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Magic and the Machine — Emergence Magazine
"Indeed, it is only when a traditionally oral culture becomes literate that the land seems to fall silent. Only as our senses transferred their animating magic to the written word did the other animals fall dumb, the trees and rocks become mute. For, to learn this new magic, we had to break the spontaneous participation of our eyes and ears in the enfolding terrain in order to recouple those senses with the flat surface of the page. I remember well, in first grade, the intensity with which I had to train my listening ears and my visual focus upon the letters in order to make each letter trigger a specific sound made by my mouth, such that now whenever I see the letter K, I instantly hear “kah” in my mind’s ear, and whenever I see an M, I hear “mmm.” If my ancestors once engaged in animistic participation with bent twigs, animal tracks, cliff-faces, and cloud shapes, I learned an analogous participation with the letter shapes upon the page. But notice: while a thundercloud or a raven might utter strange sounds and communicate strange sensations, the written letters always speak with a human tongue.

Hence, far from enacting a clear break with animism, alphabetic literacy can be recognized as a particularly potent form of animism, one which shifts the locus of magic—or meaning—away from our interactions with the more-than-human surroundings to the relation between ourselves and our own signs. Only as alphabetic literacy comes into a previously oral culture (often through Christian missionaries teaching how to read the Good Book) does that culture get the curious idea that language is an exclusively human property. The living land is no longer felt to hold and utter forth its own manifold meanings; the surrounding earth soon comes to be viewed as a mostly passive background upon which human history unfolds."




"For animism—the instinctive experience of reciprocity or exchange between the perceiver and the perceived—lies at the heart of all human perception. While such participatory experience may be displaced by our engagement with particular tools and technologies, it can never entirely be dispelled. Rather, different technologies tend to capture and channel our instinctive, animistic proclivities in particular ways."



"Despite the flimsy gesture toward a kind of magical reality, the fact is that we’re still speaking only to ourselves, to things that we have programmed to talk back to us. And so, after the initial novelty, which maybe lasts about twenty minutes, there’s nothing here that can surprise us, or yield a sense that we’re in communication with beings strangely different from ourselves."



"And maybe this attempt to recreate that primal experience of intimacy with the surrounding world will actually succeed. Certainly it’s giving rise to all sorts of fascinating gizmos and whimsical inventions. But it’s also bound to disappoint. The difficult magic of animistic perception, the utter weirdness and dark wonder that lives in any deeply place-based relation to the earth, is the felt sense of being in contact with wakeful forms of sentience that are richly different from one’s own—the experience of interaction with intelligences that are radically other from one’s own human style of intelligence. Yet when interacting with the smart objects that inhabit the always-online world of the internet of things, well, there’s no real otherness there. Of course, there’s the quasi-otherness of the program designers, and of the other people living their own wired lives; although just how other anybody will be when we’re all deploying various forms of the same software (and so all thinking by means of the same preprogrammed algorithms) is an open question. My point, however, is that there’s no radical otherness involved: it’s all humanly programmed, and it’s inhabited by us humans and our own humanly-built artifacts; it’s all basically a big extension of the human nervous system. As we enter more deeply into the world of ubiquitous computing, we increasingly seal ourselves into an exclusively human zone of interaction. We enter into a bizarre kind of intraspecies incest."



"Yet it’s the alterity or otherness of things—the weirdly different awareness of a humpback whale sounding its eerie glissandos through the depths, or an orb-weaver spider spinning the cosmos out of her abdomen; or the complex intelligence of an old-growth forest, dank with mushrooms and bracket fungi, humming with insects and haunted by owls—it’s the wild, more-than-human otherness of these powers that makes any attentive relation with such beings a genuine form of magic, a trancelike negotiation between outrageously divergent worlds.

Without such radical otherness, there’s no magic. Wandering around inside a huge extension of our own nervous system is not likely to bring a renewal of creaturely wonder, or a recovery of ancestral capacities. It may keep us fascinated for a time but also vaguely unsatisfied and so always thirsty for the next invention, the next gadget that might finally satisfy our craving, might assuage our vague sense that something momentous is missing. Except it won’t."



"Western navigators, long reliant on a large array of instruments, remain astonished by the ability of traditional seafaring peoples to find their way across the broad ocean by sensing subtle changes in the ocean currents, by tasting the wind and reading the weather, by conversing with the patterns in the night sky. Similarly, many bookish persons find themselves flummoxed by the ease with which citizens of traditionally oral, place-based cultures seem always to know where they are—their capacity to find their way even through dense forests without obvious landmarks—an innate orienting ability that arises when on intimate terms with the ground, with the plants, with the cycles of sun, moon, and stars. GPS seems to replicate this innate and fairly magical capacity, but instead of this knowledge arising from our bodily interchange with the earthly cosmos, here the knowledge arrives as a disembodied calculation by a complex of orbiting and ground-based computers."



"There is nothing “extra-sensory” about this kind of earthly clairvoyance. Rather, sensory perception functions here as a kind of glue, binding one’s individual nervous system into the larger ecosystem. When our animal senses are all awake, our skin rippling with sensations as we palpate the surroundings with ears and eyes and flaring nostrils, it sometimes happens that our body becomes part of the larger Body of the land—that our sensate flesh is taken up within the wider Flesh of the breathing Earth—and so we begin to glimpse events unfolding at other locations within the broad Body of the land. In hunting and gathering communities, individuals are apprenticed to the intricate life of the local earth from an early age, and in the absence of firearms, hunters often depend upon this richly sensorial, synaesthetic clairvoyance for regular success in the hunt. The smartphone replicates something of this old, ancestral experience of earthly acumen that has long been central to our species: the sense of being situated over Here, while knowing what’s going on over There."



"And so we remain transfixed by these tools, searching in and through our digital engagements for an encounter they seem to promise yet never really provide: the consummate encounter with otherness, with radical alterity, with styles of sensibility and intelligence that thoroughly exceed the limits of our own sentience. Yet there’s the paradox: for the more we engage these remarkable tools, the less available we are for any actual contact outside the purely human estate. In truth, the more we participate with these astonishing technologies, the more we seal ourselves into an exclusively human cocoon, and the more our animal senses—themselves co-evolved with the winds, the waters, and the many-voiced terrain—are blunted, rendering us ever more blind, ever more deaf, ever more impervious to the more-than-human Earth.

Which brings us, finally, back to our initial question: What is the primary relation, if there is any actual relation, between the two contrasting collective moods currently circulating through contemporary society—between the upbeat technological optimism coursing through many social circles and the mood of ecological despondency and grief that so many other persons seem to be feeling? As a writer who uses digital technology, I can affirm that these tools are enabling many useful, astounding, and even magical possibilities. But all this virtual magic is taking a steep toll. For many long years this techno-wizardry has been blunting our creaturely senses, interrupting the instinctive rapport between our senses and the earthly sensuous. It’s been short-circuiting the spontaneous reciprocity between our animal body and the animate terrain, disrupting the very attunement that keeps us apprised of what’s going on in our locale—the simple, somatic affinity that entangles our body with the bodies of other creatures, binding our sentience with that of the local earth. Today, caught up in our fascination with countless screen-fitted gadgets, we’re far more aloof from the life of the land around us, and hence much less likely to notice the steady plundering of these woodlands and wetlands, the choking of the winds and the waters by the noxious by-products of the many industries we now rely on. As these insults to the elemental earth pile up—as the waters are rendered lifeless by more chemical runoff, by more oil spills, by giant patches of plastic rotating in huge gyres; as more glaciers melt and more forests succumb to the stresses of a destabilized climate—the sensorial world of our carnal experience is increasingly filled with horrific wounds, wounds that we feel in our flesh whenever we dare to taste the world with our creaturely senses. It’s too damned painful. Hence … [more]
animism  davidabram  technology  language  alphabet  writing  oraltradition  secondaryorality  smarthphones  gps  multispecies  morethanhuman  canon  literacy  listening  multisensory  senses  noticing  nature  intuition  alterity  otherness  object  animals  wildlife  plants  rocks  life  living  instinct  internet  web  online  maps  mapping  orientation  cities  sound  smell  texture  touch  humans  smartdevices  smarthomes  internetofthings  perception  virtuality  physical 
june 2019 by robertogreco
Detective gulls sniff out illegally dumped trash from the skies | New Scientist
"Meet Sea Gull, private eye. Garbage-loving gulls in Spain fitted with GPS trackers led researchers to an illegal waste dumping site.

