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Global Village Inventory Categories

Maintainer: Franz Nahrada, Version 1, 20.04.2001
Projekt-Typ: halboffen
Status: Archiv

Project Outline - General Idea

(1) The purpose of the website is to collect and distribute information about human settlements (mostly, but not limited to rural settlements) which are substantialy influenced and augmented by information and communication technologies. The crucial issue and main interest is the connection between information technology and the physical “Gestalt” of the settlement. We think that IT can be a catalyzer of ecologically sustainable environments lifestyles – and that together with this, IT should provide elements of empowerment, autonomy, dramatic improvement of quality of life, enhancments of community and cooperation. This is what the website tries to focus on, bring into the center of our attention. The website is built around three parts: The INVENTORY, which is a database of elements edited by contributors all over the world over the web online. It is based on an automatic entry system and dymamic generation of web pages. (Example: MUNICIPIA.AT) The Inventory lists five different types of entities: LOCATIONS, i.e. physical places with geographic identity INSTITUTIONS that are relevant for the creation or maintainance of these locations NETWORKS that are relevant for the support of these locations PRODUCTS – technologies that enable the use of IT or its impact in these locations PEOPLE that are the core of these developments The five entities are the main categories of interest. Each of them might be treated * as an idea which is dealt with theoretically, design, study, competition, publication – a library item which can be downloaded from somewhere. * as a project in planning or in progress, which includes events, which are considered temporary networks * as an example or model which can be evaluated – case study so we have a matrix wich allows us to structure and approach the vast and disperse content in the field. There must be categories to describe the five different types of entities.To refine the system as soon as possible is the purpose of this Open Theory project.

Specific considerations for the usability and validity

(2) The number of specifications to an entity should be as small as possible. Yet it should allow us to answer the main questions in searching and presenting the content. Each content brings its own set of standard values. This is why we start with the Question "HOW DO WE DESCRIBE...." Please keep in mind this is for an interdisciplinary community and for a specific purpose; to describe locations not primarily in their uniqueness, but in terms of building blocks which might be generalised.


(3) remember, we are talking about a pedestrian-oriented, clustered community type of settlement which draws its aliveness, diversity, harmony etc. from the rearrangement of space fostered by communication technologies.

(3.1) geographically in terms of localising it:, 25.04.2001, 09:21, Franz Nahrada: Continent Country Region Nearest_Urban_Center Name_of_Village

(3.2) in terms of describing the Area, 25.04.2001, 09:24, Franz Nahrada: Urban - Suburban - Rural - Remote - Island...)

(3.3) in Terms of describing the village, 25.04.2001, 09:26, Franz Nahrada: This Global Village is an Urban_Quarter -- Urban_District -- Small/Intermediate_City -- Rural_Village -- Other

(3.4) by describing the telematic focus, 25.04.2001, 09:26, Franz Nahrada: Telework - Support_Center_for_SMES - Education - .... - Culture general - Culture intentional or spiritual - ....

(3.5) Telematic Facility:, 25.04.2001, 09:28, Franz Nahrada: Office Building - Call Center - Library - Community Center- Home based Workplace - Art Studio.... café....

(3.6) note, 25.04.2001, 09:28, Franz Nahrada: please note that the LOCATION is a separate entity. there might be relational links to institutions, but an edited LOCATION should be a complete set of information in itself. of course it should have reference data.

(3.6.1) Degree of Coherence, 05.05.2001, 09:48, Franz Nahrada: This leads to a very crucial category, the one of coherence. We need to separate villages which require from its participants to share certain value systems etc. - so called intentional Communities - from shere geographical villages in the reference frame of a non-discriminatory political constitution. Of course, in any case, further information should be given under "institution"!

(3.7) Re: "HOW DO WE DESCRIBE....A LOCATION ?", 03.05.2001, 18:43, Oliver Bachmann: Wouldn't it be a good idea to describe locations as descriptions for regions? When we divide each city into different areas, we could already have a community which knows each other from its area description...

(3.7.1) The nested description, 04.05.2001, 11:25, Franz Nahrada: In fact that is exactly what we need to do. The focus is on the smallest unit because the main purpose of the Global Village Inventory is to learn how we can add telematic functionality to these small units ( global villages). Nevertheless (3.1) and (3.2) contain geographical expressions (names) and typological description. So if you are in Brandenburg and want to know about similar places in Brandenburg you could search by region. Eventually an offspring of the GVI could be a touristical guide for "global nomads" who could find about Bead and Breakfast, teleworking abilities, local support etc.Of course those descriptions cannot be foreseen now, and I feel strongly this goes beyond the scientific goal of the GVI. The important question is then how do we maintain cooperation with those who want to focus on the touristical aspect. They would profit a lot from a well-maintained GVI and might help to maintain it.

( Re: The nested description / Ontolgy, 14.05.2001, 23:56, Thomas Kalka: It would be nice to develop a small ontology of terms and attributes describing villages, projects etc. You could then use this to make searches and rate them. If we could think about an open network like ontology (not a hirarchical, tree-like) then we could just start with a small and simple one and refine it while using it.

