[iDC] "In The Field Online" Project

Trebor Scholz trebor at thing.net
Fri Jul 28 10:08:03 EDT 2006


On MO Pocket Justin Obeman writes: 

"With the unfortunate events that are occurring presently in the Middle
East I thought it would be good time to bring to your attention a little
project underway by my pal Erik Sundelof (a fellows at Reuters Digital
Vision Program at Stanford University, a program that aims to develop
technology to advance humanitarian goals in underserved communities).

Erik thought it would be interesting to see what the people on the
ground (on both sides) are seeing and be able to report back live as it
happens. So Erik has set up a Typepad blog that both sides can post to
via their cell phones. The system uses a positioning solution developed
Erik while a fellow at Stanford. The positioning system allows an end
user, amongst other things, to determine if the mobile content was
really sent from near or on location. Erik also built an SMSBlog for
MobileActive.org, the online community for mobile technology and social

But all of this is really part of his larger "In The Field Online"
project in which Erik imagines every cell phone as a citizen media
outlet. The point is to allow people 'in the field' to report news
stories (or any other types of content for that matter) to the web using
just a cell phone, but is developed in such a way as to be extremely
extensible. As such one can basically push any piece of information -
text, audio, graphic, picture, video from any cell phone to the web. It
is the natural extension to citizen journalism as it creates the vehicle
for people without internet to be able to get their voices heard on the

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