Bridging the Digital Divide: Mobile and Social Media

free software,GlobalVoices,ICT4D,technology — Danica @ 6:28 pm, April 23, 2014

In case you missed my article Going Mobile published by Index on Censorship, here is an update article published at Rising Voices.

Technology experts and activists have for years attempted to bridge the gap between those with access to technology and those without, using innovative products and initiatives, like the $100 laptop developed by the organisation One Laptop per Child.

But it takes more than a computer to bridge the gap. The mobile phone has emerged as a powerful tool for social engagement; mobile technology and social media applications are playing a vital role in giving excluded groups a voice. Around 70 per cent of mobile phone users are in developing countries, mostly in the global South, according to the UN agency the International Telecommunications Union. Mobile phones are the first telecommunications technology in history to have more users in the developing rather than developed world.

Photo by Africa Renewal CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
Photo by Africa Renewal CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

While access to the Internet is important, it is only the starting point, which is where mobile technology comes in. Unlike the Internet, mobile is not hampered by slow broadband speeds or electricity shortages, and can be used by those who cannot read or write. As a result, mobile phones are increasingly playing a vital role in shaping activism, raising awareness, and ultimately giving citizens a voice. New mobile platforms are simple and portable which require only simple text messaging capability to be used as a tool for a host of activities, from providing logistical support in natural disasters to tracking violence.

Despite the way in which social media and mainstream news like to talk about “new digital divides,” they are not new at all. From my own research in the field, it seems that the core issues are about social power, and access to information and skills.

Ushahidi – meaning “testimony” in Swahili – is a good example of this trend. This non-profit tech company specialises in developing free and open source software to enable users to share, interact and report on what’s happening in their society, available for anyone with a mobile phone. In a past analysis, Crowdglobe, which conducts research on crowdsourcing mapping systems, documented almost 13,000 Ushahidi crowdmaps in over 100 countries. The program allows people to set up their own map without having to install it on their web servers.

NT Mojos, a project undertaken by the Australian Government in 2011, gave citizens a voice as well asthe opportunity to become the creators of content, allowing allows them to bypass the traditional gatekeepers of information such as governments, publishing houses and media organisations, which control access to services, debate and knowledge.

A similar project in India, CGNet Swara, a mobile-based news service, was launched as a portal for the Chhattisgarh tribe, which lacks access to mainstream media. The open-source software overcomes two barriers – literacy and lack of Internet access – by allowing individuals to report news in their own language to their community and beyond. With the program, “citizen reporters” call a number to record a news item, which is then verified by a trained journalist at CGNet Swara. Once a report has been approved, any listener can hear it by dialing into the same voice messaging service with their mobile phone.

Training Camp. Image courtesy CGNet Swara
Training Camp. Image courtesy CGNet Swara

A similar project in Australia’s Northern Territory funded and undertaken by the Australian Government in 2011 used storytelling to bridge the divide between the white and indigenous populations. NT Mojos allowed indigenous people to create and share their stories on their mobile phones. The project first taught participants the art of storytelling before moving on to the technology itself. For more about this project, watch the documentary on The Making of NT Mojo: 

In another example, Bangladesh’s Citizen’s Voice aims to empower individuals by providing a platform for feedback on public services. People can send text, voice or video messages in either Bangla or English via their mobile phones or the internet to express opinions on services, such as healthcare, traffic and water or gas supplies.

Maureen Agena, a programme manager at Text to Change, an initiative based in countries affected by poverty and conflict, says that in Uganda and many other African countries, mobile technology has quickly become popular as it does not require internet access or knowledge of the English language. Agena recognises the importance of this technology for women in particular, as it offers them more flexibility and accessibility than they have had before – important when considering that in 2012, UNESCO reported that out of the world’s 775 million illiterate people, 64 percent are women. Agena says:

In a country like Uganda and many other African countries, mobile technology has quickly become much more cost effective for telecommunication provision. But social media is not because of the fact that its use and application requires internet, knowledge of the English Language and skills which majority of the rural and Peri-urban who constitute the biggest part of a country’s population lack.

