technology

Episode 08 with Sean Gorman

Episode 08 with Sean Gorman 900 450 Nowhere Podcast

On today’s episode of Nowhere Podcast we’re joined by ​​Sean Gorman. Sean was the CEO of Pixel8.earth until the business was acquired in 2021. Pixel8.earth took a crowd sourced approach to location mapping, and today Sean is still focusing on taking further strides forward in location technology.

Current commodity GPS isn’t incredibly accurate. It relies on triangulating satellites and estimating times between signals, but if it bounces, it can create errors. If you’ve ever found yourself looking at where you are on the map and found you were on the wrong road or the wrong side of the street, this is the common culprit.

Sean sees the future of location technology going towards growth in augmented reality, drone navigation, and autonomy. Right now, the focus is on solving the long-tail problems that are blocking exciting possibilities.

Some of the fun areas that new tech could have an interesting impact on are interactive gaming and athletics. Right now, if you go hiking with a partner or friend, the location technology in your phone is susceptible to errors. These errors build up and can lead to great discrepancies between devices.

Solving current problems in location technology could unlock benefits that will benefit individuals and society as a whole. When you have enough people pushing for solutions from enough different angles, there are going to be even more opportunities to explore in the geo-spatial world.

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Episode 06 with Joshua Johnston

Episode 06 with Joshua Johnston 900 450 Nowhere Podcast

Joining us in this episode is Dr. Josh Johnston. He is the Principal Investigator for the WildFireSat mission, and a career wildland firefighter. Why is managing fire important? The truth is that fire isn’t always a bad thing. The fire is a natural means of keeping the forest healthy and actually plays a large role in stimulating new growth.

That said, getting too close to the fire or having too much of it can be dangerous. Sometimes fire management is about suppression, sometimes fires need to be started, and sometimes they simply need to be left alone. In instances where people are around, the objective is to put them out as fast as possible.

The WildFireSat is the world’s first purpose-built fire monitoring mission via satellite. Prior to this, the science revolved around general purpose missions. This one is specifically for fire management, and it’s a uniquely Canadian endeavor. This allows for effective tracking of fires, which will play an even more important role as the world experiences climate change.

While imagery is nice to have, analysis and a breakdown of what a fire is doing—and what it is likely to do next—is more important than the visual asset. These analytics will be embedded in forthcoming products. This technology collects information regarding the landscape and classifies the threat of the fire. Decision makers who have to make a choice based upon this data will benefit the most from interpreting this data.

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Episode 05 with Matt Lowe

Episode 05 with Matt Lowe 900 450 Nowhere Podcast

In this episode we’re joined by Matthew Lowe, the CEO of ZeroKey. Matthew has been interested in software since he was a child. His passion developed throughout the early nineties and blossomed into his entrepreneurial career in technology.

ZeroKey uses the digitization of location to bring presence to objects in a new way, and this indoor positioning technology has a lot of potential. For instance, if put to use in a factory setting, it could help you monitor processes, track material flow, and do analytics of physical processes. ZeroKey is accomplishing this on a never-before-seen precise scale.

What humans could improve on in factories specifically is the handoff point from human to technology. Hybrid assembly lines across the world face this problem, and a queued process can create huge backups across the assembly line, wasting both time and money. Indoor positioning technology could be used to make this process more effective.

One significant difference between ZeroKey and their competitors is the use of ultrasound as the fundamental mechanism for location. Sound provides a higher level of accuracy than radio signals or light because it travels more slowly. This reduces errors in measuring.

ZeroKey is seeing interest from autonomous vehicle manufacturers, which indicates one way this technology may be used in the future. It can also help detect safety hazards. This fundamental understanding of what’s going on to the environment opens up a world of opportunity.

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Episode 04 with Danika Kelly

Episode 04 with Danika Kelly 900 450 Nowhere Podcast

Danika Kelly is with us in today’s episode. She is the Co-Founder and CEO of My Normative, a female-focused health tracking app that can help the user gather data so they can understand more about how their unique hormone cycles impact their sleep, activity, and overall wellness.

Danika is a high-performance athlete who always used apps to track her health and wellness. However, she found they simply weren’t usable because these apps didn’t take into account that she is a female. Female bodies are different, and their needs should be met accordingly, which is why she decided to start My Normative.

Female-body inclusion is important in health tracking. Researchers are working on this, but they are generally very specialized. My Normative is helping to break these barriers by acting as a salient tool for researchers.

Before tracking her own patterns of behavior, Danika would say she has a tendency to “hunker down” when she’s beginning her menstrual cycle. What she’s learned through tracking is that this isn’t true. She actually spends a lot of time doing low-intensity ambient movement, which is common for women to do to mitigate pain and inflammation as their cycle begins.

It can take a few cycles for the My Normative app to gather the right amount of data and hone in on one’s personal experience. Over time, the insights become even more specific to the individual. In addition to this, they’ve put in barriers to ensure privacy protection for every user.

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Episode 03 with Alex Gierus

Episode 03 with Alex Gierus 900 450 Nowhere Podcast

On this episode we’re joined by the CTO of Trusted Dispatch, Alex Gierus. Trusted Dispatch is an automated shipping system designed specifically for heavy equipment and freight shipping. What sets them apart from other businesses is their use of geospatial technology to link one expertly equipped driver with one shipper.

Alex has a background in logistics and spent years working with the Alberta government helping to move oil, as well as working for a pipeline logistics company and a software company. When he joined the founder of Trusted Dispatch, they worked together to restart the business and the technology from the ground up.

There is a lot more to take into account when shipping something oversized than you might think, such as clearance, borders, permits, and road conditions. This is where the technology behind Trusted Dispatch comes in to ensure the shipping process is safe when linked up with a driver with the right equipment.

Agriculture equipment is a commonly transported type of heavy machinery. When in transport, one combine can take up the whole highway going well under the speed limit. What’s interesting is that if it weren’t agriculture-related, this wouldn’t be allowed. This is a reflection of how much we value our farmers as a society.

There’s a lot that can go wrong on the road, from difficulties finding an address to troubles crossing the border. This use of logistics for optimized routing is important when shipping large, often unique items.

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Episode 01 with Will Cadell

Episode 01 with Will Cadell 900 450 Nowhere Podcast

In this episode we’re joined by Will Cadell. He is the founder and CEO of Sparkgeo, which is a geospatial partner for some of the biggest technology brands in the world. Will sees geospatial work as a community practice because it touches so many different people.

Sparkgeo recently worked with Arturo, who is in the insurance space. A large part of their work includes evaluating roof properties, and Sparkgeo worked with their team to help them make these evaluations even quicker and more effectively.

Will is very interested in open data, and he values the accessibility of sharing information. That said, open data does reveal more than you think. Having structure in the data is key, but this begs the question: whose internal values are going to be reflected in the data when they decide how to structure it? Data is opinionated—and this idea can be difficult to get around.

Being able to use geospatial technology can play an important role in protecting people from natural disasters like landslides, floods, and fire. The data shows there is a link between a high fire severity index and flooding. Fires can inhibit an environment’s ability to absorb water. These extreme fluctuations are connected, as one event can lead to another. Read more about the data on SparkGeo’s blog.

Imagine if you were buying a home. Wouldn’t you want to know how at risk your area was for wildfires and flooding, especially amid the climate changes we’re experiencing? This is an example of how geospatial technology can be applied to help everyday people.

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