abbyjean:Hopefully no time soon...
From a group calling themselves Electronic Civil Disobedience comes the Transborder Immigrant Tool, a simple mobile application intended to aid and abet border-crossers from Mexico to the United States by mapping the safest routes to take.Brilliant idea. How long until the U.S. government finds some way to shut it down?
the application uses Spatial Data Systems and GPS “for simulation, surveillance, resource allocation, management of cooperative networks and pre-movement pattern modeling (such as the Virtual Hiker Algorithm) an algorithm that maps out a potential or suggested trail for real a hiker/or hikers to follow.” In addition to allowing would-be illegal immigrants quick and simple access to map information, the application’s creators hope it will “add an intelligent agent algorithm that would parse out the best routes and trails on that day and hour for immigrants to cross this vertiginous landscape as safely as possible.”
On startup, the app finds GPS satellites. Once the user begins moving, the app acts as a compass that shows the direction the user is heading and also shows the direction a user must travel to reach a “safety site.”
The app seems to originate from a hacktivist group out of UCSD - hardly a historical hotbed of technological innovation, but close enough to the US-Mexican border to have a significant impact on the politics of technology in that area.
the app’s creator, Ricardo Dominguez, said, “We looked at the Motorola i455 cell phone, which is under $30, available even cheaper on eBay, and includes a free GPS applet. We were able to crack it and create a simple compass-like navigation system. We were also able to add other information, like where to find water left by the Border Angels, where to find Quaker help centers that will wrap your feet, how far you are from the highway - things to make the application really benefit individuals who are crossing the border.”