The benefits of mobile technology in helping to bridge the digital divide are not just limited to the developing world. A 2012 Pew report by Kathryn Zickuhr and Aaron Smith entitled Digital Differences noted that the rise of mobile internet use in the United States meant users on the wrong side of the digital divide were increasingly going online. This was not only to find information, but also to create content. The report stated that this was especially important for mobile users, noting: “those with no college experience and those with lower household income levels are more likely than other groups to say that their phone is their main source of internet access.”

In Los Angeles, Mobile Voices – an academic/community partnership between the Annenberg School for Communication and the Institute of Popular Education of Southern California – provides a platform for immigrant communities and low-wage urban workers to tell stories directly from their mobile phones. The aim of the project is to encourage participants to create their own narrative, countering the often negative images portrayed in the anti-immigrant press.

Even commercial enterprises are following suit. In January of 2012, Wikipedia teamed up with French telecoms corporation Orange to provide mobile phone customers in Africa and the Middle East with access to the online encyclopaedia free of data charges. Wikipedia is the sixth most visited site in the world. The following month, Telenor Group, the international wireless carrier from Norway, offered the same service to its customers in Asia and South-Eastern Europe.

It is clear that mobile technologies are already being used to share and access information, exchange ideas, educate, and directly engage. This trend will have more of an impact on individuals and communities as open source and decentralised methods of exchanging information are championed in a more significant way.

But ultimately, one size cannot fit all: the barriers to digital inclusion in different regions and communities can differ.

Meanwhile, new online publishers are striving towards open access repositories to break down those walls. Civil society groups are increasingly using more open source services, software, and applications. Around the world, communities are using social media and mobile technologies to unexpectedly bypass barriers.

Through mobile and innovative technology, communities have developed projects and solutions for local problems. The question is whether emerging mobile technologies and innovative social media software will build enough momentum to help overcome “real life” divides. Ensuring that it does should be our collective priority.

Digital Discrimination and Social Networks Conference

academia,events,internet,social networking — Tags: , , — Danica @ 9:55 pm, March 31, 2014

I recently had a chance to attend and participate at the ICUD International Conference: Digital Discrimination and Social Networks, that took place takes on March 13 and 14, 2014 in Barcelona, Spain. The ICUD Project aims to Creatively Unveil hidden forms of Discrimination on the Internet, especially on social network sites such as Facebook, and provide practical tools to combat discrimination online. This project is co-funded by the European Union’s DG Justice: Fundamental Right and Citizenship programme.

It was a wonderful opportunity and space for interaction, discussion, learning and exchange of ideas and experiences: for social workers, academics, researchers, educators, Internet experts, NGOs, activists, and anyone interested in the issues surrounding discrimination on the Internet.

Complex topics like teen usage of Internet tools and social networks, racial discrimination, digital divides, network strategy against discrimination, hate speech, online gaming communities, LGBT issues, presence and representations of women online, youth and identity were discussed during the two-day conference.

Here is the abstract of my talk about the digital divide as a form of hidden discrimination:

Digital inequalities such as digital divides are a big issue in the information society, potentially influencing engagement in political, social, and educational life. They create marginalized, excluded groups who do not have access to the Internet, to information, or maybe to the necessary skills for using these devices (computers, mobile technology) and social applications. At some point, these people will not be able to engage fully in social, economic or political life.

Opening up the access to knowledge and its deployment in everyday work and education is crucial for producing the results and fostering the competences of the members of one’s society. Access to information is the key to an individual’s position in society. We are all participating on a daily basis in a networked world and we are the creators and the producers of the content online, all together in the same hyper-connected world where the issues and patterns of inclusion and exclusion need to be observed and addressed.

