OSM: A useful tool or a community?

The OpenStreetMap (OSM) is a free and editable map of the world and was in fact, inspired by the success of Wikipedia. It was created in 2004, and now has over 1.4 million registered users. Not only does OSM enable travelers to eliminate some of the dangers they may face in foreign places, but in 2011 when an earthquake hit East Japan, it is proven that the Open Street map played a useful role when it came to examining the changes after the natural disaster. The analysis of the investigation suggests that what is called crisis mapping, was a turning point for expanding OSM activities in Japan. Much of the information that was collected, was used to gain information acquisitions in the aftermath of the earthquake.

Some countries contribute to OSM on a larger scale than others. However, the most thrilling aspect of OpenStreetMap is the fact that it emphasizes local knowledge. I.e., if a family goes on vacation on the other side of the country, they would often ask the locals of that area questions they may have about family activities to do and beautiful places to see. OSM works in that sense, that ordinary everyday people have contributed to a large-scale informative map. Whether it be GIS professionals, engineers running the OSM servers or humanitarians mapping disaster affected areas, OpenStreetMap is a community driven app that holds much significance in its exceptional and original formatting and ideas.

OpenStreetMap has been dubbed one of the most impressive sources of volunteered Geographic Information on the internet. Many people would consider OSM to be a map, when in actual fact it is a database. Above all, however, it is a community. Sure, google maps can give you directions from any one place to another instantaneously, but OpenStreetMap allows you to collaborate and build something that people from all corners of the globe has contributed to. In today’s social and technological climate, people are more inclined to become engrained in their online world or online identity without a second thought. Gaining information about the world when it comes to map, is usually thought to be a monotonous act that requires purely black and white research, but with the aid of OSP, the world has the ability to become connected in a way that is unique.


Imi, Y; Hayakawa, T & Ito, T 2012, ‘Analyzing the Effect of Open Street Map During Crises: The Great East Japan Earthquake’, Commerce and Enterprise Computing (CEC), pp. 126 <http://ieeexplore.ieee.org.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/xpls/icp.jsp?arnumber=6470787>

Neis, P & Zipf, A 2012 ‘Analyzing the Contributor Activity of a Volunteered Geographic Information Project- The Case of OpenStreetMap,’ International Journal of Geo-Information, Vol. 1, Issue. 2. <http://www.mdpi.com/2220-9964/1/2/146>



A morse code love affair versus EHarmony

Today, if you type online dating into google, 140, 000, 000 search results will show up. Today, adding someone on Facebook or sending them a text message seems reason enough to pursue a romantic relationship. Today, men and women are thrown together informally, whether it be co-ed schooling and accommodation, or small begrimed nightclubs in every town and city. During the 19th century, what has become known to be the Morse Code Love Affair reveals how dot-dash romance was purely just an archaic form of online dating. Although social constraint and courtesy in the 19thC was quite substantially more prominent than it is today, women would still go through the same phases as much as they would in the present day. Is the man I have pictured in my head going to be the same man that I will one day meet?


The social normality’s that we attribute to today’s technological age were first practiced and observed during the era of the telegraph. Its cables spanned continents and oceans, it revolutionized business practice, gave rise to new forms of crimes as well we inundate its users with an abundance of new information. Most impressively, the telegraph enabled romance to blossom. Yes, todays EHarmony was yesterday’s telegraph. In many ways, our society are heirs of the 1900’s telegraph. Telegraphy was one of the first technological occupations that were open to women, and especially during years of war, there were even more positions available due to men being sent off to fight.

Though love is just one aspect of the everyday time of a human being, the telegraph was a key invention to the industrial age. In a nutshell, the telegraph shrunk the world faster than ever before. Previously, letters took hours, days and sometimes months to arrive at the destination, and in a lot of cases, meant that the information that it held had become irrelevant. As the telegraph developed from 1809 through to 1880, people were connecting with each other from all across the globe just by pressing a few buttons. This held many benefits in itself, just as the present day internet does. People were able to keep in contact with friends and family, lovers were able to either produce a relationship or keep one from failing due to distance, businesses were able to flourish under new practices and people had access to all kinds of new and interesting information that encouraged further enlightenment models.