High taxes on landfilling in Europe have led to a black market for waste disposal, says Jim Baird at Glasgow Caledonian University. In the UK, the cost of illegal dumping to taxpayers runs to at least £300 million, according to a 2014 report by the Environmental Services Association Education Trust.

Illegal dumping can be hard to spot because the perpetrators are often white-collar criminals who create what looks like a law-abiding company. In Italy, the Mafia also has a hand in the covert dumping business.

So Joan Navarro tried an unconventional way of finding these operations. He and colleagues at the Functional Ecology and Evolutionary Center – part of the French National Center for Scientific Research – took 19 yellow-legged gulls and fitted them with solar-powered GPS trackers that transmitted the birds’ locations every 5 minutes.

Trash trackers

The gulls ranged over 100 kilometres from their colony with the GPS tracking them. Five gulls kept returning to a spot at a closed landfill near the Spanish city of Huelva. When the researchers took a look for themselves, it turned out that fresh waste had been dumped there illegally.

“[It’s] certainly an innovative approach to use scavenging seagulls as a tracker for sites where waste has been disposed of, legally or otherwise,” says Baird. “The GPS technology is probably one where costs will fall and tracking will become straightforward.”

The solar power source for the trackers allows them to stay on the birds for years, and their frequent location updates could let managers watch for new illegal dump sites in real time.

Gulls can only find organic waste – electronics, toxic substances and other inorganic objects don’t smell like food, even to scavengers. To watch for these other kinds of waste, researchers can use satellites to detect changes in landfills’ appearances and flag suspicious activity, says Baird."
multispecies  birds  animals  spain  españa  2016  dumping  trash  gps  via:subtopes 
july 2016 by robertogreco
dy/dan » Blog Archive » Your GPS Is Making You Dumber, and What That Means for Teaching
"Ann Shannon asks teachers to avoid “GPS-ing” their students:
When I talk about GPSing students in a mathematics class I am describing our tendency to tell students—step-by-step—how to arrive at the answer to a mathematics problem, just as a GPS device in a car tells us – step-by-step – how to arrive at some destination.

Shannon writes that when she used her GPS, “I usually arrived at my destination having learned little about my journey and with no overview of my entire route.”

True to the contested nature of education, we will now turn to someone who advocates exactly the opposite. Greg Ashman recommends novices learn new ideas and skills through explicit instruction, one facet of which is step-by-step worked examples. Ashman took up the GPS metaphor recently. He used his satellite navigation system in new environs and found himself able to re-create his route later without difficulty.

What can we do here? Shannon argues from intuition. Ashman’s study lacks a certain rigor. Luckily, researchers have actually studied what people learn and don’t learn when they use their GPS!

In a 2006 study, researchers compared two kinds of navigation. One set of participants used traditional, step-by-step GPS navigation to travel between two points in a zoo. Another group had to construct their route between those points using a map and then travel segments of that route from memory.

Afterwards, the researchers assessed the route knowledge and survey knowledge of their participants. Route knowledge helps people navigate between landmarks directly. Survey knowledge helps people understand spatial relationships between those landmarks and plan new routes. At the end of the study, the researchers found that map users had better survey knowledge than GPS users, which you might have expected, but map users outperformed the GPS users on measures of route knowledge as well.

So your GPS does an excellent job transporting you efficiently from one point to another, but a poor job helping you acquire the survey knowledge to understand the terrain and adapt to changes.

Similarly, our step-by-step instructions do an excellent job transporting students efficiently from a question to its answer, but a poor job helping them acquire the domain knowledge to understand the deep structure in a problem set and adapt old methods to new questions.

I’ll take that trade with my GPS, especially on a dull route that I travel infrequently, but that isn’t a good trade in the classroom.

The researchers explain their results from the perspective of active learning, arguing that travelers need to do something effortful and difficult while they learn in order to remember both route and survey knowledge. Designing learning for the right kind of effort and difficulty is one of the most interesting tasks in curriculum design. Too much effort and difficulty and you’ll see our travelers try to navigate a route without a GPS or a map. While blindfolded. But the GPS offers too little difficulty, with negative consequences for drivers and even worse ones for students."
education  teaching  gps  belesshelpful  instruction  math  mathematics  2016  annshannon  learning  howwelearn  navigation  attention  knowledge  curriculum  domainknowledge  problemsolving 
june 2016 by robertogreco
Why Digital Maps Are Inaccurate in China | Travel + Leisure
"One of the most interesting, if unanticipated, side effects of modern copyright law is the practice by which cartographic companies will introduce a fake street—a road, lane, or throughway that does not, in fact, exist on the ground—into their maps. If that street later shows up on a rival company’s products, then they have all the proof they need for a case of copyright infringement. Known as trap streets, these imaginary roads exist purely as figments of an overactive legal imagination.

Trap streets are also compelling evidence that maps don’t always equal the territory. What if not just one random building or street, however, but an entire map is deliberately wrong? This is the strange fate of digital mapping products in China: there, every street, building, and freeway is just slightly off its mark, skewed for reasons of national and economic security.

The result is an almost ghostly slippage between digital maps and the landscapes they document. Lines of traffic snake through the centers of buildings; monuments migrate into the midst of rivers; one’s own position standing in a park or shopping mall appears to be nearly half a kilometer away, as if there is more than one version of you on the loose. Stranger yet, your morning running route didn’t quite go where you thought it did.

It is, in fact, illegal for foreign individuals or organizations to make maps in China without official permission. As stated in the “Surveying and Mapping Law of the People’s Republic of China,” for example, mapping—even casually documenting “the shapes, sizes, space positions, attributes, etc. of man-made surface installations”—is considered a protected activity for reasons of national defense and “progress of the society.” Those who do receive permission must introduce a geographic offset into their products, a kind of preordained cartographic drift. An entire world of spatial glitches is thus deliberately introduced into the resulting map.

The central problem is that most digital maps today rely upon a set of coordinates known as the World Geodetic System 1984, or WGS-84; the U.S. National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency describes it as “the reference frame upon which all geospatial-intelligence is based.” However, as software engineer Dan Dascalescu writes in a Stack Exchange post, digital mapping products in China instead use something called “the GCJ-02 datum.” As he points out, an apparently random algorithmic offset “causes WGS-84 coordinates, such as those coming from a regular GPS chip, to be plotted incorrectly on GCJ-02 maps.” GCJ-02 data are also somewhat oddly known as “Mars Coordinates,” as if describing the geography of another planet. Translations back and forth between these coordinate systems—to bring China back to Earth, so to speak—are easy enough to find online, but they are also rather intimidating to non-specialists.

While algorithmic offsets introduced into digital maps might sound like nothing more than a matter of speculative concern—something more like a dinner conversation for fans of William Gibson novels—it is actually a very concrete issue for digital product designers. Releasing an app, for example, whose location functions do not work in China has immediate and painfully evident user-experience, not to mention financial, implications.

One such app designer posted on the website Stack Overflow to ask about Apple’s “embeddable map viewer.” To make a long story short, when used in China, Apple’s maps are subject to “a varying offset [of] 100-600m which makes annotations display incorrectly on the map.” In other words, everything there—roads, nightclubs, clothing stores—appears to be 100-600 meters away from its actual, terrestrial position. The effect of this is that, if you check the GPS coordinates of your friends, as blogger Jon Pasden writes, “you’ll likely see they’re standing in a river or some place 500 meters away even if they’re standing right next to you.”

The same thread on Stack Overflow goes on to explain that Google also has its own algorithmically derived offset, known as “_applyChinaLocationShift” (or more humorously as “eviltransform”). The key, of course, to offering an accurate app is to account for this Chinese location shift before it ever happens—to distort the distortions before they occur.

In addition to all this, Chinese geographic regulations demand that GPS functions must either be disabled on handheld devices or they must be made to display a similar offset. If a given device—such as a smartphone or camera—detects that it is in China, then its ability to geo-tag photos is either temporarily unavailable or strangely compromised. Once again, you would find that your hotel is not quite where your camera wants it to be, or that the restaurant you and your friends want to visit is not, in fact, where your smartphone thinks it has guided you. Your physical footsteps and your digital tracks no longer align.

It is worth pointing out that this raises interesting geopolitical questions. If a traveler finds herself in, say, Tibet or on a short trip to the artificial islands of the South China Sea—or perhaps simply in Taiwan—are she and her devices really “in China”? This seemingly abstract question might already be answered, without the traveler even knowing that it’s been asked, by circuits inside her phone or camera. Depending on the insistence of China’s territorial claims and the willingness of certain manufacturers to acknowledge those assertions, a device might no longer offer accurate GPS readings.