In this talk, digital inequalities on the internet will be explored from socio-technological and educational perspectives. There will be some interesting data and indications that beside the unequal access to the internet and computers, there is a social divide in regards of internet use, the lack of 21st century literacies, the knowledge gap, and communication and collaboration issues between two status groups: youngsters (students) and educators (professors) in higher education environment in the Balkan region. The importance of collaborative and participatory possibilities for bridging the digital divide will be discussed as they indicate a hidden form of discrimination.

The possibilities of internet usage and social media in the learning environment as a tool for collaboration and participation that encourages and fosters communication processes and decreases the widening gap will be discussed. There are communication and collaboration issues detected among professors and students. Main findings has revealed the three main factors of the digital divide, and there will be offered the possible recommendations about solutions which might lesson these divides.

The author will provide, beside web analysis and observations from the research, also qualitative data from semi-structured interviews with respondents from academic community on their internet usage, contributing input to determine the role and importance of the collaborative and participatory possibilities of social media and new literacies for bridging the digital gap.

Digital divides are not just about technology: the digital divide as a form of hidden discrimination from Danica Radovanovic

Think Tanks and Social Networks: Handling Your Social Media Presence

social networking,World wide — Danica @ 2:57 pm, November 20, 2013

Recently, I had a great opportunity and chance to participate in an excellent event – an interactive conference: Policy Research, Technology, and Advocacy Converge @ the HUB, November 7-8, 2013 in Prague, hosted by Think Tank Fund. The first day of the conference started with an inspiring keynote of Scott Carpenter from Google Ideas, after which the series of panels started. I was the guest on the panel where my colleagues, Marieke Van DijkMarek Tuszynski, and I discussed the strategic choices from the management perspective, that think tanks need to consider in deciding on how to integrate use of data intensive products and their communication to new audiences in their core work. The next day, I lead an interactive workshop where we discussed how think tanks can improve their use of social networks (Twitter, Google +, Facebook, Flickr, Soundcloud, YouTube, Vimeo, Slideshare, Scribd, issuu, etc.) as a communication and collaboration tool for dissemination of information/data, and interaction with their audiences and other institutions. Check out the points made from the workshop, and slides you may find useful.

HANDLING YOUR MEDIA PRESENCE – THINK TANKS AND SOCIAL NETWORKS from Danica Radovanovic

Addressing The Digital Divide: The Internet and Social Inequality in an International Perspective

academia,Serbia,World wide — Tags: , — Danica @ 11:55 am, June 12, 2013

 

I first started working on issues and research related to digital inequalities in an internet perspective two years ago. The research holds both theoretical and empirical implications of the digital divide in the Balkans, South Eastern Europe. With the help of colleagues Massimo Ragnedda  (Northumbria University, UK) and Glenn W. Muschert (Miami University, USA), who were a pleasure to work with, I teamed up with them as editors, and conducted research which has now been published as a book chapter on the digital divide and social media in the monographic publication, by Routledge.

I am pleased to say that the book, ‘The Digital Divide: The Internet and Social Inequality in International Perspective’, has now been published; my own modest contribution is the fourth chapter. The volume looks great and I had the honour to collaborate with a wonderful team of scholars world wide, addressing the issue of the digital divide from various demographic and socio-economic factors, as well as how the infrastructure, products, and services affect the way the internet is used and accessed. Since I was examining the digital divide in the internet from a sociotechnological and educational perspective, I warmly recommend it to any who explore social media and collaboration in higher education systems.

This book provides an in-depth comparative analysis on the international level of inequality and the stratification of the digital sphere. More information about this book, alongside availability, can be obtained directly from Routledge.

Connecting the Quantum Dots

academia,Science,technology,World wide — Danica @ 12:31 pm, February 25, 2013

(This post was originally written for Australian Science)

Last week, after I spent a couple of days in Brest, Brittany at a ESF, EU workshop/seminar brainstorming with other internet and scientific researchers on interesting topics related to  internet science and innovation,  I got myself back to Paris. I visited a French national institute with an international reputation for  scientific excellence - ESPCI (École supérieure de physique et de chimie industrielles) and the CNRS department of Physics, Quantum Foundations – a group dedicated to  research on quantum effects in materials. Also, I took the opportunity to meet up with two Australian Science writers who reside in Paris: Rayna, and Charles.