Miller, R. 2012, “The Telegraph, Newspapers, and 19th-Century Disruption”, EContent, vol. 35, no. 4, pp. 32.

Standage, T 1998, The Victorian Internet: The Remarkable Story, Bloomsbury, New York.

Waterlow, L 2013, ‘’Suppose that Mysterious Stranger is Not What You think…’: Morse Code Love Affair Between 1880’s Telegraph Operators Reveals How Hot Dash Romance Was An Early Version of Modern Online Dating’, Daily Mail, 26 July, Viewed 9/4/15 <http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2378705/Wired-Love-Romantic-novel-telegraph-operators-written-1880-astonishing-parallels-todays-online-dating.html>

Public Photography and Facebook

Focus: Is putting photos of other people on the internet without their permission acceptable or is it a violation of the right to privacy? This assignment is neither for nor against, but relatively neutral showing both sides of the argument. When I say “internet” I am referring only to the social media site of Facebook.

Are people aware of certain legal restrictions? à Although most forms of unauthorised photography is legal in Australia, there are certain limitations placed on photo rights.

Anti-voyeurism laws: “peeping tom” photography in NSW is addressed by division 15B of the NSW Crimes Act 1900.

In most Australian states you can only take photos at railway stations with permission in advance

If you’re a grown man hanging around schoolyards photographing small children expect a tap on the shoulder from local police

Do people care about these restrictions? à Other than not wanting to seem creepy or weird, the common perception of photographing strangers in public is OK as long as they don’t get caught in the act. However, I will create a survey that will hopefully obtain more details facts about public photography and subsequently uploading these photos to Facebook, and bring into account the moral issues behind it such as a right to privacy.

In a separate little social experiment for this assignment, I managed to slip into conversation with several people about the issue of taking photos of taking photos of people without their permission and putting it on the internet for the whole world to see. I purposefully did not mention the fact this was for academic reasons as I wanted to make sure they did not jeopardise their truthful answers. What every single person mentioned (around 5-6 people) was the statement “but everybody does it”. This led me to reflect on this statement quite a lot. I brought many factors into this answer, and what was most dominant was the government. The law has failed to keep up with all the vast technological improvements involved with mass media/usage. In saying this, it does not mean that using the phrase “everybody does it” as a legitimate defence for illegal and immoral behaviour. It basically only means that you have a higher chance of getting away with it.

Case Study: YouTube video- Taking pictures of strangers prank

This YouTube video is of a male walking around what seems to be a convenience store and pretending to take photos of strangers, when actually he has the camera turned on himself and is taking “selfies”. Although this somewhat fails to tie in with my original focus of this project, it does hold some important themes that do correlate with it.

  1. Although I am not sure the video was uploaded to Facebook, it was uploaded to another very popular site- YouTube.
  2. It exposed several strangers and there was one man who was clearly not happy with the whole scenario, but that did not stop the YouTube artist uploading the video.
  3. I guarantee that he did not ask these strangers for their permission either, as nothing is mentioned in the description of the video and the person who uploaded it clearly did not care about anything but obtaining popularity through this video and upon further investigation, many other careless and silly pranks.

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7fbH-WKmPV4


  • This survey involved 15 people
  • Each person answered the exact same two questions which were as follows
  1. Have you ever taken a photo of other people and put it on the internet (Facebook) without their permission?
  2. Do you believe this is a violation of their right to privacy?