Put another way, you might not think you’ve crossed an international border—but your devices have. This is just one, relatively small example of how complex geopolitical questions can be embedded in the functionality of our handheld devices: cameras and smartphones are suddenly thrust to the front line of much larger conversations about national sovereignty.

These sorts of examples might sound like inconsequential travelers’ trivia, but for China, at least, cartographers are seen as a security threat: China’s Ministry of Land and Resources recently warned that “the number of foreigners conducting surveys in China is on the rise,” and, indeed, the government is increasingly cracking down on those who flout the mapping laws. Three British geology students discovered this the hard way while “collecting data” on a 2009 field trip through the desert state of Xinjiang, a politically sensitive area in northwest China. The students’ data sets were considered “illegal map-making activities,” and they were fined nearly $3,000.

What remains so oddly compelling here is the uncanny gulf between the world and its representations. In a well-known literary parable called “On Exactitude in Science," from Collected Fictions, Argentine fabulist Jorge Luis Borges describes a kingdom whose cartographic ambitions ultimately get the best of it. The imperial mapmakers, Borges writes, devised “a Map of the Empire whose size was that of the Empire, and which coincided point for point with it.” This 1:1 map, however, while no doubt artistically and conceptually wondrous, was seen as utterly useless by future generations. Rather than enlighten or educate, this sprawling and inescapable super-map merely smothered the very territory whose connections it sought to clarify.

Mars Coordinates, eviltransform, _applyChinaLocationShift, the “China GPS Offset Problem”—whatever name you want to describe this contemporary digital phenomenon of full-scale digital maps sliding precariously away from their referents, the gap between map and territory is suitably Borgesian.

Indeed, Borges ends his tiniest of parables with an image of animals and beggars living wild amidst the “tattered ruins” of an abandoned map, unaware of what its original purpose might have been—perhaps foreshadowing the possibility that travelers several decades from now will wander amidst remote Chinese landscapes with outdated GPS devices in hand, marveling at their apparent discovery of some parallel, dislocated version of the world that had been hiding in plain view."
via:tealtan  maps  mapping  gps  cartography  china  borges  gis  2016 
march 2016 by robertogreco
Free Community-based Mapping, Traffic & Navigation App
"Get the best route, every day, with real–time help from other drivers.

Waze is the world's largest community-based traffic and navigation app. Join other drivers in your area who share real-time traffic and road info, saving everyone time and gas money on their daily commute.

WAZE. OUTSMARTING TRAFFIC, TOGETHER."
applications  driving  gps  maps  navigation  traffic  android  ios  iphone  via:everyone 
september 2015 by robertogreco
Smartphones and the Uncertain Future of 'Spatial Thinking' - CityLab
"Your brain is indeed relaxing. In a handful of studies conducted over the last decade in the United States, England, Germany and Japan, researchers have shown that GPS navigation has a generally pernicious effect on the user's ability to remember an environment and reconstruct a route. Toru Ishikawa, a spatial geographer at the University of Tokyo, quantified the difference in a study published earlier this year. Asked to recall various aspects of their surroundings, participants using GPS navigation performed 20 percent worse than their paper-map peers.

As Ishikawa pointed out to me, these findings raise questions beyond urban anthropology. Spatial thinking helps us structure, integrate, and recall ideas. It's less an independent field of study than a foundational skill; a 2006 report from the National Research Council called spatial literacy the "missing link" in the K-12 curriculum at large.

Navigating is among the greatest incubators of that ability. A sophisticated internal map, as a famous study of London cab drivers showed, is tied to greater development in the hippocampus, the brain region responsible for spatial memory. In another study, participants with stronger hippocampus development tended to navigate with complex cognitive maps, while those with less developed spatial memory memorized turn-by-turn directions.

Isn't it ironic: the easier it is for me to get where I'm going, the less I remember how I got there. As a conscious consumer of geographic information, should I be rationing my access to navigation tools—the mental equivalent of taking the stairs instead of taking the elevator?"



"It's too early to toll the bell for human navigation. GPS remains a clumsy accessory for a pedestrian, frustrating on a bicycle, and impossible on a motorcycle. There are indications that regular car commuters, too, may be impervious to the commands of the dashboard gods. "In general, the reason there's traffic is that people take the same way even if there's a different route," says Julie Mossler, head of global communications and creative strategy at Waze. Old highways die hard.

It seems that digital maps haven't rid wayfinding of its personal touch; rather, they are just beginning to properly incorporate it. New products in consumer mapping respond to the hegemonic efficiency of tools from Garmin, TomTom, and others. A handful of services cater solely to joggers. Yahoo Labs is attempting to quantify a nice walk based on crowd-sourced impressions of the city. A Dutch cartographer aims to chart the streets you have or haven't traveled. Every few months, it seems, some entrepreneur is embroiled in controversy over a map service showing neighborhoods that the user should avoid. The worldwide map, like the sprawling territory of the Internet itself, is balkanizing into a set of increasingly specialized "maplications."

The casualty of this gradual fine-tuning, I think, is chance. Routes were once conceived in a febrile mix of logic, accident, and instinct. Today's data-driven apps have mastered logic. They have registered road traffic, train delays, and the other accidents of travel. They have also, by explicitly catering to each of our effable desires, rendered human navigational impulse an eccentricity.

It's still possible, of course, to take a walk or go for a drive; to open your mind and let the city deliver, in Walter Benjamin's phrase, its "hints and instructions." The reverie of wandering, on foot or on wheels, can't be calculated by an algorithm or prescribed by an app.

But technology doesn't go away when you don't use it. From now on, an aimless jaunt is marked not only by openness to the stimuli of the physical world, but by the strain of blocking out their virtual counterparts. Contingent on technophobic self-control, wandering has lost its essential ease."
spatialthinking  cartography  mapping  maps  navigation  2014  via:shannon_mattern  gps  smartphones  orientation  wayfinding  walking  googlemaps  driving  cars  publictransit  memory  henrygrabar 
july 2015 by robertogreco
Redrawing the map | Boston Society of Architects
"Given the proliferation of GPS devices and interactive mapping online, it’s easy to declare the traditional map obsolete. Intuitive turn-by-turn directions have replaced road atlases, Google has upgraded the static map with everything from real-time traffic to restaurant reviews, and Wikipedia has taken the place of the hefty geography textbook. Is there any hope for a cartophile? Will the stand-alone map, lovingly produced and custom designed, be only a niche product for rich collectors and Luddites?

Framing the question that way is misleading because it conflates two separate changes in recent geographic knowledge. One is the shift from paper to the screen. And yes, even though wall maps still have an important size advantage, it is, indeed, difficult to see much future for the traditional coffee table atlas, road map, or topographic quad. But the other shift is much more important, and here the digital realm offers a huge advantage.

The proliferation of new spatial tools — everything from the GPS and GIS (Geographic Information System) to the easy availability of statistical and environmental data sets — is making certain kinds of mapping more relevant and ubiquitous than ever. We are not facing the decline of maps, but a shift from maps as repositories of geographic fact to maps as interpretive, argumentative, and unapologetically partial. Cartographic authorship has changed dramatically as well, since scholarship, design, and craft are now increasingly mingled. Mapping is no longer a specialist pursuit anxious about its scientific credentials; it is instead a powerful form of everyday communication. Whether these new maps appear on paper or online is largely irrelevant."
cartography  data  mapping  maps  2015  via:shannon_mattern  gps  gis  interpretation  partiality  williamrankin 
july 2015 by robertogreco
The Failed Attempt to Destroy GPS - The Atlantic
"An axe attack in the early 1990s damaged the same network of satellites that helps you map directions today."



"Acting in a tradition of civil disobedience established by the Plowshares movement while citing the leader of the Underground Railroad and the heroine of the Terminator series, the Brigade's target was the Navigation Satellite Timing And Ranging (NAVSTAR) Program and the Global Positioning System (GPS). Back then, GPS was still a fairly obscure and incomplete military technology, used in some civilian applications (the first civilian GPS device, the Magellan NAV 1000, came on the market in 1988) but far from a mainstream resource. Today, GPS feels almost more intimate than industrial or weaponized.

I tend to look at GPS mostly when I'm looking at myself. Or more precisely, for myself, rendered as a small blue dot on a map on my phone. Generally while doing this, I don't pause to consider how that blue dot on a screen is a function of at network of multi-million-dollar satellites in space sending signals to and receiving signals from my phone (yes, in addition to signals from local wi-fi devices and cell towers, but still: Giant machines in space talk to a tiny phone and that is totally normal and expected). It’s easy to take our machines of loving grace for granted when we experience them mostly as blue dots on tiny screens.

