Yesterday (2/8), Institute of International Studies Universitas Gadjah Mada organised monthly discussion on “Changing the Game: Geo-Technology for Social and Politics”, which invites Ms. Auliantya Ayurin Putri (Ayin) of Environmental System Research Institute (ESRI) Indonesia as discussant. ESRI is a leading global supplier of geographic information system (GIS) software, also a prominent research body. 47 participants, coming from Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, Faculty of Engineering, and Faculty of Geography UGM, Indonesia Indicator; were joining the event.
Rapid development and innovation of information technology has lead to its usages in countless sectors. The use of such technology leaves data records, varying from our current location to our personal bio. Unwittingly, these data often used to expose information about us. Geographic Information System (GIS) enables us to collect, map, and then visualize data into spatial or geographical data.
Why “The Science of Where” is increasingly important in social and political sciences? GIS-processed data may be utilised to comprehend any trends and patterns in specific area. In the United States, this technology has been used for various aspects of city development i.e. to map the employment, age or educational background median of specific neighbourhood to help citizen in searching for new houses or properties; to map traffic density in certain zone and specific time of day to help the traffic-management.
Shortly after, Ayin performed a demonstration on the utilization of GIS done by ESRI in collaboration with private sectors, IGOs, NGOs, and governments. During the US Presidential Election, Trump’s campaign team made use the layers of open-source data provided by GIS to develop or evaluate their campaign material. Trump won several key states, which is dominated by African-American population. Through analysis of geo-spatial data, the team discovered that unemployment is high and most of the population were without any health insurance supposed to be covered by Obamacare. Trump’s campaign team then concentrated campaign efforts to discuss healthcare and opening job opportunities. Campaign advertisements were disseminated within specific districts or area. This precise and efficient campaign, using the analysis of geo-spatial data, has been the key factor of Trump’s triumph.
Yesterday’s discussion can be taken into account as a stepping-stone to ebb away the barrier between social-political researcher and technology developer. A more extensive contribution to humanity is what expected from this interdisciplinary research. ESRI has shown us how to utilize technology advancements for addressing problems in natural conservation, human security, and governmental service. [NGP/AN]