As a recap tp my previous article, map provides three key values, map data: digitalized physical space, map function: use of map data under a static or dynamic setting and map trace: the trace of map function usage. Together, the three key values make up the map value stack.
Without Autonomy over Digital Location, the map value stack will likely be exploited by map companies who hold governance over it. The centralization of “map power” leads to many problems such as inaccurate map data and user privacy issues. To change the landscape, we need to transition the governance of map value stack to the community, ultimately achieving self-governance through the power of crowds. Hyperion, a global decentralized map network aiming to support a decentralized map economy of 10 billion people, proposes a viable design to drive such a transition.
Map 3.0 needs to encompass more than just open data, but also an integrated design of decentralized map technology, economy and community.
The Path to Autonomy
Autonomy is the “condition of self-governance”, namely, the ability to make your own decisions at freewill, without the control of anyone else. As we strike for Autonomy over Digital Location, we come to realize that the battle for autonomy has existed all along. Our ancestors fought against ancient slavery, classism, cultural genocide, ethnic and gender oppression, to our continuous fight today. In each process, seeking to break free from an earlier attempt to constrain and harness our boundless imagination and creativity.
The emergence of decentralization technologies have conditioned the autonomy people longed for. Bitcoin is exemplary of self-sovereign asset. People, for the first time, have an immutable proof of ownership secured by a robust consensus protocol and reinforced by the global advocates.
Autonomy over Digital Location, likewise, will be best achieved through the power of crowds. Hyperion proposes an integrated design of technology, economy and community. A crowd-centric model centered on Hyperion Digital Location Right (HDLR) that not only embodies ownership but also the right to governance.
In the proposed design, we first need to consider how we can decentralize the map value stack. Then the next question is how to effectively incentivize the decentralization process. Lastly, we need to consider how to govern the network in the long-run.
Decentralizing the map value stack fundamentally requires open pariticpation of crowds for map data production and service hosting (crowd-build). Builders are rewarded HDLR, an ownership of “land” that entitles them to a share of the network’s total economical return, distributed as dividend in the currency of Hyperion Token (HYN) (crowd-share). In addition, HDLR embodies a right to govern the network. It is desirable for the network to be arbitrated by HDLR holders based on agreed principles (crowd-govern).
Together crowd-build, crowd-share and crowd-govern forms the Hyperion Trinity, the pillar driving us towards Autonomy over Digital Location. With more people participating in the trinity, the decentralized map network becomes more autonomous.
The Hyperion Trinity
In the following, we will discuss the high-level design considerations of the Hyperion Trinity. Technical design details will be covered in future articles.
Crowd-Build — Entry barries to building maps have been vastly lowered by the increasingly assessible means of production: powerful consumer electronic devices, such as smartphones, drones and semi-autonomous vehicles. Crowds now have the autonomy to survey everywhere with their devices and own the data for private or public use. The map value stack is now on the hands of the crowd, supported by a global blockchain network that provides censorship resistance, open participation and fault tolerance. We no longer need to wait for Google if we have autonomy to define our own space.
Crowd-Share —Crowd builders receive HDLR to particular locations as a reward to their contribution to those corresponding places. To understand the HDLR distribution model, we need first understand how location is represented. Digital location can be expressed as a GeoHash, a system that hierarchically encodes latitude and longitude coordinates of arbitrary precision into an alphanumerical string. Increase in string length, corresponds directly to an increase in precision and level in the hierarchy, as illustrated in the following:
HDLR is location-determined by GeoHash and thus share the same hierarchical structure of L levels. Reason behind incorporating GeoHash into the distribution model is that a contribution to a point location will also bring a positive effect the greater area, city, country and ultimately our world. This model gives us the flexibility to incentivize people to map the under-mapped areas, by adjusting HDLR reward weights at different hierarchical layers. For example, mapping a park may reward more overall HDLR than mapping a similar sized shopping mall with frequent commercial activities.
HDLR holders will periodically receive HYN as dividend on all L levels. The amount of HYN dividend received is determined by the weight of HDLR and the accumulated revenue of the location in the period. The accumulated revenue of a location is computed by the Micro-location Economic (MLE) model and propagated to all L levels of the hierarchical location structure. MLE assumes that the revenue output of each location is determined by the services occurring on the location. For example, a location-based advertisement will add revenue to the location.
After each period, based on overall economic observations, the parameters of MLE models are optimized algorithmically to more effectively incentivize crowd-build in the next period.
Crowd-Govern — Proper incentives and the need for autonomy will naturally lead to engagement and the need for crowd-governance. HDLR holders govern important transition in design of technology, economy and community. Examples include upgrades of the Blockchain network, changes to the MLE model and resolution to community disbutes.
In the first article of this series, we have talked about the vision for Map 3.0 and why decentralization is inevitable for maps. In this article, we introduced the Hyperion Trinity, an integrated design for bringing Autonomy over Digital Location. In the next article, we will introduce the Spacial Consensus Protocol, the north star of building quality maps, and dive into the meaning of Pervasive Spatial Consensus. Stay tuned.