The End of Crime (Part 6)

Global Photography, Digital Video Storage, Broadband Internet

Let’s take the concept of video surveillance a step further. Although now incredibly expensive, it won’t be long before satellite photography gives us the ability to watch virtually every square mile on the planet on video. These cameras will be able to zoom in to watch and analyze whatever a computer decides is suspicious movement. Currently, satellite images are able to detect details down to several square feet. It won’t be long until this gives us the ability to see a few square inches. Infrared technology and low spectrum light analysis will enable us to see through cloud cover, forested areas and even through some man-made structures. Moreover, these won’t simply be photographs, but video digitally recorded on the earth and rendered using 3-D digital animation combined with up-to-date maps and GPS information.

I remember the day in 2006 when I bought a 500 Gigabyte hard drive for under $200. This small box can store over 40 hours of high quality digital video. Compare that to my first computer, a Macintosh Plus with one megabyte of memory and a 40 Megabyte hard drive at a cost of well over $1000. Today’s computers are literally ten thousand times more powerful than what was available 15 years ago. The way that we think about video is changing fast. It will soon be possible to store vast amounts of video information and analyze it instantly with cutting edge software.

The Global Satellite Video Surveillance system will rely on a hybrid of real time video, GPS information and interactive maps. Take Google Earth. It’s a free downloadable interactive program that shows a 3-D interactive map of every square foot of the earth and gives all the information that other mapping services, such as roads, place names, 3-D buildings and terrain, and the locations of a variety of businesses and services.

If we were to add GPS into the mix with some advances in digital animation, it will be possible one day to render a real time image of any individual or moving vehicle on the planet. That way you will be able to watch a movie of any person as they travel from place to place in their daily lives.

Eventually “reality” entertainment will rely on individuals who will digitally animate themselves in a 3-D virtual reality program as they travel the world in real life adventures.

Even before the system advances that far, global imagery and GPS combined with powerful digital mapping applications will eliminate virtually all robbery and violent crimes. It will soon be possible to track to location of any individual on the Internet from any portable computer.

2 Comments

Some interesting points, but even with the expansion of technology, I'm not sure that we will be able to completely track to location of any individual. As tracking technology gets better, then certainly ways to fake out the system will get better/trickier as well, you know?
As the technology develops it will get harder to fake it out, just as it is harder now to hack into computer systems than it was ten years ago.

I believe that people should be given a choice. I am not in favor of implanting people with GPS devices. I am against the federal government making it mandatory. I am against the civil government spying on judicially innocent people under any circumstance.

However, I think that it will become standard for automobiles the same way that seatbelts are now required equipment and will be used in traffic control. You won't be able to break traffic laws with impugnity and people will see that as a good thing when traffic fatalities drop as a result.

I also think that it ought to be used with non-violent criminals as an alternative to jail. I'll write an entry on that soon.

I also think that people for safety sake may want their children to have GPS devices -- in the form of a cell phone or another external device such as a pin or an identification card.

Eventually it will be so cheap and convenient, that everyone will see the safety factor in having loved ones know where they are at all times, that people will adopt the technology voluntarily.

GPS will be only one method of tracking people. Eventually, every populated area will have video cameras everywhere. Some cities are already there now and it is one reason why violent crime has dropped so dramatically in big cities.

My point in writing all this is to show that this is a technology that is coming fast. There is a vast amount of "private" information being collected on people with internet accounts, cell phones and credit cards. Most of this espionage is not being done by the government, but by private companies. All of it is legal and people don't even realize that they are being watched.

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