Wednesday, 1 June 2011

The Noosphere and You, and Introduction to Web 3.0 analysis tool

The Noosphere is a word used sometimes to denote the "sphere of human thought". Just as the atmosphere covers the world in thought, the biophere in life, the noosphere is imagined as a layer of thinking around the world. When that thinking is locked entirely in some hunters and gathers mind it is not much more than a sparse covering in a few isolated spots. But when these people connect by culture and trade, it becomes something a bit thicker.

Most people would dismiss the existence of the noosphere as mystical new agism. And I would have to agree. But the concept makes for a good analogy of how the web is changing the nature of our reality right now.

On argue is the noosphere is a useful concept in itself. But I think one can not argue that it is a useful concept to help one think about what is happening with Web 3.0. With mobile devices people can now pe connected to a global Internet at any time. That they can produce content from a place, and they can find content about a place, they can produce content for a place and they can map their location to web content.

This Internet which is almost always on for the digital natives now glued to their androids. It is also spread out, via GPS and Google maps as a 2D plane over the entire surface of the Earth. It can be imagined as a sphere of ideas connecting using to the worlds heritage, culture and activity.

The concept of the tool is to measure the density of this sphere. To provide, if you will, the third dimension of this sphere, giving the intensity of tweeting and other web 3.0 data as a temperature or rain fall might be associated with the weather for a location.

Hôtel de Ville (see score) is one of the most richly "information aware spaces" in our culture. That is to say there is a great deal of information encoded in the West's literature, sciences, popular culture and other records about the location, the city of Paris, and the France.

You can see from the score of Web 3.0 information associated with a location, that the site scores relatively highly for Twitter, Wikipedia, Flickr, Yelp and Foursquare. These values may go up and down, the APIs are still mostly in their infancy. But on any given day you will see considerable geo-social activity in Paris, as it is one of the worlds most modern and cosmopolitan cities.

Waco Texas (see score) is an almost perfect example of a pattern of suburban sprawl. In many suburbs we see a low level of tweeting and Wikipedia, as people are spread out and there is not much history, but Yelp and/or Foursquare are high. This is because such locations have the commercial benefits of city living without the history or close human contact of a big city.

Waco is a bit different as Wikipedia is a bit elevated because the city has a unique history due to a few political issues. Waco was the site of the Branch Davidian stand off, and the summer home of George W. Bush while he was President.

Stonehenge (see Clima score) It is striking in its Wikipedia for a small rural site. This is because it is a place of intense information value, far greater than the population density of the area, which is actually just about zero. The noosphere has interesting such points like this, a population of sites like the stars of space or the plants of botany have their own properties.

Each site in the noosphere is probably best imagined as a star. It is generating a constant flow of information to the world wide web. Twitter and Flickr posts are produced when a large number of people in an area are posting data to the web. Foursquare and Yelp are the products of commerce and social activity in a site. Wikipedia is cultural, historical and intellectual collective cultural capital that is produced and/or associated with a place. These scores come from the number of venues are created for an area, and the rankings given in Yelp for those area. In short it is a measure of the amount of work has gone in to creating wikipedia posts for a local area.

No comments:

Post a Comment