The motivation to investigate “computing somewhere” has increasing relevance as a result of the development of new technologies, in particular geosensor networks. A geosensor network (GSN) is:
a wireless sensor network that monitors phenomena in geographic space — Nittel et al. 2004
In turn, a wireless sensor network (WSN) is:
a wireless network of miniaturized sensor-enabled computers, called sensor nodes (or sensor motes) — Zhou and Guibas 2004
Sensor motes are just one example of an increasing range of technologies capable of the “three geographic Cs”: capturing, communicating, and computing with information about geographic space.
Crucially, geosensor networks are a technology for “computing somewhere”: they present geographic constraints to both the capture and communication of information. The on-board sensors capture information about a node’s immediate environment. Energy and bandwidth limitations mean that nodes can typically only communicate directly over short distances, with other nearby neighbor nodes.