Honestly i do not know where to post this topic. I had a long plan to post such a topic in a discussion forum or in blog. However, i do not want to make this topic philosophical or political or jargon made of technical terms that intimidates anyone.
I hope everyone of us would had the chance to study the geography in our school or university courses - once again filled with ignorance of the wisdom of the field of study.
So, to make it short, geography is the one that provides a visual medium to understand what are all the resources available in the dwelling space. It is closely interrelated and underpinned with almost all of the subjects tempered with arts and science - you name it from economics to ecology, food to famine, space to time, cold to hot, water to waste, sea to land, deep ocean to outer space, communication to exploration to navigation, etc. etc.,
Such a transdisciplinary subject no doubt covers the hardware and software subjects too. No doubt human civilization have a long history related with cartography and geographical information management systems branching out to many innovative services that enriched our spatial thinking and decision making.
With the almost 3 decades of free software culture and the recent raise of wide free hardware culture, GIS(Geographical Information Systems) have become much more intertwined and interrelated with them than ever before. With systems in hand today anybody can easily jump into GIS learning, practicing and contributing. In that sense, the knowledge barrier was shaped recursively by the researchers, amateurs, students, engineers, artists, scientists to be easy to handle such information.
With OpenStreetMaps we can be proud to proclaim that we have lived in a time of history where we have been part such collaborative systems. Rise in formation of distributed - radio mesh community networks have expressed the necessity of accessibility, availability and affordability of collaborative and open information(maps) systems.
As far as i know, every democratic society guarantees the right to travel to any place the citizen wishes to within the political limit. Thus in the first place the citizen has the right to know where they want to go by looking up the place themselves. It is the part and parcel of the process to know the ground truth .
Technology & the Scientific/Philosophical principles never expressed its partiality in information. Its only the POLICY & POLITICS that deals over the policy that induces such back breaking compromises, limitations, control(remember : control != governance), in the name of REGULATION.
Defence of a country or society is not only dependent on the paratroops, special/elite forces in the borders of a country, but also in the citizen’s action to limit the powers and forces of establishments whenever it unleashes its atrocities in the name of policy/law/regulation. Remember one cannot be subjugated with unjust law. That is called violation of right.
So we are all aware about the recent issue of Geospation Information Bill 2016.
Apart from this i want to share a few more of the links where everyone of us can participate in showing democratic contribution to the wonderful world of mapping. Please do take if you find it interesting…Some may find it trivial and redundant. But i hope that will help the newcomers to get started.
- GIS wiki
- OSM Analytics
- Missing Maps
- Humanitarian OSM
- Mapbox Free for Disaster Mgmt.
Believe me with the convergence of Free Software, Free Hardware, Free Data, Distributed Networking & Systems, surely Free Mapping is an essential subsystem. There are endless possibilities of real good impact a community or civil society or a researcher or a student or a common can do with such combinations. If you want to know more… please feel free to ask me more…
Without it, we will feel the amputated limb.