Newsroom
News at the University of New Brunswick

UNB s annual Dineen Lecture focuses on the impact of location-enabled devices

Author: Communications

Posted on Sep 9, 2014

Category: UNB Saint John , UNB Fredericton , Events , UNB Homepage , myUNB

The University of New Brunswick will host the 34th annual Dineen Memorial Lecture on Monday, Sept. 15, in Fredericton; and Tuesday, Sept. 16, in Saint John.

This year's lecture will feature Yvan Bedard, professor in GIS and spatial databases at Laval University. Bedard will present "The Power of WHERE: What Should We Know and Why Should We Care About Location-Enabled Devices in Everyday Life?"

Bedard says, with the democratization of geospatial technology, wireless communication and cloud computing, precise real-time positioning is entering every facet of our life.

“Smart phones can tell us where we are, what route to follow, if our friends are close, if there is an Indian cuisine restaurant within a kilometre, what is the name of that bright star we are pointing at, show the interior of a building before entering, and so on,” said Bedard.

“Sensor networks, the Internet of Things and low-cost flying drones provide real-time locational information about traffic, weather conditions, usage of energy, crowd behavior during public events, etc. 
Smart Cities are integrating all this localized information to monitor and optimize the coordination of such activities and infrastructures.” 

Bedard claims that the immediate availability of “Where” things are is rapidly transforming our society and leading to a revolution as important as the industrial revolution and the computer revolution.

“We are entering a geodata-centric age where we will very soon gather more location-based data than we have collected in the entire history of humankind. This is exciting, but it also creates new challenges for many disciplines dealing with privacy or data quality for example.”

Bedard says more than ever, this new era calls for more collaboration between engineering, computer sciences, social sciences and humanities.

This free, public lecture will take place on both UNB campuses:

  • Monday, Sept. 15, from 4-5 p.m.| Dineen Auditorium of Head Hall, UNB Fredericton
  • Tuesday, Sept. 16, from 7-8 p.m. | Ganong Hall Lecture Theatre, UNB Saint John

Hosted by UNB’s faculty of engineering, The Dineen Memorial Lecture commemorates the life of James Owen Dineen (1920-75), a celebrated UNB electrical engineering graduate, scholar and professor, who served with great distinction as dean of engineering and as president from 1969 to 1972. His life was cut tragically short by terminal illness.

Media Contact: Natasha Ashfield