Can FOAM replace GPS and Google maps with new geospatial standard for Ethereum blockchain?

Nastya Parygina
Jun 13, 2018 · 8 min read
Foam — geospatial data protocol on Ethereum blockchain

Have you ever got paid by Google for your photo or review contribution to Google maps? Have you considered your contribution to such kind of services as valuable information that should be paid?

Data is a crucial aspect of development and success of such companies as Foursquare, Facebook, Google, etc. The more data they have, the more powerful and richer they become. Data is an asset, and it’s a business model. The data broker industry generates around 200 billion USD annually without considering the interests of the people this information belongs to.

You are not their customers, therefore you are their product. — Vitalik Buterin

The Google map is created to give an advantage to advertising sellers. It doesn’t have a goal to be objective and most precise map, so it’s not.

Who controls the way the World navigates, controls the World. We definitely can say that Google controls the World with a massive presence on the web — 41% of internet users worldwide. Can we trust to a service which has been criticized in the past month for creating an “invisible web of our personal data”?

The other monopolist GPS owned by US government and operated by the US Airforce serves as a main geospatial standard for many devices. GPS is centralized and controlled by small group of people while the most accurate world clocks rely on it. Besides corruption threats, GPS could easily be tricked by some app like Fake GPS. There is too much at stake to be careless.

Tom Tom traffic, navigation and mapping products based on GPS, collected data from customers to police to catch speeding motorists. It’s a double trap of centralization.

In such a way Decentralization isn’t just a popular word, the contemporary society needs it. Being transparent and verified by many members it is an answer to corruption and systems errors. Centralized services could easily violate the owner right; meanwhile, blockchain eliminates this possibility entirely.

FOAM — the consensus-driven map of the World

What do a blockchain applications need to be connected to a map and to run Location-based decentralized services?

They need a protocol with secure, verified geospatial data to allow smart contracts to communicate with other smart contracts by using this protocol. So certain conditions will be accomplished depending on its location.

Protocol — a set of rules managing the exchange of data between devices.

FOAM is an open protocol for decentralized services based on geospatial data. FOAM connects physical space with the blockchain, uniting the Ethereum power with a cryptographic software used to provide computational work and verification to the network. FOAM token economy motivates users to build a consensus-driven map of the World that every application can trust to.

There hasn’t been such protocol before FOAM. FOAM brings geospatial standard to a blockchain that smart contracts can communicate to each other about location.

User 💼 :

Imagine you are in the new big city, not knowing anyone who you can trust to. You need to find an apartment to live because you have just been transferred from another country due to a new position.

You are in one of the most fraudulent city which is famous for its real estate agents who rent out one apartment multiple times receiving the money from newcomers. The government is corrupted, and the police share the profit with agents.

Some Dapp for real estate based on FOAM can quickly resolve this problem. The smart rent contract can be signed to this particular location just one time, and then this info will be stored in blockchain that nobody can change it.

Who benefits from the usage of FOAM protocol?

A new geospatial standard is enabling to deploy smart contracts for the effective functioning of different kinds of Dapps above FOAM standard.

Dapp — decentralized application running on the blockchain.

Many areas would benefit from using FOAM protocol.
For example, 🚚supply chain industry and logistics would benefit from tracking of parcels and overall distributed manufacturing processes. ⚡Energy markets might use FOAM to store energy within the area and measure usage with higher-precision. 🏡 Real estate would become less fraudulent due to blockchain ownership and document tracking. ⛳ Also the future of the location-based games is going to be mesmerizing with FOAM.

Why is FOAM an economic incentive?

While Google maps offer badges of different shapes depending on the number of contributions (five-pointed star for 50 reviews and 10 pointed stars for 10000 reviews), FOAM maps support user actions by rewarding with FOAM tokens which could be changed to any currency anytime.

TCR — Token-curated registries are decentrally curated lists with intrinsic economic incentives for token holders to curate the list’s contents judiciously. Mike Goldin

FOAM token is used as TCR token to build highly relevant list for the protocol. In the FOAM case, the map is a list of places of the interest (POI) staked by FOAM TCR tokens and recorded to the FOAM protocol.

