Liquid Galaxy at the INFO Summit
By Josh Ausborne · Wednesday, July 18, 2012
End Point was tasked with setting up and manning a Liquid Galaxy at the two day INFO Summit at the Four Seasons Hotel in Westlake Village, CA. Josh Ausborne and Alejandro Ramon were in attendance representing End Point, and performed the setup and the running of the system.
INFO is the short name for Illicit Networks: Forces in Opposition. The INFO Summit is an event designed to get people to understand how drug smugglers, arms dealers, and human traffickers operate, and how people can get involved to develop technology in an effort to disrupt and thwart the networks. You can read an overview about the summit and its purpose here.
Jared Cohen, Director of Google Ideas, was interviewed by Fast Company to discus the breaking down of illicit networks. According to Cohen, Google "focused on disrupting violent and coercive illicit networks, including drug cartels, the mafia, human trafficking rings, organ harvesters, illicit arms dealers, and forced labor networks." You can read the article here where he explains some of the ways that Google is stepping up the fight.
End Point's involvement in the summit is as the installer and presenter of a Liquid Galaxy tour that shows the various illicit network hotspots around the world. These locations include various places such as Africa, the Middle East, Azerbaijan, Russia, Mexico, and even the United States. The tour is a simple KML tour with text popups to give information on a given hotspot before flying to the next location. It provides general Illicit Network information that the people are looking for, but not so much that they are unable to finish reading it before the tour moves on to the next location. We could have included some more fancy design in the tour bubbles, but in this case we didn't want to distract from the content itself.
We have had numerous people approach us about how the Liquid Galaxy could be utilized in various situations, and we have presented ideas for each of them. One of them was a person involved with a US military school, and she is interested in how the LG could be used in a military education setting.
Another is head of security and emergency response for a very large international facility, and was wondering how the LG could be used to show watershed concerns, construction, and high security areas. We explained the idea of screen overlays to identify areas of high value, as well as weather updates and tracking.
During the conference, we have had a chance to sit and discuss the use of KML with Sean Askay, Developer Support Engineer of the Google Earth Outreach group. We talked about the current and future use of KML within Google Earth, how we expect it to grown in the future, as well as how End Point can continue to grow in its Liquid Galaxy / Google Earth role.
Overall, the tour has been a success as far as the Liquid Galaxy is concerned. We have shown a good tour on a beautiful system, have made contact with many interested people, and have been able to show how the LG can be utilized to meet the various needs of the conference attendees.