About the Gun Geo Marker

What is the Gun Geo Marker?

It is two things. First, it is/was a speculative design experiment “in the wild” to suss out what the parameters of a successful gun safety app might be. For example, the experiment showed that there is great potential for “local use only” mapping applications, or using GPS to constrain use of mapping interfaces only to the place in which one stands. This has applications for public data of a sensitive nature as it disallows arbitrary global browsing, keeping all information into its local context. Also, the ontology (or categories) for marking dangerous guns owners feels like an excellent start. An aspect of the project which did not work – nor did I expect it to in this particular case – was the use of anonymous marking of sites. Simply stated, the project suffered numerous hacking attacks that filled the database with false info, not to mention that anti-gun-safety types have also used the app itself as a tool for mischief. It is both sad to see, but also something that I grudgingly admit I have a certain level of respect for as an electronic activist myself. The issues of hacking and intentionally false data might be solved by an organization with sufficient resources through using authentication and some type of verification regimen to ensure the data is of high quality. Research is ongoing – this is not over. But this particular app is a documentary of what happened. You don’t want to miss this: x-flares.

Secondly, the App was a honeypot. As a gun owner myself, I am all too aware of a smaller component of the community that sees any attempt at improving gun safety as an affront to their second amendment rights. Reasonable regulations that do not interfere with anyone’s second amendment rights – such as universal background checks and trigger locks when guns are unattended in the presence of children – are needed to help abate the gun violence epidemic in this country. But some places in the United States seem committed to going in the opposite direction, as in Florida where a law was passed preventing medical doctors from asking about gun safety in the home as they might about swimming pool safety. So, the project is also a culture-jamming exercise intended to draw out earnest expressions from the radical anti-gun-safety community, expressions that will now become part of a second phase of the project which involves aesthetic manifestations. The app itself will remain online for a time so that people can play with the user interface, after which it will morph into a purely “documentation” application about the project.

– Original Project Speculative Design Text Below –

The Walkingtools Gun Geo Marker

The general guideline is that you should mark any location about which you have a gun related concern, while trying to provide enough extra information for others to make their own determination about safety.

An important secondary warning is that the Walkingtools Gun Geo Marker is not intended as a reporting mechanism for active threats. If you are concerned for anyone’s immediate safety, call 911 immediately.

Project Goals

The Walkingtools Gun Geo Marker has a simple goal: letting parents and community members mark, or geolocate, sites associated with potentially unsafe guns and gun owners. These locations are typically the homes or businesses of suspected unsafe gun owners, but might also be public lands or other locations where guns are not handled safely, or situations where proper rights to own or use any particular type of firearm may not exist. Electronically marking these locations (geolocation) can help others in the area learn about their geography of risk from gun accidents or violence. No matter what your safety concern with firearms might be, you should feel free to use this tool to provide the most accurate information you can such that others can make their own safety decisions. Having said this, any tool be it a gun or a database can be misused. The marking guide is intended to help users of the Walkingtools Gun Geo Marker better understand when they should electronically geolocate a dangerous gun site.

Viewing sites

The tool is both a browser (viewer), and a marker that lets you place your own markers regarding specific gun safety issues that you may be aware of. If there are not any known sites of concern recorded in your area, this it is either because there are no concerns, or because nobody has marked (or maintained a mark) for a known dangerous location. If you know of a dangerous location, the marking guide can help you decide whether or not to add to the viewable markers. This crowd-sourcing data tool is only as useful as the community using and posting information about guns and gun owners of concern.

Go to the marking guide

The Gun Geo Marker UI

The Gun Geo Marker UI shows nearby gun danger sites reported by users.

Google Open Source License Info

This product includes software from the The Android Open Source Project Copyright (c) 2005-2008, The Android Open Source Project Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the “License”); you may not use this file except in compliance with the License. Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software distributed under the License is distributed on an “AS IS” BASIS, WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied. See the License for the specific language governing permissions and limitations under the License. Apache License Version 2.0, January 2004 http://www.apache.org/licenses/

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