  1. no- in a public domain it is an invasion of privacy only if it is published
  2. no- depends on the situation
  3. yes- if its only your friends seeing it, it doesn’t matter
  4. yes- how is it different to CCTV in populated areas
  5. yes- no as there are no repercussions and there would be if it were a violation
  6. yes- do it for the likes
  7. yes- do it for the likes
  8. yes- do it for the likes
  9. yes-do it for the likes
  10. yes- do it for the likes

(Keep in mind 6-10 were a group of males and it may or may not have been “peer pressure” or an attempt to look “cool” that made them all answer this way)

  1. yes- you don’t tend to think about the science behind it
  2. yes- no because it was funny
  3. no- I believe it’s wrong so yes it is a severe violation
  4. No- it is a violation but I don’t associate with that side of Facebook or any social media for that matter.
  5. No- depends on the context. If there is no identifying features on them it is not a violation- with regards to strangers

Note: when asking these questions- I made them more focus on taking photos of strangers- not so much of their friends/family/people they associate with.

Analysing the results

These results were not exactly what I was expecting. In trying to not make such harsh generalisations- I did try and break the 15 people I interviewed into separate “social” groups that I found around my university campus. Every person that answered “no” when I had asked if they had taken a photo of a stranger and put it on Facebook without their permission were quite introverted individuals. They were all heavily academic, generally weren’t into the “party” scene and also had a lot to say about this particular topic. To everyone that answered “yes”, I later stalked their own personal Facebook page. They literally could not have gone 12 hours without some sort of update onto their page. They tended to be loud, overly joyful and had the “don’t care” attitude. I may need to repeat myself in saying that in no way am I overgeneralising or discriminating against certain types of people, I am merely making connections between my results and the personal demeanours of the people that I interviewed, which I believe to my quite a significant part to this study. I also found it quite interesting that there were not really any neutral answers, which I thought would have made up the majority of the 15 responses to the second question. Only 1/3 of the answers stated that taking photos of strangers and putting it on Facebook without their permission is in fact a violation of their right to privacy- and I must give credit to all of the reasons why as they were very sincere and accurate answers in my opinion.

Stakeholders that could be involved

Facebook- In looking into Facebook’s terms and conditions- believe section 5: Protecting Other People’s Rights to be of the correct association with this study. It reads as follows:

We respect other people’s rights, and expect you to do the same.

  1. You will not post content or take any action on Facebook that infringes or violates someone else’s rights or otherwise violates the law.
  2. We can remove any content or information you post on Facebook if we believe that it violates this Statement or our policies.
  3. We provide you with tools to help you protect your intellectual property rights. To learn more, visit our How to Report Claims of Intellectual Property Infringement
  4. If we remove your content for infringing someone else’s copyright, and you believe we removed it by mistake, we will provide you with an opportunity to appeal.
  5. If you repeatedly infringe other people’s intellectual property rights, we will disable your account when appropriate.
  6. You will not use our copyrights or trademarks (including Facebook, the Facebook and F Logos, FB, Face, Poke, Book and Wall), or any confusingly similar marks, except as expressly permitted by our Brand Usage Guidelines or with our prior written permission.
  7. If you collect information from users, you will: obtain their consent, make it clear you (and not Facebook) are the one collecting their information, and post a privacy policy explaining what information you collect and how you will use it.
  8. You will not post anyone’s identification documents or sensitive financial information on Facebook.
  9. You will not tag users or send email invitations to non-users without their consent. Facebook offers social reporting tools to enable users to provide feedback about tagging.

Everyone knows that in accepting the “terms and conditions” which any website or platform whatsoever is absolutely useless. 99% of people would click “I have read and accepted the terms and conditions” button without in fact doing so. To have such a detailed terms and conditions, Facebook has done an immaculate job with purely including everything appropriate, however, its message and content is not getting across to the general Facebook population. Facebook, as a stakeholder, may be interested in this research as they are always updating and improving their privacy settings, which proves they take other people’s rights quite seriously.

