Archive for the ‘Geography’ tag

The Digital Divide:- Geography and Criminology   no comments

Posted at 3:58 pm in Criminology

The Digital Divide has become a popular term, commonly understood as the gap between those that have access to the internet and those that do not. Initially it is assumed this gap is simply between the developed and developing countries, also known as the Global Divide. However, there are other distinct aspects of the divide; Social divide – the gap within each nation, and the Democratic Divide – those who use/do not use digital resources in their pubic life.

Although there are several efforts and schemes in place with the hope of bridging the gap, it is a great issue that is highly unlikely to be solved in the near future. In fact it is most probable that the gap will carry on growing, increasing the difficulty of bridging it.

This topic has always intrigued me. I believe this is a great opportunity to research the matter through the perspectives of Geography and Criminology.

> Geography

Geography, the study of “the world around us”, already draws upon a range of disciplines including sociology, anthropology, geology, politics, and oceanography.

It is divided into two parts; Human and Physical Geography. Although I will hope to cover both parts, I believe my research will heavily focus within the Human side of Geography, as it emphasises on the changes of the world effected by human interventions.

I anticipate to discover research amongst one of the main topics of Geography; Globalisation – a defined term used since the 1990s describing the characteristics of the world we live in.

> Criminology

With absolutely zero previous experience in the field of Criminology, I hope this will give a different insight to the Digital Divide in comparison to Geography, and with a closer focus on the topic, such as social inequality.

Light research has already demonstrated there is a vast interest in crime and criminals, and that crime varies throughout different societies. There are several explanations criminologists have composed from Biological explanations to Social and Psychological explanations. There are also several different theories created to explain reasons for crime including the Economic and Strain theory.

> Resources

To date, the following books appear to be of great use and help towards this research study:

Daniels, P., Bradshaw, M., Shaw, D., Sidaway., (2012)  An Introduction to Human Geography, 4th ed, Essex: Pearson

Moseley, W., Lanegran, D., Pandit, K., (2007) Introductory Reader in Human Geography Contemporary Debates and Classic Writings, Oxford: Blackwell Publishing

Hale, C., Hayward, K., Wahidin, A., Wincup, E., (2009) Criminology, 2nd ed, New York: Oxford University Press

Norris, P., (2001) Digital Divide, Civic Engagement, Information Poverty and the Internet Worldwide, New York: Cambridge University Press


Written by Sophie Parsons on October 12th, 2013

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A starting point   1 comment

Posted at 4:01 pm in Uncategorized

The question I hope to approach (unless I get that “Are you sure?” email from Les) is “How can we design a better user interface?”. In case you’re not sure of the terminology, I take “user interface” to mean any way in which people interact with a computer, from graphical user interfaces (GUIs) to physical hardware like mice and touchscreens, text-to-speech for visually impaired people, and even gesture based interfaces like Kinect and LeapMotion.

I like this as a topic because for 95% of computer scientists and programmers (like me) in the real world it’s not even a consideration; of course the website will be good, just look how well the server processes data. After all, what’s the point of building something great if only people with a computing degree can understand what the obscure symbols on the tiny buttons are supposed do?

The two subject areas I chose to analyse my question are Geography and Biology. They may seem obscure for this kind of problem, but they’re not totally off the wall, and here’s why:

Biology, the study of life

The systems we design are for people, so the study of people has a lot to offer this problem. It could be from a purely physical standpoint looking at the size and shape of people (Biological Anthropology), like whether they can actually reach the top of a touchscreen (thanks Galaxy Note, you don’t really work here). It could also be the application of biological principles like natural selection to interface designs; if I get 1000 people to trial several designs then we take the best ones forward to the second round of testing.

Geography, the study of the world around us

This one’s a bit more obscure and possibly harder to apply, however geography has some of the oldest methods of representing and simplifying data to make it more accessible to people. Cartography (Physical Geography) has been making it possible for people to get around for hundreds of years, and the census (Human Geography) takes information about the entire population and presents it in easy to read statistics.

Hopefully there’s a lot of potential for both of these and over the next few weeks I’ll be digging further to find out exactly what can be applied and how. If anyone has any thoughts then please add a comment or come over and find me.

Written by Alex Owen on October 9th, 2013

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