google spreadsheet "pleasure banking" within class google interface
Please visit the above link to google earth and download the free version if you do not use a computer that already has the program.
Once the program is opened on your computer screen, download the files at the url above.
Try them one at a time. Or both at once.
In the "Places" window at left of the google earth screen, turn the points/lines on and off by clicking the boxes next to "Nick_Moore_Simulation" and "Nick Moore's Pathway". You can also drop down the "Simulation" to see some data about each of the points.
Explore the map.
Using Geographical Information Systems (GIS) software, Microsoft Excel, and my Citizens Bank "Personal Online Banking" account manager, I mapped my movement in New England in dollars, latitude/longitude, and on a relative scale of time.
The Excel file found on our google page shows the data that originally went into the GIS software to provide the points and paths shown by the .kml files. Notice that some entries (ie #2) are missing; in several cases, my acccount manager showed transactions taking place in Luxembourg, on the internet, and in parts of the USA that were beyond the scope of this project, in terms of finding appropriate GIS data with which to map them.
As loathe as I am to admit it, the I find that managing my expenditures and banking via the internet is extremely efficient. John D. Rockefeller credited his fortune to his meticulous system of personal accounting; online I can monitor debits and credits to my account as soon as they have been processed, no matter where the transactions occur or where I myself am located, and can thus accordingly modify my financial behavior.
As cash becomes more and more mediated by technology (many of the debits to my account are ATM withdrawls that are instantly recorded by computer), and as finance becomes increasingly abstracted by the internet, we, as dealers in a commercial world, are invited to free ourselves from the constraints of physical banking. This apparent freedom of movement, however, is not without price; for all of the facility granted me by internet banking, I blaze a concrete trail of activity and location. I am not in control of the data found online in my bank account. I merely posess access to a record that remains in the hands of the financial institutions that have "freed" me through their embrace of technology.
US Interstate map boosted from wikipedia.com
Many thanks to Lynn Carlson, senior GIS coordinator at Brown for invaluable instruction and assistance with GIS/google earth mapping.