The Australian Film Industry

An article in The Age states that Australia has become a viewing population, not a viewing nation. This purely means that even though Australians enjoy watching films, we do so in a away that doesn’t reveal our national agenda. As an individual nation with our own identity, it is beyond comprehension as to why we have become so insanely Americanised. I remember several years ago when the movie Australia came out and even then I was so in awe of there being a film so popular and widely recognised that was not only filmed in Australia but was filmed in such a way that represented traditional Australian history. It then came to my attention that Australian films have been isolated to more private screenings, as myself, just like the majority of Australians, choose to go to massive cinema chains such as Hoyts.

One issue, out of many that the Australian film industry is faced with is budget. Since their budget is usually quite lower than say Hollywood films, their advertising thus suffers as a result. In such a varied social environment with smart phones, television, internet etc, advertising is a sure way for many films not only to be recognised, but to be watched. Almost every time I have gone to the cinema to watch a movie (which isn’t all that often), it has been because I have seen the trailor of a film play in an ad before a youtube video, or seen someone rave about it on social media and have then felt obliged to go and watch it.

File sharing and illegally downloading media has become so popular as most people are left felt like they have no other option in being able to watch new films. Hoyts charges $9.90 for a movie ticket, which is quite decent. However, when a drink and popcorn is added, the total magically comes to $40. To many people, the bother of getting reasonably dressed up, driving to the cinema, spending quite a bit of money of tickets and drinks as well as risking whether or not there will be a group of loud and annoying teenagers in the same movie theatre as you is just not worth it. In order to turn this around and improve the Australian film industry would be difficult to say the least. However, there may be tactics in order to improve it that involves the process of file sharing. Once an audience is able to visually experience an Australian film/show and they enjoy it, they would be more inclined to move to other platforms that will in turn generate more profit and boost popularity of our film industry.

Boarding school or captivity?

When people found out I went to boarding school, I’m usually met with an array of different questions/statements. “So, your parents don’t love you?”, “do you wear uniform on the weekends?” and “boarding school is just like Hogwarts, right?” just to name a few. What people do not know about my particular boarding school is that even though its agricultural, it is also situated on a 1000 acre property surrounded by the Murrumbidgee river. This means that it is both very secluded and reception wise it is very poor. I would often have to walk 2km in the afternoons to the front gate in order to gain 3 bars of service to ring my parents. This is a school that gave the piggery air-conditioning before the student dormitories, just to give everything a little bit of perspective.

So, it wasn’t rules per se that regulated my media use, but simply geographical location. Not only was mobile reception scarce, but the only television channels we were able to get were that of ABC and SBS. When I tell people this, they usually try and think of it in a positive sense in that I was “cleansed” from mass media for a few years and think I should see this as a blessing. This was wrong on so many levels. It may sound shallow that I was so anxious without access to social media, prime time television and texts, but I was mid to late teens and its just not normal to go without these things. This may raise a moral concern about teenagers and their need for technology, but I believe that it is somewhat harmless in moderation. In terms of space, the only issue I remember is everyone placing their phones on the window (as apparently that can get you service?) and everyone having an issue with taking the best spot that was marked in pen for reception. Also, it would be pretty easy to guess that when students went home, they would spend all their time in their rooms on their phones and laptops merely attempting to make up for lost and deprived internet time. This would thus create an issue at home, I know this because I experienced it first hand.


The juggling act

To this day scientists are still analysing the impacts that the act of multitasking has on our brains, our mental health and our productivity. Upon completion of a bit of research on multi-tasking, I find it interesting to note that many short term impacts of multi-tasking were listed such as increase in short-term memory loss and difficulty concentrating. However, long-term impacts have only been ever so slightly grazed upon for the simple fact that multi-tasking is a relatively new phenomenon.