( At Least the Quest for the Tree Ends in the Forest, 15.05.2001, 10:48, Franz Nahrada: As you see I was trying to do such an ontology. What I suggest is not limited to one entity. Neither do I believe that the five entities which constitute the little system here as the base for our database mirrors the whole world. recently a system has been proposed to cover "multimedia_spaces" ,which is an excellent complement to our work here. This is an open network, a forest rather than a tree....and we need also the myccorhiza in the ground to connect the trees ;-)

(3.8) Re: "HOW DO WE DESCRIBE....A LOCATION ?", 03.05.2001, 18:44, Oliver Bachmann: Wouldn't it be a good idea to describe locations as descriptions for regions? When we divide each city into different areas, we could already have a community which knows each other from its area description...

(3.8.1) Re: "HOW DO WE DESCRIBE....A LOCATION ?", 05.05.2001, 09:56, Franz Nahrada: suggest that we consider this as void duplicate...how can it be deleted?

(3.9) Re: "HOW DO WE DESCRIBE....A LOCATION ?", 14.05.2001, 23:50, Thomas Kalka: If it`s a real place on earth: use geographical coordinates.

(3.9.1) yes,but more than that, 11.06.2001, 21:37, Franz Nahrada: see (3.1) where the geographical aspect of a location is covered in terms of nested areas. But "geographical" is only one aspect of the description of a location.


(4) At the core of any Global Village is a leading institution or a network of local actors. The idea is to find out how different types of institutions can perform analog functions, a community library or a community café. So the specific use of the term institution in our context refers to the organisation at the core of a locality. It could also be a network, but then again the point to be made here is how the network manifests in the village. For example, a Kinko's is a copy shop with services that go far beyond what we usually expect. Here we are interested in the fact that a commercial outlet can be at the core of a global village formation process. If we want to describe a company which influences Global Villages in general, like Acorn Televillages, we would rather place the case study under "networks".

(4.1) Typology, 05.05.2001, 09:54, Franz Nahrada: So what we need to find out first in the traditional sense is if the leading institution is
- the local Government
- a body of public legal status (e.g. community library) or a regional or national public organisation
- an actors network, ad-hoc-coalition, home-owners network
- a commercial entity, for example the electronic café
- a non-profit and non-governmental organisation

(4.2) Main focus, 05.05.2001, 10:29, Franz Nahrada: We asked under location for the main telematic focus..Here we might go deeper and ask for the institutions mission. I have only vague ideas:
- general development
- mostly educational
- mostly commercial
- mostly cultural or spiritual

(4.2.1) Re: Main focus, 29.08.2001, 12:46, Franz Nahrada: There are general telematic sites and there are ones that address specific target groups.

Maybe it would be good to have instead of focus 2 categories:
- Target Group
- Main Task


(5) Here we refer to entities that connect Global Villages to each other or to the rest of the world. For example, The Global Ecovillage Network is not only disseminating information, but also actively supporting a certain type of Global Village (low-tech, high-subtleness in understanding natural and spiritual potentials). We might be interested in the nature, the mission statement, the reach-out, the membership of such entities. A valuable source would be the UIA database of international organisations.


(6) well, this is not about marketing - we have no yellow pages here. But when we remember the "Whole Earth Catalogue" as a collections of tools and techniques to master every possible situation, we are very close to the intention of this section. For example, John Todds "Living Machines" are an essential idea to empower global villages, taking care of waste and turning it into soil. composting, using local resources, but also - this is very crucial - transforming free-floating algorithms into material reality. Ever heard of a "fabber?" - the factory in a box is a global village dream project, turning software into skills and abilities. Think of everything that is missing and turn the description into categories in the life of a community - here we go.

(6.1) Re: "HOW DO WE DESCRIBE....A PRODUCT ?", 07.05.2001, 19:27, Graham Seaman: I dont think any 'box' can 'turn software into skills and abilities', and if it could it might not be a good thing. Software has been used to replace/dehumanize too many skills and abilities already... Technologies which allow cheap materialization of ideas and algorithms (where cheap doesn't mean price, but small use of resources) are something else.So maybe a basic split in categories between creation of new technologies and creation of individual products?


(7) Definitely not by categories. This is a section that is more a repository of living treasures, describing the ones we should not forget to include in our networks. But also sometimes a reminder of how they did it, what they contributed, where they are heading to. Of course here we are not talking about oideas or theories, People are case studies only. So if our matrix has 12 sections, the people are number 13, bringing individuality and the non-transformable to our otherwise categoriel world.

(7.1) Re: "HOW DO WE DESCRIBE....A PERSON ?", 03.05.2001, 18:46, Oliver Bachmann: I am going to study computer engineering. Therefore I am going to learn a lot. The most powerful method to do this is Mind Mapping - additionally it helps you to learn more about yourself than you first thought. Many features make it possible to represent one's own personality providing the user with powerful learning tools which you haven't even dreamed of before. http://www.mindora.de

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