ESPCI Paris Tech stands for Physics and Chemistry Higher Educational Institution (a French “Grande École d’ingénieurs”). Founded in 1882, ESPCI is a major institution of higher education – an internationally renowned research center, gathering  leading scientific innovators like Nobel Prize laureates Pierre and Marie Curie, Paul Langevin, Frédéric Joliot-Curie, Pierre-Gilles de Gennes, and Georges Charpak.

ESPCI ParisTech

ESPCI ParisTech

At ESPCI, I met with Arjen Dijksman, a physicist and researcher interested in tiny semiconductive nanoparticles, known as “quantum dots”. His background is in applied physics, and his research interests are focused on time-resolved spectroscopy of core-shell CdSe-CdS quantum dots. Arjen works at the Laboratoire de Physique et d’Étude des Matériaux − (Department of Physics and Materials Study) – an inspiring and interesting lab, and a place for the scientist interested in these innovative fields of physics.  Arjen is also a science blogger at Physics Intuitions, and you may not know the fact that Arjen is also the scientific database creator for Physics Quote of the Day: hashtag on Twitter #xsw (exploring the scientific world), he spent years collecting interesting quotes from famous scientists.

Before going to the lab, we stopped by ESPGG  – the  Pierre-Gilles de Gennes center, where science meets culture and society.  This open place is promoting international exchanges, meetings, lectures, exhibitions, and joint discussions between researchers, science communicators, journalists, artists, and storytellers interested in science and culture. Matteo Merzagora, a program director, introduced us to the Biophilia Education program happening this month: workshops led by musician Björk at the intersection between science, education and musical awakening.

IMG_5087

Pierre-Gilles de Gennes center, Paris

During the lab tour, Arjen showed me the labs and demonstrated synthesis of Quantum Dots. Arjen’s research puts into practice the results of quantum mechanics using semiconductor nanocrystals. To the contrary of insulators, in which electric current can not flow, and conductors, where it can circulate easily, semiconductors are materials in which  current can only flow if one adds a little extra energy.

In his laboratory, Arjen synthesizes these crystals, dubbed  quantum dots . They are sometimes called “artificial atoms” because their diameter is of the order of a few nanometers – the size of a few atoms. Cadmium selenide, a semiconductor material, is often used because in that case, they show amazing properties of fluorescence. In particular, electrons are confined in the small volume of the quantum dots. They are unable to move out of this space. (more…)

Digitial Frontiers: Going Mobile

electronic publishing,internet,media,UK — Tags: , , , — Danica @ 7:55 pm, December 13, 2012

Index on Censorship Cover[an update 13.02.2013.] you can download the article directly from SSRN database.

Who controls our free speech online? What are the limits of free expression on social media? Index on Censorship launched Digitial Frontiers, the latest issue of its award-winning magazine,  and the only publication dedicated to freedom of expression with an expert discussion on internet freedom.

I’ve contributed an article on how mobile technology plays  a vital role in activism, spreading news, and bridging digital divides. An excerpt:

…it takes more than a computer to bridge the gap. The mobile phone is emerging as a powerful tool for social engagement; mobile technology and social media applications are playing a vital role in giving excluded groups a voice. And mobile technologies are almost ubiquitous. Around 70 per cent of mobile phone users are in developing countries, mostly in the global South, according to the UN agency the International Telecommunications Union.
Mobile phones are the first telecommunications technology in history to have more users in the developing rather than developed world – with no legacy infrastructure to service, new providers are jumping straight to mobile. Advances in technology have made mobile phones an indispensable part of development. New mobile platforms are simple and portable.

Many thanks to Global Voices community for the insight information and conversations with citizen media activists, and to Simon Phipps for contributing. Subscription options are available from Index and Amazon. The publication will be available to order from December 15th.