When someone is multi-tasking, they usually don’t realise they are doing it. Unless you are a middle aged woman with a full time job and three children, in which case multi-tasking seems to be something to brag about. There’s also the ongoing debate how women think they are better at multi-tasking than men are. Ultimately, the most common justification for this assertion is not any credible research but the simple explanation that women are more accustomed to performing multiple tasks in and around the home such as cooking, cleaning, shopping, taking care of children and planning for the family. What self-respecting researcher would use this as an determining factor? It seems more likely to be feminist propaganda to make another ‘women are superior’ claim.imagesmt

I believe research into multi-tasking is important as it may improve the general understanding of how the brain and the human consciousness works. There would be several people/organisations/businesses invested in these results. The first thing that springs to mind would be the health care system in a sense that brain damaged patients could be assessed and diagnosed in accordance in their multi-tasking abilities as well as aid rehabilitation.

smart phones and dumb people

I first began working in the hospitality industry in 2009. Being a naturally shy and introverted person, I would never speak up if a customer were to act rudely towards me, a co-worker or another customer. I was always polite and calm. However, last year during the summer holidays, something happened that may or may not have sparked a decrease in tolerance for other people’s vulgarity. It was a Sunday, which means the busiest day of the week. People were coming from the coast on their way back to ACT and they just can’t go two hours without a stop over at the Braidwood Bakery- the half way point. Anyway, the day was going quite smoothly until a middle aged man in a suit was next at my registrar. As I said “Hello, how are you, what would you like today?”, his phone rang. Whenever this usually happens, the customer either a) ignores the call altogether or b) answers, says “I’ll call you back”, then hangs up. This was not the case for the businessman. He answers the call without first even answering my question. I remember thinking that I was the rude one for trying to ask him what his order was while he was having a chat to his mate on the phone. Then something just clicked. I summoned the next person in line and took their order. To say that this caused a riot is a definite understatement. After abusing me and the customer I served, the man demanded to see my manager. Of course, she was on my side and simply said that no one will get served if they are speaking on their phone.

This incident made me realise that somehow, people feel that talking on a cell phone isolates them from people in their immediate vicinity. But, unfortunately for them and their unwilling listeners, they are anything but isolated.

The good news is, I came across a wikihow page that describes how to use your cell phone in public


Home entertainment: The threat

With the introduction of 3D televisions, ultra high definition, wireless surround-sound speaker setups, blu-ray players and home consol systems, there is definitely some sort of risk present for the future of movie theatre attendance.


Over the past year or two, with the help of my external hard drive, my need to go to the movies has decreased substantially. A few weeks ago, on a Sunday night, my friend sent me a message asking me to go to Warrawong and see a movie with her. At this point of the night, I had taken off my makeup, put my hair in a messy bun, chucked on a hoodie and trackies and settled in for the night with a cup of tea. Even though she explained the plot, and it actually sounded like quite a decent film, all I was thinking was “I can’t be bothered to make myself look publically acceptable”, so I politely declined. Instead, I plugged my hard drive into the TV and watched a movie I’d seen 100 times, but it was convenient, so I watched it anyway.

These days, everything is trying to pull us away from the outside world and deeper into our sofas. As much as I support trekking outside your comfort zone and doing activities with friends, I am definitely guilty of preferring a quiet night at home sometimes. Whenever I do go to the movies, I notice there are many young teens and elderly. I do not believe this to be a coincidence. It is our generation, the generation that have the technical ability to download movies in good quality that are at home rather than the movie theatre.

I do believe that the future of movie theatre attendance will not decrease dramatically, as there are certain types of movies that will flourish in a communal setting. For example, a comedy by yourself at home will not be as funny as seeing it with hundreds of other people. There is definitely a social stigma that technology is turning us into antisocial hermits. Though this may be partly true as sometimes every one of us need to spend time away from the outside world, it is not fully replacing peoples social lives. In the end, every one of us has the urge to meet up with other people who are close to us, and do things together. This does include going to the cinema, where even though you are actively watching the movie, it is a communal experience and therefore you talk before, sometimes during, and afterwards.



