Geographic Information Science Standards for Wildlife Trafficking

The video briefly covers the problem of wildlife trafficking, identifies key opportunities and challenges associated with such standards, links both to ethical dimensions. With additional revision, adoption, deployment and use of GIS standards to help CWT, risks to people and the environment may be reduced.

Earth Challenge 2020: EthicalGEO through Citizen Science

April 22, 2020 marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. In recognition of this milestone the Wilson Center, Earth Day Network, and U.S. Department of State are launching Earth Challenge 2020 as the world’s largest coordinated citizen science campaign to date.

The first goal of Earth Challenge 2020 is to increase the amount of open and interoperable citizen science data to help answer more complex, global questions than any dataset could address alone. Through a public call to action, volunteers will use the Earth Challenge 2020 mobile application and low-cost sensors to collect new geospatial data. We will also create a data catalogue and API-enabled data integration platform to facilitate the discovery and access of citizen science information from the app and other data sources.

Our second goal is to equip and empower people around the world to understand and act on geospatial data to build safer, healthier communities. The Earth Challenge 2020 platform will offer open data access, educational resources, and a “What You Can Do” toolkit to share information on individual behavior changes and policy-based interventions. Users will also be able to share geospatial data through visualizations and on social media.

Through geospatial technology, Earth Challenge 2020 will empower global citizens to understand and help solve the problems that matter to them. In a sense, it is an attempt at using GIS for good through the democratization of scientific research. The project also raises a number of important ethical considerations. How can volunteers participate not just as sensors, but through deeper engagement in defining problems, creating technologies, mobilizing communities, and analyzing data? How can we ensure that informed consent is implemented in a way that helps people understand how geospatial data will be collected, shared, and used, and the potential implications of different data sharing arrangements, including privacy concerns? Can the project be leveraged as an entry point to discussing bigger picture questions on, for example, geospatial data literacy and blending open source and proprietary GIS solutions?

In a World of Data, Who am I?

During my fellowship, I propose an empirical study that considers to what degree we consider our location-connected data as part of our self identity. The answer to this first question will inform the second, which is establishing when use of the data crosses the line from acceptable to unacceptable. My training in philosophy as well as quantitative and qualitative research methodologies, offers the possibility of asking some very big questions but generating detailed answers. The results will help map the terrain for many ethical questions emerging from geospatial technologies.

What is a cluster? Mixed definitions and ethical challenges.

Imagine a disease cluster. Does the cluster have a certain shape? Does the cluster have a certain size? Where is this disease cluster? What disease did you choose? The subjectivity of what defines a cluster is an area of surprising ambiguity. Nevertheless, cluster methodologies are routinely used by academics, corporations, and the government as a decision-making tool. In this video, we explore the ambiguity of what defines a cluster and how that ambiguity presents potential ethical dilemmas.

Land Rights for Informal Settlements, Dar es Salaam

This video showcases our big idea of how to use low cost, high precision dual-frequency GPS to do real-time kinematics surveying in Dar es Salaam Tanzania.

When the city of Dar es Salaam is expanding towards 10 million people before 2030, and 70% of the city's residents live in informal settlements, there is a great need for securing land tenure.

We're seeking to spark a conversation about this through the Ethical GEO Initiative – a challenge from the American Geographical Society. We believe it can have a much broader impact, considering that throughout the developing world almost a billion people live without legal titles to their land.

We are proposing to do a pilot project to test the capabilities – for more information check out the proposal on GitHub:

Or for more information about me, check out my biography with Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT):

Unequal Scenes & africanDRONE

Unequal Scenes uses a drone to highlight inequality and provoke conversations around the world. Through africanDRONE and partnerships with organizations such as Atlantic, Code for Africa, and the BMW Foundation, Johnny Miller is creating visual interventions to help understand how to create a healthier, fairer, more productive world.