Citation:

Radovanovic, Danica (2012). “Going Mobile: digital divides must be bridged”. In Digital Frontiers – Index on Censorship. SAGE, Vol. 41, No.4, 2012. pp: 112-116.

DOI: 10.1177/0306422012466804

Urban informatics and new opportunities for interdisciplinary exchange

As an internet researcher and social media consultant, I ask some of the guests of the Australian Science magazine and knowledge network to tell me and my readers more about themselves, their current projects, and their views on topics including internet technology, the use of the Web in science and education, and certain aspects of the digital technologies that influence our everyday lives and work. You can see the published interviews so far - here.   Earlier this month I had a conversation with Marcus Foth, the interview is published for Australian Science.

Marcus Foth is an Associate Professor and Director of the Urban Informatics Research Lab, as well as the Principal Research Fellow at the School of Design, Queensland University of Technology. He has authored and co-authored over 90 articles published in journals, edited books, and conference proceedings, as well as the Urban Informatics web site. You can follow him on Twitter.

Welcome to Australian Science. Would you, please, tell our readers a little bit more about yourself? Where do you come from, both geographically and philosophically? What is your scientific background, and your professional scope? 

Certainly. I was born and grew up in the Northern part of Germany, in a town called Lübeck, at the coast of the Baltic Sea, about an hour from Hamburg. After high school I moved what appears to be as far away diagonally as possible within Germany in order to commence a computer science degree at the University of Furtwangen in the Black Forest that offered a – at the time – unique specialisation: Medieninformatik which combined technology applications and media studies. This was in 1997. The internet was just starting to become commercially successful, and many current students were still working on kiosk installations and multimedia CD-ROMs which were the latest fad at the time.

This degree program included two industry internships as well as an opportunity to study abroad. Together with friends of mine we looked at a number of options and eventually applied for advanced standing into the Bachelor of Multimedia program at Griffith University in Brisbane where we continued our studies in 2000. Due to the credit transfer, we were able to graduate at the end of 2000. This was my first year in Australia, and I had an amazing time. So much so that I decided to take advantage of a Government initiative that made it easier for recent IT graduates to apply for permanent residency. I was also lucky that my application was processed very rapidly: I applied in March 2001 and returned to Brisbane in July 2001 on my PR visa.

I had finished all my coursework for the German CompSc degree, and all that was left to do was the graduation thesis. In the meantime, I enrolled into a Master of Arts in Digital Media program at Queensland University of Technology which was flexible enough to comprise project units that allowed me to write my thesis “Backing up the Smart State: E-Security in Queensland’s Small and Medium Enterprises.” This way I was able to graduate in 2002 with the CompSc Honours degree from Germany and an MA from QUT at the same time with only one extra year of studies.

QUT offered a great and dynamic environment. I was not part of the Faculty of IT, but the newly formed Creative Industries Faculty. So I was surrounded by colleagues from very different disciplinary backgrounds such as, anthropology, cultural studies, media and communications, visual arts, film and TV, music, communication design, etc. It was a stimulating environment to be part of, and I happily accepted the faculty’s generous offer to fund a scholarship to enable me to do my PhD with them.

This journey spanned already two very broad areas: technology (the computer science and multimedia parts) and people (the media and communication and creative arts parts). During my PhD studies I added a third area of great interest to me, that is, place. At a time when the internet was heralded as the death of distance, and policy makers and commercial entities were promoting telework, e-commerce, and distant education, I went quite the opposite way by suggesting that ‘place still matters’. My PhD thesis “Towards a Design Methodology to Support Social Networks of Residents in Inner-City Apartment Buildings” looked at the way that web-enabled technologies could be useful for local communication and interaction within community networks.