Twenty-three years ago, the Harriet Tubman-Sarah Connor Brigade was thinking about personal relationships to GPS, but more in the context of civilians killed by precision warfare and a population threatened by a growing first-strike nuclear capability. All of this is GPS' provenance. It’s a provenance easily forgotten given its far-reaching influence and impact—not just on navigation but on networks and on networked time. While the Brigade couldn't foresee GPS' temporal impact, their actions are a small but resonant moment in its history, and a reminder of how we neglect technology’s ambivalent histories at our own risk.

* * *

Peter Lumsdaine didn't express any regrets when I contacted him to learn more about the Brigade. He doesn't really share my sense of personal connection to GPS. Even if the technology has more and more civilian uses, Lumsdaine said, GPS remains “military in its origins, military in its goals, military in its development and [is still] controlled by the military.”"



"An accelerated age often appears to be a more anxious age—every now feels more now than ever, every crisis more urgent than the last. The Harriet Tubman-Sarah Connor Brigade offers a reminder that to some extent, our technological anxieties are the same as they ever were. States continue to build breathtaking killing machines, scrubbing the blood on their hands in the rhetorical lather of efficiency, of promising civilian applications. Resistance to these regimes is marked with ambivalence at the technologies, tactical instruments often mistaken for ideology manifest. Technologies and the power dynamics that shape their use become normalized. The accelerated age buries technological origin stories beneath endless piles of timestamped data.

When people lose sight of these origin stories, they do a disservice to our technologies and to ourselves. Forgetting that we live among dormant killing machines makes it easy to believe that they are merely machines of loving grace and not tools beholden to the power structures that control them, tools that paradoxically become inescapable as they grow more accessible. Recognizing and living with the ghosts in our machines is a precondition of using them honestly and, hopefully, responsibly.

When I asked Lumsdaine what he thought civil disobedience today might look like in lieu of taking axes to server racks he replied, "I think in a general way people need to look for those psychological, spiritual, cultural, logistical, technological weak points and leverage points and push hard there. It is so easy for all of us as human beings to take a deep breath and step aside and not face how very serious the situation is, because it's very unpleasant to look at the effort and potential consequences of challenging the powers that be. But the only thing higher than the cost of resistance is the cost of not resisting."

What Lumsdaine describes as resistance might be as easily called living with ethics, but ultimately the call to action for either term is, essentially, to take time. In the rush of a persistent accelerated now, interruptions and challenges to life in real-time are sometimes necessary in order to ask what kind of future we're building."
ingridburrington  ethics  gps  space  crime  2015  harriettubman  satellitles  maps  mapping  civildisobedience  military  keithkjoller  peterlumsdaine  harriettubman-sarahconnorbrigade  warfare  war  technology  government  resistance 
march 2015 by robertogreco
Why (Not) Wearables
"Students are watched. They are monitored. They are assessed. They are quantified.

Calls for a “quantified student” are connected in part to the “quantified self” movement, whose proponents use various technologies – apps, sensors, and wearables – to monitor aspects of their daily life (most commonly related to health and wellness, tracking things like caloric intake, sleep quality, and physical activity). The notion of the “quantified self” isn’t new – there are merely new devices for tracking, new ways to count “what counts.” “What counts” remains largely the same.

So even if a student gets to track for herself her own data there’s still, again, a very limited sense of “what counts,” based in part on the education system’s existing data demands and measurements. (This is one of the great ironies of disrupting “seat time”: we’re turning to other similarly flawed metrics.)"

"And so education technology opts to track more data. Rarely do we stop to ask to whom all this is being revealed or to what end. If both education and education technology view students as objects – objects to be tracked and monitored and shaped and surveilled – what role can we expect wearables to play?"
surveillance  audreywatters  2015  horizonreport  hype  policy  rfid  wearables  quantification  data  recording  video  googleglass  gps  students  schools  tracking  control  fitbit  edtech  technology  education  altschool 
january 2015 by robertogreco
Spyglass – Best Augmented Reality Compass, Maps and GPS Navigator for iPhone and iPad – Happymagenta
"Spyglass is an advanced compass and GPS nav app for iPhone and iPad. Spyglass comes in handy as a car, bike, boat, aircraft, vehicle or walking compass and GPS navigation to drive, cycle, sail, fly or hike off the road, in the field or woods, in the sea and in the air."
applications  ios  gps  iphone  navigation  compass 
november 2014 by robertogreco
Extreme How-To Skills - How to Launch a Camera into Space - Popular Mechanics
"MIT students Justin Lee and Oliver Yeh stuffed a camera in a cooler, tied it to a helium balloon, and—with FAA approval—launched the rig 17.5 miles into the stratosphere. "The results were fantastic," Lee says. "We tracked the device with a GPS-enabled cellphone and found it 20 miles from the launch site." The 5-hour flight, which cost $150 in materials, took photos of Earth every 5 seconds. Then, at 90,000 feet, the balloon popped. See the results at 1337arts.com.

Step-By-Step, as told to PM by Lee and Yeh:

1. Find A Suitable Launch Site
"The site should be relatively flat with no obstacles such as trees or light poles that could snag the balloon after launch. Also, be sure not to launch near military installations. Stay at least 100 miles away."

2. Check the Weather
"Weather should be completely sunny with minimal wind. If it's not bright enough, the pictures will be underdeveloped. Minimal wind decreases the chances of blurring and reduces the preparation needed to launch a balloon."

3. Alert the FAA
"Be sure to notify the FAA at least 24 hours before launch. Technically, balloons under four pounds are unregulated. But notifying the FAA decreases your chance of flying into restricted airspace."

4. Set the Camera
"We used a standard point-and-shoot camera and achieved automatic triggering with CHDK software. Shutter speed is a very important factor in the quality of the pictures. We used 1/800s shutter speed and got excellent results."

5. Set the GPS
"The phone messenger sent the GPS coordinates of the landing location to a website we had (go to www.instamapper.com or www.accutracking.com for more info). Without GPS, it would have been impossible to retrieve the camera and its awesome pictures."

6. Get Some Extra Charge
"We found out in our tests that the battery life of the phone was too short for the predicted flight time of the capsule. We decided to supplement the battery with a Duracell USB charger powered by Lithium AA batteries. These are specially designed batteries that have the ability to withstand extreme temperature."

7. Pack Your Capsule
"We had a Styrofoam cooler (2x3 foot) with a detachable lid. We used an X-acto knife to cut holes in the container: one for the camera lens, one for the antenna. Placing the camera lens on the side allows for horizon views, while a hole in the bottom gives ground views. We used zip ties and hot glue to properly secure the electronic equipment to the box. We also used zip ties to attach the parachute to the capsule and rope between the parachute and the balloon. Put plenty of newspaper in for insulation and crumble up some aluminum foil to act as a radar reflector so pilots can see the capsule and steer clear of it.

8. Put Helium in the Balloon
"We did a lot of research to decide how much helium to put in the balloon. It varies depending on the size of your balloon. Each cubic foot of helium can lift 28 grams. Each pound of free lift would mean 300 feet per minute of ascent rate. Increasing the free lift and therefore the ascent rate decreases the flight time of the balloon, making it less likely for your electronics to run out of battery power. However, too much helium in the balloon could make the bursting height too low."

9. Test Prior to Launch
"Test everything component by component. Make sure the parachute works and that the impact felt by your devices is minimal. Make sure that your camera works at freezing temperatures. We put ours inside of a freezer to test it. Also, to ensure a soft-enough landing, we put eggs inside of our capsule and dropped the capsule from the top of a 5-story building. When the eggs didn't break, we were convinced that our device's landing would be sufficiently soft to not damage the hardware or anyone nearby."

10. Up, Up and Away
Time to let it go and hope for the best. Keep track of its progress using your mobile devices.

11. Go Find It
"Given the launch location, predicted maximum altitude and time of launch, this website gives a general idea of the landing location: http://weather.uwyo.edu/polar/balloon_traj.html.

Since you're finding it via cellphone, the capsule must land in an area with cell coverage. To increase our chances, we turned on cell tower location transmission. This allows the phone to send off the location of its cell tower if a GPS location cannot be fixed. If you have a more generous budget, go with the SPOT satellite messenger. Since it communicates through satellites, it can operate almost anywhere."

Warning: "Check with the FAA to ensure you're not launching into restricted flight zones and that your payload isn't over the five pound limit. Also, use a balloon-trajectory predictor to predict the locations where the balloon will go on the day of your flight so that you don't have it falling in the middle of a city, which could be quite dangerous."

