19th September 2007 - 09:36 AM
This is a personalized example of what I call "Trusted Surveillance" which I'm trying to promote
as an alternative to the totalitarian big brother surveillance society we're allowing to develop as we speak. My "soundbite" to describe it is that where untrusted surveillance consists of people watching other people, trusted surveillance consists of us watching only ourselves.
Be that as it may, I'm surprised at the negative comments made about the "burden" of taking so many photographs. I bought a Canon Ixus 70 back in March for similar reasons (it's small enough to carry everywhere) and I take it with me on my regular walks. Yes, I've taken thousands of photographs and "only" hundreds are worth keeping. But far from reducing my enjoyment it has amplified it enormously. It has made me look much more intensively and intelligently at the world I'm walking through. This is because - for the first time in my life - I have found myself taking a keen interest in each plant just because I know that with a high res digital image I ought to be able to identify it online instantly.
The fact that I can't has triggered another project - an online plant identification database. (I know there are some, but they're all inadequate because they expect you to be fairly expert before you start. We need one for "vegetation virgins" like me.)
Ultimately I want to be able to take a photo with my Ixus or mobile phone or whatever and get an instant online answer - in the field - which tells me all that is known about whatever it is I'm looking at.