FAOM token holders become Cartographers, they can participate in a building of more precise, relevant and secure map of their area by curating, mapping and verifying locations of static objects using FOAM TCR token and earn FOAM token as well.

FOAM Benefits briefly

  • Decentralized, as a result, more secure and without a single point of failure, which is the problem of centralized services.
  • Three times higher accuracy compared to civil GPS, up to 1 sq. m. precision finally allows us indoor mapping.
  • Relevant and constantly updated due to economic incentives and user engagement.
  • Technology agnostic means that all the renovated hardware technologies will be compatible with FOAM protocol.
  • Trusted historical data according to the immutability of the blockchain.

Ultimately FOAM brings an opportunity to gain control over your footprint data. Locations is a fundamental block to the decentralized web of tomorrow. It’s crucial to have an ability to share this information with whom you want and when you want it.

How is the FOAM map verified?

We can see that the decentralized maps will be very welcomed in the future, but they have their issues. Community driven maps data like OpenStreetMap can be edited by anyone without verifying. Decentralized maps also suffer from vandalism in it’s all different forms.

FOAM has a solution — proof of location using FOAM TCR token. FOAM calls it Static Proof of Location. The goal of the FOAM is to create the most accurate and relevant map with the latest data.

FOAM TCR token model is an instrument against fraudulent actions by making the act of vandalism nonprofitable and risky for dirty players.

FOAM Consensus driven map of the World consists of the Places Of Interest which are added by candidates and approved by cartographers as a result of the voting process.

How to participate in building FOAM map?

Security deposit of FOAM tokens is required to participate, because the faulty behavior is detected by a node, the deposited tokens, in this case, it will be destroyed and forfeited (‘slashed’).

In Static Proof of Location, the only way to get tokens is beside purchasing them on exchanges is to participate in challenges and to be on the winning side.

There are three roles in Static Proof of location.
A user — the one who uses the map.
A candidate — the one who wants to add the point with certain geospatial data to the map.
A cartographer — the one decides if the point is relevant for the list.

For example:
A citizen wants to add a park to the FOAM map, so he deposits FOAM token to this location. The process of adding POI could go several paths as you can see in the picture below.

Depending on cartographers’ votes the park will or won’t be added to the FOAM map. The winner side gets a reward in FOAM tokens.

FOAM token holders can increase the rating of a cafe by adding a token to the deposit of this cafe. Value of the token can be increased depending on growing participant lists and raise the status of the cafe.

Current status of FOAM

FOAM has already released its Beta version. Installed Metamask is required for using FOAM. Also you will need some Rinkeby ether for using the Beta.

The FOAM token sale will take place this summer. FOAM token sale terms follow the Brooklyn Project framework, which supposes no bonuses, no bounties, no presale advantages. FOAM tokens will be distributed 28 days after the sale ends. Before you can transfer any FOAM Tokens, you will be required to use a portion of them at least once, to add a POI to the FOAM map, for example. This action is called Proof Of Use and going to be a barrier to a speculative token games.

Proof Of UseCartographers (i.e. FOAM token holders) will be required to add one geographic point of interest to the FOAM by applying to the token curated registry with the minimum deposit of 10 FOAM tokens.

Future of FOAM

Next step is to implement Dynamic Proof of location. FOAM zone operators will manage the red of decentralized beacons that will offer secure location services through time synchronization. FOAM Zone operators receive network fee and reward in FOAM tokens providing their services comparable to work of Bitcoin miners.

Further, in the future, your cryptokitties or your ID could be connected to the FOAM map. To make it possible the team is going to implement Non-fungible token (NFT) within protocol that is also trending now.

Non-fungible — Non substitutable, standard protocol for Ethereum is ERC721 token.

Give yourself data-detox, go and check beta FOAM ! 👉🏿 👉🏽🚀

D E C E N T . F U N D

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