Glossary:

CHDK (Cannon Hack Development Kit): Software that allows your camera to do things like continuously take pictures every 5 seconds or have a really fast shutter speed.

Free Lift: A term used to describe the difference in the amount of lift provided by helium and the weight of the capsule.

Here's a time-lapse video of the camera's journey: [video]"



[via: https://twitter.com/MrBlendy/status/458746878750765056 ]
howto  2011  imagery  balloons  gps  oliveryeh  justinlee 
april 2014 by robertogreco
Albert Gusi – Caminar en círculo | 30y3 – Spanish Photography Now
"Caminar en círculo es un proyecto que propone mini itinerarios que no avanzan. Una caminata que no nos lleva a ninguna parte, pero que a su vez, paso tras paso, termina por dejar la traza de uno mismo, haciendo el propio itinerario cada vez más evidente. Caminar en rodó es la manera idónea de ver un paisaje en toda su dimensión; en una contemplación expansiva y completa en constante itinerancia.

Proyecto de intervención en el paisaje sobre el soporte de una fotografía tomada por los satélites de Google (es pues un postfotograma en tiempos de postfotografía), que manifiesta una experiencia artística que permite ser compartida y experimentada por cualquiera de nosotros.

(Se pueden descargar las rutas haciendo clic en cada imagen.)

(…) Pero el recorrido circular de Gusi es adrede, intencionado, y porta con ello también para desafiar el sello del absurdo de caminar en círculos, sin principio ni fin claros, sino que sólo dejando la huella sobre la tierra para ser leída por el GPS desde Wikiloc o de cualquier plataforma de toma de imágenes satelitales, en una ultramoderna intervención sobre el paisaje que sólo queda documentada por la imagen satelital.

(…) Si se piensa que la fotografía de autor hace referencia justamente a un autor al patentar con autoridad que la toma fue hecha efectivamente por alguien, y detrás de ese alguien hay un discurso, una poética, una propuesta particular, la obra de Gusi va más allá. Las tomas son ahora unas sin autor, y el absurdo camino en redondo documenta esa imposibilidad autoral de una imagen satelital. ¿Puede seguir siendo fotografía? ¿o lo es sólo porque ilustra esta presencia de una ausencia? Si la instantaneidad es siempre una falsa promesa, aunque sea por algunos segundos ¿Acaso no es siempre esa la característica de cualquier tipo de imagen?


(Citas extraídas de un Texto de Lucy Quesada. Texto completo aquí http://www.albertgusi.com/pdfs/Texto_Lucy_Quezada.pdf )"

[See also:
http://www.albertgusi.com/galeria/caminar_rodo.html
http://www.albertgusi.com/ ]
art  walking  circles  gps  gpsart  albertgusi 
april 2014 by robertogreco
Where Time Comes From - The Atlantic
"The time that ends up on your smartphone—and that synchronizes GPS, military operations, financial transactions, and internet communications—originates in a set of atomic clocks on the grounds of the U.S. Naval Observatory. Dr. Demetrios Matsakis, Chief Scientist for USNO's Time Services, gives a tour."
time  demetriosmatsakis  science  physics  gps  2014  video 
february 2014 by robertogreco
In Kenya, Using Tech To Put An 'Invisible' Slum On The Map : Parallels : NPR
"In the storage room of an Internet cafe that the Spatial Collective uses for its office, I watch Kaka and the other slum mappers play idly with their GPS devices. In nine clicks, they zoom out the view broader and broader to encompass Nairobi city, then Kenya, then Africa, then the globe. Kaka laughs when I point out his habit.

"It's good to know where your spot — where your spot is in the world," he says, shrugging.

And the more time he spends looking at his home through the lens of the GPS, the more he can't shake the sense that the outside world is finally looking back.

"With the GPS if you mark a point, you know that there's someone out there who will get the information that there's a something happening here — or that there's me here," he says, with a sheepish chuckle.

While basic inadequacies and deep uncertainty still define the life here, he says, the days when some unscrupulous developer could send arsonists in at night and erase all traces of a community seem to be fading into the past. Among residents, there's a growing sense that in seeing their slum from the satellite level, from 10,000 miles up, they are starting to take their city out of the shadows."
maps  mapping  nairobi  kenya  africa  slums  urban  urbanism  identity  activism  gis  gps  spatialcollective  projectideas 
july 2013 by robertogreco
BBC News - Secret life of the cat: What do our feline companions get up to?
"Ever wondered what your cat spends its time doing when you're not around? Where do our purring pets go when they disappear through the cat flap? Armed with GPS tracking devices and micro-cameras, a team from BBC Two's Horizon programme in collaboration with the Royal Veterinary College set off to a Surrey village to find out. Discover more by selecting a cat character below."
cats  animals  pets  data  geography  maps  mapping  gps  213 
june 2013 by robertogreco
Design for the New Normal (Revisited) | superflux
"I was invited to talk at the NEXT Conference in Berlin by Peter Bihr, as he felt that a talk I gave last year would fit well with the conference's theme Here Be Dragons: "We fret about data, who is collecting it and why. We fret about privacy and security. We worry and fear disruption, which changes business models and renders old business to ashes. Some would have us walk away, steer clear of these risks. They’re dangerous, we don’t know what the consequences will be. Maintain the status quo, don’t change too much.Here and now is safe. Over there, in the future? Well, there be dragons."

This sounded like a good platform to expand upon the 'Design for the New Normal' presentation I gave earlier, especially as its an area Jon and I are thinking about in the context of various ongoing projects. So here it is, once again an accelerated slideshow (70 slides!) where I followed up on some of the stories to see what happened to them in the last six months, and developed some of the ideas further. This continues to be a work-in-progress that Superflux is developing as part of our current projects. "

[Video: http://nextberlin.eu/2013/07/design-for-the-new-normal-3/ ]
anabjain  2013  drones  weapons  manufacturing  3dprinting  bioengineering  droneproject  biotechnology  biotech  biobricks  songhojun  ossi  zemaraielali  empowerment  technology  technologicalempowerment  raspberrypi  hackerspaces  makerspaces  diy  biology  diybio  shapeways  replicators  tobiasrevell  globalvillageconstructionset  marcinjakubowski  crowdsourcing  cryptocurrencies  openideo  ideo  wickedproblems  darpa  innovation  india  afghanistan  jugaad  jugaadwarfare  warfare  war  syria  bitcoins  blackmarket  freicoin  litecoin  dna  dnadreams  bregtjevanderhaak  bgi  genomics  23andme  annewojcicki  genetics  scottsmith  superdensity  googleglass  chaos  complexity  uncertainty  thenewnormal  superflux  opensource  patents  subversion  design  jonardern  ux  marketing  venkateshrao  normalityfield  strangenow  syntheticbiology  healthcare  healthinsurance  insurance  law  economics  ip  arnoldmann  dynamicgenetics  insects  liamyoung  eleanorsaitta  shingtatchung  algorithms  superstition  bahavior  numerology  dunne&raby  augerloizeau  bionicrequiem  ericschmidt  privacy  adamharvey  makeu 
april 2013 by robertogreco
Bird's-Eye View - Radiolab
"Tim Howard heads to Fort Monmouth, New Jersey for the story of a WWII hero whose feats of navigation saved hundreds of lives. The hero? A pigeon named G.I. Joe. Museum Curator Mindy Rosewitz fills in the details. Professor Charles Walcott  helps Tim delve into the mysteries of how pigeons pull off these seemingly impossible journeys--flying home across hundreds of miles of unfamiliar terrain. Then, Dr. Lera Boroditsky tells us about a language in Australia in which a pigeon-like ability to orient yourself is so crucial...you can't even say hello without knowing exactly which direction you're facing. And finally, Jad and Robert talk to Karen Jacobsen, aka "the GPS girl," about her own navigational abilities."

[The rest of the episode ("Lost & Found"): http://www.radiolab.org/2011/jan/25/ ]

[Related: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lera_Boroditsky
http://www-psych.stanford.edu/~lera/
http://falmouthinstitute.com/language/2010/07/the-relationship-between-language-and-culture/
http://tylertretsven.wordpress.com/2012/03/05/time-and-space-in-pormpuraaw/
http://fora.tv/2010/10/26/Lera_Boroditsky_How_Language_Shapes_Thought
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/culture-conscious/201110/is-the-left-after ]
leraboroditsky  language  pigeons  gps  directions  place  orientation  2011  radiolab  emiliegossiaux  giuseppeiaria  karenjacobsen  alanlundgard  lost  languages  pormpuraaw  thought  thinking  maps  mapping  navigation  geospatial  culture  australia  aborigines 
april 2013 by robertogreco
CW&T » Crow's Flight
"Crow’s Flight is a GPS compass app for the Android platform. Enter an address and the GPS compass will continuously update your position and point towards the destination. Distance to the point is displayed in meters or kilometers along with a visual distance gauge.