My PhD studies formed the headstone for the next couple of years: Right after graduating I was part of a great team of academics across media and communication studies, urban sociology, and architecture that won a three year Discovery grant from the

Australian Research Council including an Australian Postdoctoral Fellowship that supported my research between 2006 and 2008. We were successful with an additional two ARC Linkage grants the following year, and I spent some time at the Oxford Internet Institute as a Visiting Fellow in 2007. So these successes tremendously helped to build up momentum around what I eventually started to call urban informatics. However, this term is not my invention, it just seemed the most appropriate one.

Would you explain to our readers a bit about the Urban Informatics Research Lab, for those in the science and technology who may not be familiar with the Lab? Can you give us a story about the inception, history, work and achievements of the Urban Informatics Research Lab?

The Urban Informatics Research Lab was initially just a small but growing group of research staff and students working on a number of related grants funded by the ARC and partner organisations. This was back in 2006, and for a while we flew under the radar of the university’s administration winning research grants and squirrelling research papers.

The lab operates across the three domains that I mentioned earlier: people, place and technology, and so we house post-docs and research students from a variety of backgrounds: humanities and social science; urban planning, design and architecture; and human-computer interaction, information technology and computer science. What binds us all together is the shared focus on the nexus of all three areas. We came up with this definition of Urban Informatics that we are proud to say, was published in the CSCW 2011 proceedings on page 1. The fact that the paper appears on page 1 is actually arbitrary, but I still like to point it out ;-)

Urban informatics is the study, design, and practice of urban experiences across different urban contexts that are created by new opportunities of real-time, ubiquitous technology and the augmentation that mediates the physical and digital layers of people networks and urban infrastructures. (Foth, Choi, & Satchell, 2011).

A main driver of our work is the motivation to deliver not just rigorous research but also real world impact. We first started off with a study that significantly shaped the social sustainability strategies of the Kelvin Grove Urban Village, the Queensland Government’s flagship urban renewal project in inner-city Brisbane. The lab has also produced a number of technology innovations, such as CityFlocks – an early mobile location-based recommender system, DispoMaps – an iPhone app to temporarily share a map with your location details with others and then dispose of it safely, FixVegas – a mobile app that lets you take a photo of city assets and street furniture that require repair and submit a maintenance request to the local council, CapitalMusic – a mobile app to visually share what music you are currently listening to with people in your vicinity, and Discussions in Space – a hybrid mobile phone and public screen application that allows passersby to contribute content via SMS or tweets.

Can you share with us some personal notes regarding the Urban Informatics Research Lab, any challenges you faced along the way, and the outcome?

In the beginning our lab heavily depended on income from national competitive grants and we were lucky that the time was right for the research that we applied for. We still compete for national competitive grants, but we are also increasingly talking directly with partner organisations from the public and private sector about new research opportunities.

At the moment, we have research programs looking at urban planning and community engagement; environmenal sustainability and energy monitoring; food culture and the food interactions in the city; libraries as new hubs for digital culture and social innovation; and there are a number of applications in the pipeline and on the boil that may add new initiatives to the lab later this year and early next year.

Recently, the Urban Informatics Research Lab won the merit award in the R&D category at the iAwards QLD 2012 . Congratulations on the award! Can you describe the R&D project in particular? 

Thank you. Yes, the iAward was for Discussions in Space. We used it as a community engagement tool originally for a project with Brisbane City Council, but it has now been used successfully in a variety of other contexts, too, such as at Federation Square in Melbourne. In collaboration with FedSquare, Discussions in Space is used to engage with visitors during events such as Oprah’s visit, New Years Eve, Cadel Evans’ Tour de France victory parade, the Queen’s Royal Visit, and Thoughts for Molly Meldrum.

We are very pleased that Dr Ronald Schroeter’s excellent work on Discussions in Space has been recognised as the 2012 iAwards National Merit Recipient in the (more…)

Open Linked Data, Serendipity, and the Future of Web

Being a Semantic Web, Open Linked Data, Open Source enthusiast, and at some point the contributor to the AP for the FOAF and other metadata standards, recently I had an opportunity to talk with Kingsley Idehen on his current projects,  views on the use of the Web technologies, Open Linked Data,  WebID, serendipity, and certain aspects of the Internet that influence our everyday lives. The interview is published for Australian Science.

