The third day of SubOptic 2013 begins with a Keynote speech from Ed Parsons, Geospacial Technologist for Google. As everyone knows, the internet has vastly changed how the world thinks about communication and information, and there's perhaps no one better to speak on it than a man who champions Google's efforts to organize and map information. “I'm based in London, but really I work on the internet,” Parsons said. He makes use of the infrastructure of the internet and makes use of it every day. “The first time you use google earth, you did this: you zoomed into your house… People have been increasingly using maps to tell stories. To communicate ideas to people.”

Parsons makes the point that google's real purpose is to provide information.  Apparently, about 1/3 of the information people search for is location related.  Even when the question isn't about a specific location, Google uses location to better narrow down the answers they give you.

“There are about 2.4 billion users of the internet today,” Parsons said.  This is a huge number, but is only a fraction of the worlds population.  This means that there is a huge group of people who could be using it in the future.

One of the reasons that these people still don't use the internet is because “they're not us.”  They live in areas like Africa and Asia where the internet hasn't been extended to.  They also may be less literate areas, causing difficulties with the mainly text bases internet.  They may come from a conflict torn area, or an area with poverty where electricity is an issue, let alone the internet.  They may be culturally information poor, never really having access.

“How are we going to make the internet helpful for these next billion people?”

First of all, mobile technology is the name of the game.  In Africa, there are more mobile phones than people have access to a stable energy supply.  Recently, access to simple smart phones have become accessible there.

“Smart phones become a part of us, more than any other single piece of technology.  It's that powerful.”  And it isn't just powerful for us.

In the recent civil war in Libya, phones were used to give real time updates to find a safe route for children to go to school.

The use of mobile devices in business is also on the rise in internet poor areas.  Especially Africa.  MPESA is a system that allows Kenyans to make transactions.

Cost is still an issue.  However, the cost of technology is sometimes a false one.  Some areas have had cost used as a way to repress new technologies, such as Burma, which artificially kept prices high.

“We've got to work hard to make broadband as accessible everywhere else,” Parsons said.

“At some point, there was a crossing point where there was much more information on the internet than I had access to otherwise.”  In the future, we'll actually move to where all information is only accessible on the internet, says Parsons.

Information dissemination is the purpose of the internet and should be everywhere, according to Parsons.

“Is knowledge power?  No.  But the absence of knowledge is slavery.”  The repression of slavery is slaver, says Parsons.

“To Conclude, the next billion are like us.”  They want freedom of expression, assembly, and meritocracy.