Mirror World

During the elections, I was struck by the lack of databases and real-world linkages. Such tools could be great assets for both campaigning and direct marketing. I think of this as a “mirror world”– a virtual replica of the real world along multiple dimensions:

  • start with maps
  • add a layer of establishments (buildings, schools, retail outlets, roads, etc.)
  • overlay this with the voter database that one can get from the Election Commissio. The voter database has names of people, their addresses, gender and age.
  • add the actual voting numbers based on the data published from the EC post-election (can also incorporate historical data to get trends; need to take into account the delimitation)
  • integrate the socio-demographic and development data that is available from census, various government sites (and collated by independent companies)
  • finally, buy contacts lists of people with information of their digital identity (email IDs, mobile numbers)
  • this database can then be continuously updated based on user interactions, thus enhancing people profiles

The work to be done needs to be done at 3 levels:

  • data acquisition
  • software development for ingesting the data
  • creating analytics tools on the data for decision-making

Such a database would be a very powerful marketing tool. For example, a new multiplex can now reach out to people within a 5 kilometre radius via email or SMS (provided people are not registered on the Do Not Call registry). There are many such applications that I can think of.

Anyone done/doing this, or interested in putting this together?

PS: Credit needs to be given to David Gelernter for his book of the same name (Mirror Worlds). 

28 thoughts on “Mirror World

  1. Everyblock (http://www.everyblock.com/about/faq/) comes to mind immediately. They are running a few US cities for now, and have the Civic information, News, Blog information and other trivia for every block in the city.

    Though the focus is a block, it should be easy to aggregate the information to span city or state.

    The author (Adrian Holovaty) is committed to release the software source under Open Source license. Maybe this can be used for this purpose.

    –Amit

  2. Rajesh

    If someone is doing what you just mentioned, they are the next Google. I mean, that would just kill the whole information thing. Build the platform and have an API: Twitter will look like a small subset then. Amazing thought Rajesh.

  3. Hi Rajesh –

    Sounds interesting. I feel there are few application of simillar nature being used by various organization but surely not with the one you mentioned topologies integrated together.

    It would fetch gr8 amount of business hrough this and easiness for the vendors using such applciations.

    I wiull get back to u soon with more details

    regards
    madan

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