Kingsley Idehen is the Founder & CEO of OpenLink Software. He is a recognized technology enthusiast and expert in areas such as: Data Connectivity middleware, Linked Data, Data Integration, and Data Management.  He is also a founding member of DBpedia project via OpenLink Software. Kingsley’s  background is quite varied: he had planned to become a scientist in the genetic engineering realm but ended up being more fascinated by the power Information Technology and its potential to reshape mankind. From science, accounting, and programming, he followed his scientific instincts to architect OpenLinkVirtuoso, a powerful and innovative open source virtual database for SQL, XML, and Web services. The Virtuoso History page tells the whole story about Kingsley’s vision and accomplishments. You can follow him on Twitter and read his Google+ posts.

Would you explain to our readers a bit about the OpenLink Software, for those in the Web technology who may not be familiar with it? Can you give us a story about the inception, history, work and achievements of the OpenLink Software?

OpenLink Software develops, deploys, and supports bleeding edge technology covering the following realms:
1. Relational Database Connectivity Middleware — ODBC, JDBC, ADO.NET, OLE-DB, and XMLA Drivers/Providers
2. Disparate Data  Virtualization
3. Personal & Enterprise Collaboration
4. Relational Tables (RDBMS) and Relational Property Graph (Graph DB) based Database Management Systems
5. Federated Identity Management.

I founded OpenLink in 1992 with open database connectivity middleware supporting  all major RDBMS products as our focus. By 1998 we evolved our vision to include RDBMS virtualization, and by 2000 we decided that the Semantic Web technology stack provided all the critical standards that would enable us extend data virtualization to include other data sources and formats beyond the RDBMS.

OpenLink was initially associated with dispelling the performance myth that undermined the early promotion of the Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) standard from Microsoft. In the Semantic Web and Linked Data realms our Virtuoso hybrid data server underlies critical parts of the Linked Open Data cloud (starting with DBpedia which lies at the core) as well as offering the largest publicly accessible Linked Data space on the planet, against which anything (human or machine) can perform ad-hoc queries that drive lookups while also aiding the emergence of other Linked Data Spaces on the LOD cloud.
Naturally, our technologies are used extensively across enterprises worldwide due to performance, scalability, and security that underlies every item in our product portfolio.

Is there any existing tools and methodologies developed by either you or your team in the OpenLink Software or others that you would like to mention? 

* High-Performance ODBC Drivers for all the major RDBMS databases
* ODBC Drivers for the World Wide Web — yes, the World Wide Web of Linked Data (or LOD cloud) is exploitable and accessible to any ODBC, JDBC, ADO.NET, or OLE-DB compliant application
* Virtuoso — high-performance and massively scalable hybrid DBMS (relational tables and property graphs).
* Linked Data Middleware — that transform output from a plethora of Web 2.0 and SOA services into structured Linked Data
* URIBurner — a public instance of the middleware mentioned above that enables anyone transform existing data into Linked Data
* OpenLink Data Spaces — platform for enterprise and personal data spaces that includes in-built Federated Identity and sophisticated Linked Data functionality
* DBpedia — Linked Open Data Cloud nexus that runs on Virtuoso (re. Linked Data Deployment and Data Management).

Some useful links and downloads: ODBC Drivers for the World Wide WebVirtuoso Commercial EditionVirtuoso Open Source Edition,  Linked Data MiddlewareURIBurnerOpenLink Data Spaces, and DBpedia.

Do you collaborate with similar organisations/institutions worldwide in the field of the Open Linked Data? Would you tell us more about your involvement within the DBpedia project?

Yes, as demonstrated by DBpedia (Frei University and University of Leipzig), Sindice (DERI), and Bio2RDF(Carleton University and others).