Home is where the WIFI connects automatically

 A few weeks I ago I rang my father, who lives three hours away in a rural country town called Braidwood. In asking him about his memories of television in his childhood, to my surprise I was given a very detailed reflection of his experiences with TV growing up. A few days ago, I rang back home to ask about the internet. My father is quite a traditional man. Although for many decades he has been a bank manager, his consumption of media is limited. He only watches sport and wacky 70’s and 80’s television shows and was forced into getting a mobile phone last year for his work. His only internet  use would be checking his work emails, and that wouldn’t even be done at home, but at work. Dad pays the broadband bill every month, but fails to understand why the rest of us (mum, myself and two brothers) have the need to consume so much data when in turn he would much rather spend time as a family and save the internet for things more important things than spending hours on thisiswhyimbroke.com. 

Whenever I’m home, for the first few days I am usually in my room taking advantage of the unlimited internet by downloading songs, movies, TV shows etc. My older brother does the same thing as I do, and my younger brother just plays online video games in his room. Mum usually comes straight home from work at 5:30pm, sits on the couch and fiddles around on her phone for a few hours before she does chores then goes to bed. This just leaves Dad. He is constantly coming into our rooms saying things like “It would be nice if you spent some time out of your bedroom”. I do understand the concept of family time and how important it is, I just feel like the correlation between free WIFI and home is getting smaller and smaller. To say that our use of domestic broadband has been a continuation of earlier technological impacts on place is quite true. I remember a decade ago when I would use the internet and after playing a few games and signing into MSN and Bebo for half an hour, I would get bored and return to family activities. Part of this routine would be the fact that the only internet I had access to would be in a separate room, sitting on a chair at a desk. Now, you can lie in bed, go for a walk, even go to the bathroom with full internet access on several devices to keep you occupied no matter where you are. This advancement, though positive for those who hold a busy, working lifestyle and need constant access to the internet may be detrimental to the lives of many adolescents and young adults who now think that 12 hours a day of consuming internet is “normal”.


At home we have the one data plan. However, at any one time, if we are all home (as my brother and myself do not live at home full time) there would be many devices connected. Ipads, notebooks, mobile phones, laptops, Ipods and playstations just to name a few. I usually find myself scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed on my laptop, then close it and reopen Facebook on my phone just a few moments later. I do admit this seems a little extreme, but it is sad to say that the act is almost second nature to me, and I’m sure it is to many other people as well. In order to get a broadband connection in the first place was an effort with countless calls and emails to the provider as we live rurally. Therefore the concept of NBN would definitely be something of the not so near future. However, I do believe that if the NBN were to be available to us, my father would not allow it, and I understand that.





Audience Measurement in Action

The 2014 State of Origin was the 34th time the annual best-of-three series between the Queensland and New South Wales Rugby teams was played. With the shock win by New South Wales, it was recorded as the highest rated game of Origin game 1 ever. With 4.058 million people tuning in to the game and a five-city share of 5.596 million viewers, the State of Origins’ dominance in the ratings took its toll on a number of shows. Network tens reality TV show Masterchef and quality drama Offspring didn’t even make the top ten.

Audience measurement is used to measure consumer patterns and media consumption. The business of selling audiences to advertisers and marketing agencies is big business, thus producers and advertisers are able to use the data collected in order to shape their markets. The NRL State of Origin dominates free to air television whenever there is a game on, therefore this gives advertisers a sometimes vital popularity boost. A lot of beer brands such as XXXX and VB are advertised as a large majority of viewers would be 18+ males who  love to have a beer whilst watching the football.

Though the numbers for the viewership of these State of Origin games are rather staggering, there are certain issues that need to be raised that question the validity of them. For instance, people usually gather together to watch television, sport being a major reason to be together. In one lounge room during a state of Origin match may be an entire family, a large group of friends etc but this only counts as one viewing as they are only watching it off the one television. Also, for those who may be at work or doing something productive during the match time and are unable to see it live, they will usually stream it or find another method to watch the game when they are able to. This means that again, the numbers that are documented will be false. These absences are quite substantial, even though there is not really any reasonable method to be able to count every single person that tunes in to a State of Origin game.