The red line always points north. The triangle points in the direction of the destination. The brightness of the triangle indicates the accuracy of your GPS fix. White being accurate and darker shades being less accurate.

To get it on your android device, go to the Market app on your phone and search for “crowsflight”. or click on the link->crowsFlight (only on Android devices)

Usage:
Go to the menu to record your current location so you can point back to it later.
Enter an address at the top textbox and press go.

crowsFlight is primarily meant for walking. Use it to track where you parked your car, camping, hiking, geocaching, getting lost, finding your way, hiding treasure, etc.

more features coming soon
-closest subway
-mark “here”
-show in maps
Crow’s Flight is open source and FREE.

source: http://code.google.com/p/crowsflight/

If your compass is acting weird, try calibrating it by spinning the phone on a flat surface really fast. Really. It worked for me."
cw&t  iso  applications  iphone  psychogeography  location  compass  directions  mobile  gps  ios 
march 2013 by robertogreco
Russell Quinn — The World's Most Wired Storyteller | Wired Design | Wired.com
"Now after a string of behind-the-scenes successes, Quinn may be about to transform the art of storytelling itself. This summer he will launch The Silent History, a sprawling electronic novel that plays with the mechanics of how stories are told, taking full advantage of the tablet’s GPS and touchscreen, along with platform features like in-app purchasing.

It will be the first release from Ying Horowitz & Quinn, the San Francisco publishing house Quinn co-founded in January. Judging by samples shared with Wired, The Silent History is part book, part multiplayer game, part Google map, and entirely revolutionary.

“I love the printed book,” Quinn says. “But I’m not romantic about the book, either.”

…One key difference in how this e-book works is that the narrative is serialized… The serial is broken into six parts, each one spanning several years in fictional time…

Then there are Field Reports."
children  books  serialfiction  serial  mapping  maps  gaming  games  2012  elihorowitz  chrisying  yinghorowitz&quinn  ebooks  reading  location  gps  literature  fiction  interactivefiction  ipad  ios  application  iphone  mcsweeneys  russellquinn  thesilenthistory  if  suddenoak 
july 2012 by robertogreco
momo: a haptic navigation device
"Momo is a haptic navigational device that requires only the sense of touch to guide a user. No maps, no text, no arrows, no lights. It sits on the palm of one's hand and leans, vibrates and gravitates towards a preset location. Akin to someone pointing you in the right direction, there is no need to find your map, you simply follow as the device leans toward your destination."
kristino'friel  che-weiwang  2007  nyc  momo  haptic  gps  robot  art  arduino  navigation 
june 2012 by robertogreco
A conversation between Rob Walker and co-founder of Area/Code, Kevin Slavin : Observatory: Design Observer
"I know some of the people involved in Museum of the Phantom City, and they’re good people. But, in order to see the things that they want to point out, I have to go that place — well, okay. But then, once I’m there, the best way to display that information is the juxtaposition of it in front of what I’ve just traveled there to see? I don’t think so. Bottom line, maybe, is that visualizing the invisible is difficult, and might not be best expressed through the metaphor of the camera."

"What's important to me about the kinds of things we were doing with Area/Code — and all the designers around us — is that we were building systems in the middle of the data, some systems that gave us a way to read, and reasons to read it. The stories we were telling with locative games were fiction, but as always, good fiction describes the real world rather precisely."
trading  algorithmictrading  gps  geocaching  design  urban  softwareforcities  software  algorithms  cities  finance  paolaantonelli  reality  phantomcity  augmentedreality  storytelling  fiction  photography  area/code  robwalker  2011  kevinslavin  ar 
may 2012 by robertogreco
CW&T; » Crowsflight
"Crowsflight is a GPS compass that simply points. No instructions, no maps to orient, no lines to follow, just an arrow that points at the destination."

[via: http://observatory.designobserver.com/feature/an-interview-with-kevin-slavin/30608/ ]
compass  gps  location  orientation  wayfinding  iphone  ios  applications 
may 2012 by robertogreco
Will Self: Walking is political | Books | The Guardian
"A century ago, 90% of Londoners' journeys under six miles were made on foot. Now we are alienated from the physical reality of our cities. Will Self on the importance of walking in the fight against corporate control"

"Borges's animals and beggars are those who still seek the disciplines of physical geography – we understand that to walk the city and its environs is, in a very powerful sense, to use it. The contemporary flâneur is by nature and inclination a democratising force who seeks equality of access, freedom of movement and the dissolution of corporate and state control."
humanconnection  humanconnectivity  connectivity  human  society  indifference  friedrichengels  gps  london  thomasdequincey  moritzretszch  edgarallanpoe  wandering  wanderlust  rebeccasolnit  epicurus  thecityishereforyoutouse  geography  democracy  freedomofmovement  freedom  access  movement  flaneur  borges  cities  place  space  limitedspace  psychogeography  urbanism  urban  transportation  control  corporatism  willself  2012  walking 
april 2012 by robertogreco
GPS presentation pre-intro
"Hi! Here you will find slides from a short presentation on GPS tracks that I gave at Portland’s sixth dataviz meetup, 19 October 2011. They may be a bit hard to understand as-is – to emphasize internal patterns and relationships, I deliberately left out things like basemaps and axis labels. You might want to try following along with this video of excerpts from the talk, in which I attempt to break the world’s record for saying “like”. I want to make a more complete, coherent, and rigorous showcase of this data and the ways I like to work with it, but sadly I’m embedded in a manifold where time is at a high premium."

[Video link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NiXJRqm6BSc ]
geodata  data  2011  dataviz  walking  oregon  portland  quantifiedself  mapping  maps  gps  charlieloyd 
march 2012 by robertogreco
Benedikt Groß – Metrography – London Tube Map to large scale collective mental map
"Nowadays our orientation is very often not longer based exclusively on the actual geography & their landmarks. There are loads of alternatives, from street numbers to GPS routing in our smartphones, to guide us to a destination…those wayfinding devices have in common that they are abstracted projections of real world’s spatial arrangement. Which brings us to 2 interesting implications:…[1] because abstraction means in this case a decrease of information, something is lost…[2] the longer you are using a device the more you accept it or get used to it. For instance the geographical structure of transportation networks are often reshaped to provide users w/ more understandable transit maps. These distortions have a major influence on people’s perception of city’s geography, to the point they get stored mentally & become collective representation of real world’s geography.

‘Metrography’ attempts to explore this phenomenon using the most famous of of transit maps: the London Tube Map."
deformation  osm  openstreetmap  SAX  scriptographer  maperitive  noamtoran  bertrandclerc  benediktgroß  landmarks  gps  cities  transportation  perception  collectiverepresentation  abstraction  mentalmaps  distortion  geography  via:mayonissen  metrography  londontube  processing  mapping  maps  london 
february 2012 by robertogreco
OTERP
"Oterp is a mobile phone game project using a GPS sensor to manipulate music in real time, depending on the player's position on Earth. It generates new melodies when travelling. The objective of Oterp is to mix the reality of our everyday environment with a video game. This is a new way to imagine our movements in a society increasingly on the move and dependent on mobile interfaces."

[via: http://nearfuturelaboratory.com/pasta-and-vinegar/2011/10/17/video-games-with-less-video/ ]
oterp  kevinlesur  antoninfourneau  gaming  games  rjdj  music  audio  gps  geolocation  geo  applications  ios  iphone  mobile  newmediaart 
january 2012 by robertogreco
Geoloqi - A Private Realtime Platform for Location Sharing
"Use the Geoloqi platform to build powerful location-based apps, games and more. You can also license Geoloqi technology for your business applications."

[Related: http://www.elearnspace.org/blog/2011/10/30/a-few-simple-tools-i-want-edu-startups-to-build/ ]

[Via: http://twitter.com/audreywatters/status/130691445400158208 ]
location  geolocation  gps  tools  webdev  development  geoloqi  web  internet  webdesign 
october 2011 by robertogreco
ARIS - Mobile Learning Experiences - Creating educational games on the iPhone
"ARIS is a tool for you to make mobile games, tours and interactive stories. Using the GPS and QR Codes, ARIS players will experience a virtual world of interactive characters, items and media placed in physical space."

