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Tidepools social software is an “Ushahidi” meets “The Sims” gaming-style, hyper-local mapping web app hosted on community servers. Delivered through mesh networked WiFi routers and antennas, Tidepools augment communication and civic awareness locally.

The project aims to spark interest in the cultural and needs-based values of shared networks, as socially engaged users on interconnected devices are more resilient against threats that cripple centralized communication infrastructures, like censorship and natural disaster. By demonstrating the value of meshed resources and by preempting these types of outages, Tidepools extend network value beyond simple access to the Internet.

Grassroots networks become unstable past the community level, so metropolitan and policy involvement is integrated on a larger scale. For long term implementation, APIs and a community app marketplace stimulate a pan-regional, sharing ecosystem.

http://thesis.jrbaldwin.com

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