viernes, 2 de junio de 2017

Facebook enters the population mapping game | MercatorNet | June 2, 2017 |

Facebook enters the population mapping game
| MercatorNet | June 2, 2017 |

Facebook enters the population mapping game

Does this mean census forms are a thing of the past?
Marcus Roberts | Jun 2 2017 | comment 

A couple of years ago I blogged about the trouble one has taking politicised census figures seriously and using them to make predictions about future population growth. In that instance I was talking about Nigeria; we still rely on the 2006 census (which many dispute the accuracy of) for the population of that country and to make demographic predictions. Since the population figures are used to divide up resources between urban and rural areas and between north and south, there are widespread concerns that for decades the census figures in Nigeria have been rigged.
Now, thanks to the latest scientific research and some world famous philanthropic and computer institutions, we might be getting closer to knowing an accurate picture of Nigeria’s and other countries' population. According to Scientific American, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has delivered “the most detailed and up-to-date population map ever produced for a developing country” to the Nigerian government. It is based on satellite imagery and over 2,000 neighbourhood surveys and will be used to deliver the measles vaccine next year.
The mapping project was began by the Gates Foundation after problems were encountered in distributing polio vaccines – millions of doses were sent to the wrong areas while other areas suffered shortages due to bad population data. High-resolution maps of the country’s northern states were made and the population was placed on it using computer algorithms to identify different types of neighbourhoods. This data was then used to design household-population surveys for each settlement type; the results were used to calculate population densities. The new map shows many villages that were left off the most recent census and many urban areas that are more populated than originally thought. An epidemiologist and interim deputy director of data and analytics for global development at the Gates Foundation said that the map could save US$1 billion in a few years for all vaccine types.
It is hoped that these more accurate maps can be used in other developing countries for infrastructure, health and development planning. It is expected to cost between $1 million and $2 million per country to produce these maps. The Gates Foundation is planning to expand its project to Ethiopia and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Ethiopia is to collect census data this year referenced to geographic location to capture “a true snapshot of their populations” and Nigeria will follow in 2018.
In a slightly more sinister move (or am I being too cynical?) Facebook has also joined the mapping push. This is after it announced plans in 2014 to expand Internet access worldwide using drones and satellites. It developed an algorithm to identify human-built structures and then overlaid census data. Because the algorithm is so good at finding population (especially rural populations) Facebook doesn’t need on-the-ground surveys like the Gates Foundation’s mapping project does.
So while the news is good for health and development in developing countries, and for demographers, the news is less good if you are trying to escape the Facebook newsfeed in a log cabin in the mountains somewhere. Zuckerberg will soon know exactly where you live….
- See more at:

June 2, 2017
Leading our varied menu of articles today is an account of transgender politics in the Canadian province of Alberta as it affects schools, and how this change has been handled by one particular family.
Wayne Ottenbreit is a marriage and family therapist in Calgary as well as a guidance counsellor in one of the city’s school districts. He writes, as one would expect of such a professional, in a calm but forthright manner about the personal and professional risks of resisting an irrational but powerful movement, especially when others who can see its wrong-headedness are too afraid to say so.
But he also sets out reasons for hope and suggests a way forward:
In tending our own patches of soil the most effective tool is confident courage - exercised in relationships that educate hearts and minds. This is the antithesis of withdrawal from culture. This is to enter into the messiness of human living and encounter dissimilar others, with charity and truth harnessed together.
It’s a sturdy and wise article and I suggest you will profit far more from reading it than from any of the thousands of articles on offer right now about Donald Trump’s shock-horror repudiation of the Paris Climate Change Accord.

Carolyn Moynihan 
Deputy Editor, 

How gender became political, and the political became personal
By Wayne J. Ottenbreit
One family’s engagement with the new identity culture.
Read the full article
Senator Sasse has questions and answers about freedom and virtue
By Sheila Liaugminas
Now that his provocative new book is out, more people are noticing.
Read the full article
‘Why I am a Jew’
By Michael Cook
A leading British rabbi explains his faith in a short animated video
Read the full article
The Lego Batman Movie
By Rachele Mocchetti
Action, humour, and unrelenting self-irony.
Read the full article
Facebook enters the population mapping game
By Marcus Roberts
Does this mean census forms are a thing of the past?
Read the full article
Grandmother bridges generation gap
By Jennifer Minicus
Henry likes to take his time.
Read the full article
A Christian abortion doctor? On the ignorance, arrogance, and violence of the Pro-Choice cause
By Charles K. Bellinger
An abortion doctor's inadequate apologia.
Read the full article
The engagement ring loses its sparkle
By Helena Adeloju
Whoever said 'Diamonds are forever' hadn't reckoned with the millennials.
Read the full article
Re-opening the apology book
By Raymond J. de Souza
Canadian Premier Trudeau wants (another) papal 'sorry' to First Nations people.
Read the full article
It’s a hashtag world of sentiment
By Barbara Lilley
But does it do any good to the victims we are so publicly sorry for?
Read the full article
Exclusive: Trump to get Nobel Peace Prize
By Michael Cook
Norwegian committee has buyer regret after Obama experience
Read the full article

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Facebook enters the population mapping game

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