[via: http://twitter.com/KornerstoneGuy/status/105744006423646208 ]
education  learning  design  technology  games  mobilegames  play  classideas  qrcodes  gps  interactive  storytelling  location-based  location  location-aware 
august 2011 by robertogreco
Backseat Driver, Realtime iPhone Driving App For Children by ToyToyota
"ToyToyota, Toyota Motor Corporation’s new kid-friendly offshoot project, has them driving early, at least from the backseat, with the recently released the iPhone app Backseat Driver. In this app, the GPS functionality of the iPhone is used to mirror the route of the real car (Papa Car) that the child is riding in and allows them to steer and pick up objects in their car (Mama Car) for points. Virtual car customization is allowed as is the sharing of designs and scores via Twitter.

First offered in Japan, ToyToyota has created an English language version of their marketing video and website. The app is also now usable on U.S. roads."
iphone  ios  applications  toyota  children  games  gps  toytoyota  backseatdriver 
july 2011 by robertogreco
Geographic Information Systems Help Scholars See History - NYTimes.com
"Now historians have a new tool that can help. Advanced technology similar to Google Earth, MapQuest and the GPS systems used in millions of cars has made it possible to recreate a vanished landscape. This new generation of digital maps has given rise to an academic field known as spatial humanities. Historians, literary theorists, archaeologists and others are using Geographic Information Systems — software that displays and analyzes information related to a physical location — to re-examine real and fictional places like the villages around Salem, Mass., at the time of the witch trials; the Dust Bowl region devastated during the Great Depression; and the Eastcheap taverns where Shakespeare’s Falstaff and Prince Hal caroused."
history  maps  mapping  spatialhumanities  humanities  digitalhumanities  gps  landscape  2011  gis  spatial 
july 2011 by robertogreco
Shadow Cities, a New iPhone Video Game - Review - NYTimes.com
"I have played the future of mobile gaming. It is called Shadow Cities.

If you have an iPhone, you simply must try this game. Shadow Cities isn’t just the future of mobile gaming. It may actually be the most interesting, innovative, provocative and far-reaching video game in the world right now, on any system.

That’s a strong, perhaps outrageous, statement. But it’s merited because Shadow Cities delivers a radically fresh sort of engagement. Shadow Cities fully employs the abilities of the modern smartphone in the service of an entertainment experience that feels almost impossibly exciting and new."

"Until now games on phones and tablets have basically used those devices as small versions of traditional game machines; they did not allow you to play directly with other users in real time and they certainly took no note of where you were in the real world…

But in Shadow Cities the network and the real world it pervades become the game, which is so much more powerful."
iphone  ios  applications  shadowcities  via:adamgreenfield  situationist  place  games  gaming  toplay  2011  play  gps  location-based  location-aware  greyarea  psychogeography 
july 2011 by robertogreco
Mari Keski-Korsu - Elephant Paths
"Elephant Paths is a project that explores a geographical and social space using GPS–mapping devices, video and stories from the people walking the paths. It reveals a point of view connected to a space, telling a short story of a moment via video triptychs and stories. It links these places together with mapping traces and social relations. Altogether it creates a spatial map that can be experienced in location (possibly with help of GPS –devices) and in the Internet. Mapped paths are marked with a note.

Elephant Paths –project's goal is to reveal cultural similarities and differences. The project ideology believes that ignorance is the road to fear and war. When we know about people living close or even far from us, we can be open minded and anti-racists. There is a common humanity everywhere, only habits, believes, religions etc. change. The aim is not find a monotonious image of the world, but to reveal common humanity we could all relate to."
gps  elephantpaths  desirelines  geography  social  similarities  differences  humanity  deschooling  unschooling  anarchism  everyday  commonhumanity  human  technology  art  urban  urbanism  games 
june 2011 by robertogreco
Columbia: Spatial Information Design Lab
"The Spatial Information Design Lab is a think- and action-tank at Columbia University specializing in the visual display of spatial information about contemporary cities and events. The lab works with data about space -- numeric data combined with narratives and images to design compelling visual presentations about our world today. The projects in the lab focus on linking social data with geography to help researchers and advocates communicate information clearly, responsibly, and provocatively. We work with survey and census data, Global Positioning System information, maps, high- and low-resolution satellite imagery, analytic graphics, photographs and drawings, along with narratives and qualitative interpretations, to produce images." [via: http://speedbird.wordpress.com/2010/12/27/the-rockefeller-foundation-on-the-future-of-crowdsourced-cities/ ]
design  visualization  spacialinformation  information  architecture  research  spatialinformationdesignlab  laurakurgan  sarahwilliams  columbia  cities  urban  urbanism  urbancomputing  socialdata  data  census  gps 
december 2010 by robertogreco
ViewRanger : Off-road Topographic Map Navigation, Sports GPS, Buddy Beacon Tracking and Location-Based Content
"ViewRanger™ is a unique mapping, navigation, tracking, and information tool for mobile phones that provides information about your immediate surroundings through a natural and intuitive display. ViewRanger transforms your iPhone, or your Android or Symbian based smartphone into a fully featured trail navigation system.

ViewRanger is ideal for tourists, walkers, cyclists, mountain bikers, horse riders, geocachers, river boaters - in fact anyone who enjoys the outdoors."
gps  maps  mobile  software  symbian  android  iphone  ios  applications  mapping  outdoors  via:preoccupations 
december 2010 by robertogreco
Traverse Me
"Traverse Me is a map drawn by walking across campus with a GPS device to invite the viewer to see a different landscape to that which surrounds them. It questions the possibilities of where they are and inspires a personal reading of their movements and explorations of the campus."
maps  mapping  gps  gpsdrawing  drawing  cartography  geography 
november 2010 by robertogreco
Shadow Cities | Your city is a game.
"Step in. Take the role of a modern mage, learn magic and see your surroundings with new eyes. Hunt Shadow Spirits and use spells and strategy to battle for the control of your city with other players.

Shadow Cities is a new location based MMORPG for iPhone. Neighborhoods and familiar streets are part of the game world that is visible to you through your iPhone. Your city is a game."
games  gaming  psychogeography  augmentedreality  iphone  mmorpg  geospatial  mobile  locative  location  pervasive  gps  shadowcities  ios  applications  location-based  location-aware  ar 
november 2010 by robertogreco
The Future of Board Games: Innovation Is Afoot
"“Scavenger hunts have been around for a long, long time, but still I believe they are a harbinger of things to come. They’re relatively easy to put together and can be quite fun, and no doubt will become increasingly more complex and varied in the years to come. Especially given the technology that exists today – cell phone, camera phones, text messaging, GPS, and more – it seems quite reasonable that such games will get more and more sophisticated with more and more coordination and variation. There is obviously no actual board to speak of. The board is the neighborhood, the mall, or the city. I have to believe at some point, someone, somewhere will actually formalize rules for such a game, complete with technology variations and scoring systems.”

Well done Nike. You’ve found a way to effectively combine exercise, fun, competition, technology, social networking, and more. Participants absolutely loved The Nike Grid."
boardgames  nike  socialnetworking  nikegrid  games  gaming  play  scavengerhunts  classideas  gps  technology  fun  innovation 
november 2010 by robertogreco
Brooklyn Space Program
"The Brooklyn Space Program is a organization formed by a group of friends in New York City interested in scientific experiments, engineering, design and education."
brooklyn  classideas  space  diy  physics  iphone  gps  science  balloons  spacetravel  spaceexploration 
october 2010 by robertogreco
Steven Johnson: Where good ideas come from | Video on TED.com
"People often credit their ideas to individual "Eureka!" moments. But Steven Johnson shows how history tells a different story. His fascinating tour takes us from the "liquid networks" of London's coffee houses to Charles Darwin's long, slow hunch to today's high-velocity web."
stevenjohnson  art  creativity  ideas  innovation  thinking  connectivity  hunches  interconnectivity  youtube  philosophy  cafeculture  incubation  timberners-lee  web  online  internet  lcproject  crosspollination  crossdisciplinary  interdisciplinary  multidisciplinary  generalists  coffeehouses  ted  enlightenment  networks  space  place  thirdspaces  patterns  behavior  evolution  systems  systemsthinking  liquidnetowork  collaboration  tcsnmy  learning  theslowhunch  slowhunches  slow  darwin  eurekamoments  google20%  openstudio  cv  gps  sputnik  thirdplaces  charlesdarwin  interconnected 
september 2010 by robertogreco
SCVNGR
"SCVNGR is a game. Playing is simple: Go places. Do challenges. Earn points and unlock rewards! (Think free coffee!) Individuals and enterprises build on SCVNGR by adding challenges and rewards to their favorite places."
iphone  scavengerhunt  geogaming  scvngr  android  arg  location  learning  gaming  games  geography  geolocation  sms  gps  mobile  phones  classideas  maps  mapping 
september 2010 by robertogreco
Cabulous
"Cabulous is a smartphone app that makes it fast, easy, stress-free, & fun for passengers & taxi drivers to connect…allows passengers to see exact location of nearby taxis & hail one w/ touch of a button. The driver, in turn, is able to visually track his or her fare with a smartphone application – even if that passenger decides to walk down the block or around the corner. Passengers can even add drivers to their “Favorites” list & spot them the next time they are driving nearby, a plus for drivers who want to build customer loyalty. What makes Cabulous different from the other cab apps? Others: (a) connect to old legacy dispatching systems (buggy!); (b) broadcast passenger locations all over the city (creepy!); (c) dial a dispatch phone number in your city (snore!).

