Wednesday, March 22, 2006


Google Maps Meets Stuffopolis

Bruce Sterling spent a few minutes in last week's talk about the Internet of Things. He quoted Warren Ellis: "There's a middle distance between the complete collapse of infrastructure and some weird geek dream of electronically knowing where all your stuff is." Sterling made up a word (or tag or theory object...) spime in 2004. The objects represented below don't have chips or GPS, so they're not actual spimes yet. Nonetheless, over the last couple of years, this "inventory voodoo" has helped us geeks and friends of geeks keep track of our things.

Here's a snapshot of where my stuff is around the world right now. Each marker is a friend. Click on a marker and you see what stuff they have. Space. If you hover over an item, it says what day the request was made. Time.

Of course, what's shown above is typically private information. To protect the innocent, I asked permission last week from my friends to use this data and I also did the coordinate lookup by zipcode instead of full address. Then, I cut and pasted the HTML from Stuffopolis into this blog entry.

You might notice that many of the items have been out for a year or more (there's survivorship bias here. we don't see items already returned). The beauty is that it doesn't matter. Neither party needs to worry about getting the item back right away. It can always be recalled if necessary, but usually, the item can go on a long sabbatical. Boundaries are collapsing. (Although, the privacy settings on Stuffopolis are strict by default.)

Update: I've had some people ask me whether this is feature is available on Stuffopolis. The answer is Yes.

Very cool. I had to blog about this.
Don't forget, I have already put in my application to work at Stuffopolis.

Hmm.... if you decide to hire me, is it safe to assume I can telework in my pajamas?
:) i need to pick up some of those bill murray broken flowers running suits myself.
How do I borrow stuff...
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