Virtuoso is the Linked Data Publishing and Database Management system behind DBpedia. Net effect of Virtuoso is you have a massive collection of Linked Data derived from Wikipedia that’s available to the entire public. This instance enables you browser through pages that describe entities while also delivering ad-hoc query functionality via a Web Service that supports the SPARQL query language, results serialization formats, and HTTP based wire protocol.

In addition to providing the live instance, we also provide quality assurance, support and maintenance. Publishing and maintaining DBpedia is a challenge, and we even offer packages that enable others instantiate personal or service specific instances via Amazon EC2 AMIs (virtual machines).

DBpedia is basically germination of the seed planted by the Linked Data meme published by TimBL circa. 2005. In turn, DBpedia (more…)

Nikola Tesla and the magic of science

Science,technology,World wide — Tags: , — Danica @ 11:57 am, July 11, 2012

Science is but a perversion of itself unless it has as its ultimate goal the betterment of humanity – Nikola Tesla

One of the greatest people in the history of science, and the greatest inventor of the post industrial society, Nikola Tesla, is the visionary that many people have never even heard of or about his work. He could visualise the future inventions with the greatest facility. Numerous articles have been published, books have been written related to this magician of the science. There are many sources about this man who lit the world, and his developments.

Among many Tesla’s inventions,  the most relevant that influence directly our everyday life include: radio, wireless telegraphy, remote control, robotics. He even photographed the bones of the human body. But the high point was the realisation of a childhood dream: harnessing the raging powers of Niagara Falls, and bringing light to the city. Tesla has over 700 patents to his name: invented the World First AC Generator which led to electrical development and enlightment of the world. This high frequency high volatage electricity is used today in many communication devices.

Also, Tesla’s Wireless power System including certain devices is now considered to be an untouched method to transmit electrical current without wires. Extraterrastrial Radio Transmitter – Teslascope, radio transceiver designed with the intention of communicating with extraterrestrial life on other planets. It received publicity after Tesla’s statement on the device was published by Time magazine in their July 20, 1931 issue celebrating Tesla’s 75th birthday.

We should mention here Tesla’s Earthquake Machine invention that probably many people never heard of. This is an excerpt from the New York World Telegram, July 11, 1935:

“Nikola Tesla revealed that an earthquake which drew police and ambulances to the region of his laboratory at 48 E. Houston St., New York, in 1898, was the result of a little machine he was experimenting with at the time which “you could put in your overcoat pocket.” The bewildered newspapermen pounced upon this as at least one thing they could understand and Nikola Tesla, “the father of modern electricity” told what had happened as follows:

Tesla stated, “I was experimenting with vibrations. I had one of my machines going and I wanted to see if I could get it in tune with the vibration of the building. I put it up notch after notch. There was a peculiar cracking sound. I asked my assistants where did the sound come from. They did not know. I put the machine up a few more notches. There was a louder cracking sound. I knew I was approaching the vibration of the steel building. I pushed the machine a little higher. “Suddenly all the heavy machinery in the place was flying around. I grabbed a hammer and broke the machine. The building would have been about our ears in another few minutes. Outside in the street there was pandemonium. The police and ambulances arrived. I told my assistants to say nothing. We told the police it must have been an earthquake. That’s all they ever knew about it.”

Nikola Tesla – called “the greatest geek who ever lived“, was not only the physicist, electrical engineer, philosopher, futurologyst, genius who lit the world, but above all – the humanist who created for the mankind.

Check out this very interesting TED presentation of Marco Tempest, who combined the projection mapping and a pop-up book, visually telling the story of Nikola Tesla.

Image source.

Australian Science cross-post.

Next Page »
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

All views expressed on this web site are those of Danica Radovanovic and do not necessarily reflect the views of any other entity, including current and former employers. All the opinions expressed are Danica's alone, and are not influenced by sponsorship.

Copyright 2006-2014 Danica Radovanovic
Danica Radovanović | Digital Serendipities | powered by WordPress with Barecity...en.