decent sign.

i for one am glad to see gps put to a fun use.

Even better (1)

gr8_phk (621180) | more than 10 years ago | (#4796464)

I considered doing that a few years ago. Actually, I wanted to use inertial sensors to track relative position with good acuracy and then use GPS to nail down some absolute positions. Someone sitting with a laptop could click on icons indicating road type in real time too. I just wanted to make a videogame with I-696 in Detroit, so I could go over the standard 80-90 MPH.

Paul

I've been thinking about something similar (3, Interesting)

Randy Rathbun (18851) | more than 10 years ago | (#4796524)

One thing I have noticed about a lot of open source stuff is that they all use those horrific Tiger maps. Tiger maps suck. Big time. They are good for just looking at street names, but when you want to use them for anything more than that they are not good at all. For example, the street I live on shows up on the tiger maps as being about 50 feet south of where it really is, and the intersection closest to my house is more than 150 feet off.

But, because tiger maps are free, that is what is used. However, if you want to build your own talking GPS navigation system, using those maps is a bad thing - the routes would be all goofed up.

So, I have been considering doing something like these guys so there could be some way to get decent maps out there for free that will give better results.

However, I see a number of potential problems. First, you can't just turn on a GPS and start recording data. My Magellan 315 starts averaging when you sit still. Get under an obstruction and the data it records is all over the place. After only an hour of sitting you would have somewhere around 100 data points that don't exist. That would be a lot of work for someone to clean up.

The other problem I see is really related to participation. It's one thing if you are in a small town with 50 or so streets in it - you would probably be more apt to get your town fully mapped. However, living in the Big City, I only really travel a few streets during a typical month - mainly highways and interstates, with the occassional side street. Since the ways I travel always have a ton of traffic on them, that means most everyone else goes that way too - probably including a good number of people who might be participating in such a project as well.

Collaboritive Mapmaking? in AMSTERDAM? (1)

mary_will_grow (466638) | more than 10 years ago | (#4796534)

A surprising result: 90% of the people seem to either stay in one place, make a trip to the convenience store, or take a bi-weekly trip to this one hippie looking guy's front porch. The map basically looks like this:

\
/
\
-=-=-=-=-=* :)

Remote controlled eyes (4, Interesting)

jki (624756) | more than 10 years ago | (#4796570)

...this story reminds me of one the dark-hour ideas. Would not be sometimes handy if you could "rent the eyes" of people around the world, for say 5 minutes. Just like in the GPS'ing Amsterdarm scenario, there would be people in multiple cities with world - carrying GPS and a digital (video) camera.

Then, when you spot someone in a interesting place, you could get control of his camera for some time. Maybe there could be the option donate the guy $5 and ask him to move 100 feet left.... now that's a real big brother scenario :) Anyway, it could be fun too, to be "in the place" when something interesting happens...talking about Amsterdam...(red) lights, camera, action :)

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