Fact: According to a report, “Taking Back the Airwaves” in the Buffalo News last month, “Listeners’ relationship with radio has changed in the last 25 years. Radio used to be the main source of music, … but now, like other industries, radio is fighting to reinvent itself in a digital age.”
Analysis: Let’s say you were an Air Force mission planner, and wanted to plan a particular flight over enemy territory. Time-honored practices (and traditionally clunky but powerful software built custom for the purpose) allow you to overlay the enemy’s known radar-emitting sites, using circles or shapes to indicate the covered and non-covered areas, and to do the same with anti-aircraft missile ranges, allowing the precise planning of a safe flight route.
Now let’s look at a nifty adaptation, showing that there are much more fun and practical everyday uses of such an approach – and now new technologies make it much easier and faster to accomplish!
Mashable.com highlights today a mashup that can only be used for one event: tomorrow’s Super Bowl. But it’s easy to use the approach for many other purposes. This first example is called FollowTheGame, a site making it easy for folks who might be on the road and need to find a radio station wherever they find themselves, that is carrying the Super Bowl. Sure, you could fiddle the dial – but this is technology! More fun and whiz-bangy.
The system is “powered by Microsoft’s Virtual Earth mashed with radio power data added by Spatial Point.” Pretty nifty, and obviously the approach could be used if you wanted to plot your cross-country drive and listen to awesome late-night radio, with aliens and loony callers entertaining you along the way. (Maybe Art Bell will unretire again.)
The ease of the mashup is the real story, of course – something Air Force planners are also beginning to appreciate.