#NTNM Assignment 4 – Keith Zubrow

When I began reading the case studies my first intuition was to find the study that was the most edgy. As I scrolled down looking for a hard news angle I ultimately settled on the title “Journalism and Truth in Sensing,” by Lucas Graves. There was nothing “hard news” about the study, but what it did mention was how the St. Petersburg Times used sensors to gather data and show the development of Florida’s wetlands over time.

Last week I read an article about how 3-D imaging software can be used to recreate the model of someone’s heart. The goal of this specific use of the technology is to demonstrate change the human body endures over time. Eventually by colleting data that shows evidence of the change taking place doctors could better assess the potential health risks involved with certain medications, diet or genes. It is this idea that through the use of sensors and 3-D modeling we as journalists could better show change over time.

By combining the ideas conveyed in both of the articles that I read I ultimately would like to see journalists use sensors and 3-D modeling to help preserve stories. To better contextualize what I mean, imagine what it was like to be in Berlin the day the wall came down. If we had the capability to scan that event, we would be able to not only see the videos, but also walk the streets of Berlin. One day this historic event will only live in the grade school textbooks that preserve its significance. Perhaps somewhere along the line, a programmer will try and recreate the scene using hypotheticals and imperfect data. No longer should this be a problem.

Here is another way this technology could be used in a similar fashion. When most Americans see the Israeli Palestine conflict in the news there seems to be an overwhelming feeling that it does not affect them. The reason is because there has not been a war fought on American land since the Civil War. As a nation we do not understand what it is like to live in fear. Through the use of sensors and 3-D modeling we can allow people across the world to better comprehend what life is like in the region. I envision scanning the entire dwelling of an Israeli citizen and importing the data into modeling software. Next, I would explain to the person experiencing the virtual world that when they hear the bomb warning alarm go off, they have only seconds to get to the shelter before there is an explosion. This augmented reality may alter the feelings of foreign conflicts in the minds of Americans.

In terms of using technology from SparkFun for journalism, I found a camera that records in HD and a temperature sensor that I want to use. My goal is to place them strategically around Alaska near the glaciers to study a correlation between active light and temperature and how it affects climate change.

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