Cabulous is NOT a booking system – it’s a giant electric thumb for hailing cabs in real-time on the street or from a café or other location…"
iphone  taxi  transportation  mobile  gps  cabulous  applications  locative  location  ios 
august 2010 by robertogreco
Serendipitor for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad on the iTunes App Store
"Serendipitor is an alternative navigation app that helps you find something by looking for something else. Enter an origin and a destination, and the app maps a route between the two. You can increase or decrease the complexity of this route, depending how much time you have to play with. As you navigate your route, suggestions for possible actions to take at a given location appear within step-by-step directions designed to increase the likelihood that, in the end, you will have encounters you could never have pre-planned. You can take photos along the way and, upon reaching your destination, send an email sharing with friends your route and the steps you took."

[via: http://twitter.com/agpublic/status/21619402371 ]
serendipity  serendipitor  applications  iphone  maps  mapping  location  driftdeck  flaneur  wayfinding  navigation  gps  urban  urbanism  urbancomputing  urbanexploration  ios 
august 2010 by robertogreco
Gray Area Foundation – Culture Debate’s Review of City Centered
"The City Centered Festival of Locative Media & Urban Community brought together a broad range of practices from artists, researchers, urban planners, community organisers, educators & computer programmers...
gaffta  stamen  bencerveny  sanfrancisco  preemptivemedia  brookesinger  senseablecities  cities  mit  urbancomputing  ubicomp  planning  urban  urbanism  mobile  phones  data  rfid  gps  locativemedia  location  maps  mapping  emmawhittakercitycenteredfestival 
august 2010 by robertogreco
MotionX News » MotionX-GPS
"# Multitasking allows MotionX-GPS to record tracks while you do other things on your iPhone such as taking phone calls, visiting a web page, listening to streaming music, or getting Live Voice Guidance with MotionX-GPS Drive for example. # Record tracks in the background with your screen off to extend your battery life! # Background Voice Coaching: hear audible progress updates (distance, time, speed, pace). # New Wifi/Triangulation mode estimates your position when GPS is unavailable."
iphone  ipad  applications  gps  maps  mapping  tracking  travel  gis  geotagging  mobile  ios 
july 2010 by robertogreco
How Barcodes and Smartphones Will Rearchitect Information - The Conversation - Harvard Business Review
"These are just three possible implications. One can imagine many, many more. The reason it's so powerful is that any time we create a new tagging architecture that is decentralized and out "at the ends" of the network, we have the ability to unleash the power of self-organization. Given how localized and voluminous information is, any solution for integrating marketplace and marketspace information must be decentralized and self-organizing.
mobile  phones  smartphones  tagging  bargodes  rfid  gps  dna  qrcodes  iphone  ubicomp  spimes 
july 2010 by robertogreco
A Sense of Place, A World of Augmented Reality: Part 1: Places: Design Observer
"It’s not that the public became interested in nothing. They became interested in place as a zone of consumption, not production. Stripped of those meanings and relationships that were part and parcel of productive activity, everyday place became an unseen zone and we, its inhabitants, became experience addicts — constantly on the hunt for a flashier, more entertaining sensorial fix."
anthropology  ar  architecture  augmentedreality  change  city  location  media  mobilelearning  designobserver  design  future  film  reality  place  gps  geography  communications  cities  meaning  consumption  production  entertainment 
june 2010 by robertogreco
google goggles
"google goggles is a new type of search engine that allows users to make searches by taking pictures using their phone. the program is a mobile application for google’s android operating system. using the camera built into their phone, users simply have to snap a photo of an object and the object will be searched by google. some sample searches include pictures of art works, landmarks, book and even business cards. the software is also linked to other mobile applications, so that once a photo of a business card is snapped, the card owner’s contact info will be added to the phone’s address book. another interesting
google  android  googlegoggles  applications  search  photography  gps 
may 2010 by robertogreco
Serendipity Cities: Of services and situations « Adam Greenfield’s Speedbird
"One of these days, somebody clever is going to figure out how to use mobile services to bring this effortlessly connectionist logic back to street life. With any luck, they turn out to be a way back to the bracing air of possibility the simple act of being on a great metropolitan sidewalk once entrained.

In fact, if done with any verve to speak of, I can see such services giving rise to the moments of heightened awareness and potential I associate with Situationist rhetoric, those precious intervals during which some fortuitous alignment of people, place and circumstance reminds you what life is for and why it’s worth the effort. (For those of us who savor such ironies, it would be particularly delicious if the final triumph and apotheosis of the flaky, incoherent Parisian left of the Sixties was delivered on the shoulders of systems like GPS and the Internet, originally devised, designed and deployed by the military-industrial apparatus for its own ends.)"
adamgreenfield  serendipity  iphone  applications  gps  janejacobs  situationist  online  web  urban  cities  urbanism  psychogeography  ios 
april 2010 by robertogreco
Soundtrack for a City | Quiet Babylon
"The client sits on phone, downloads soundtrack – custom for city – pulls from location API, & mixes sounds according to instructions. There’s cleverness sure, some audio gee-whizery secret sauce, all very patentable & proprietary that seamlessly pulls it together. As you make your way from uptown to downtown, tone shifts gradually, like in Mr Q’s park but moreso. Mr Q is strictly last century, he’s amateur hour hacker hobbyist. It’s laying copper when we could be putting up cell towers in Africa. Disney doesn’t know from happiest place on earth. On the server it’s all very user-friendly, very drag-n-drop. We show you map of city & your uploaded audio files. You can paint-in areas, just like Photoshop...Colour your regions & associate sounds accordingly. We crowdsourced the names of neighbourhoods from Flickr to give you suggested outlines, if you just wanna throw something together, but the real artist can paint down to the nearest half-meter."
audio  sound  ambient  cities  texture  gps  iphone  applications  rjdj  ambientawareness  location-based  soundpainting  maps  mapping  timmaly  quietbabylon  mobile  ar  ios  augmentedreality 
april 2010 by robertogreco
Paper Maps Not Ready to Fold Yet | Smart Journalism. Real Solutions. | Miller-McCune Online Magazine
"study comparing paper map users versus GPS users yielded surprising results. Dr. Toru Ishikawa...found that people on foot using a GPS device make more errors & take longer to reach their destinations than people using an old-fashioned map...In Ishikawa’s latest study, three groups of participants on foot were asked to find their way to various urban locations. 1/3 of participants used mobile phone w/ GPS, 1/3 paper map & remainder were shown route by researcher before being required to navigate on their own.
gps  maps  navigation  wayfinding  mapping  tcsnmy  geography  technology  behavior  internet 
march 2010 by robertogreco
Academics make statement with project - SignOnSanDiego.com
"Because the promise of disentangling the ideological from the ethical in this American dream-turned-nightmare shimmers like a mirage on the horizon, we of Electronic Disturbance Theater/b.a.n.g. lab (a UCSD and University of Michigan artist-based research group), have opted instead to create a poetic gesture and safety device, equipped to identify water caches on the U.S. side of the border.

Housed on a GPS-enabled cell phone platform, the Transborder Immigrant Tool (TBT) will be distributed by Mexican nongovernmental organizations and churches who daily deal with individuals contemplating the Mexico-U.S. border trek."
via:javierarbona  borders  us  mexico  tijuana  sandiego  bordercrossing  mobile  phones  gps  safety  ucsd  art  water  tbt  transborder  immigration  migration  ricardodominguez  bretstalbaum 
march 2010 by robertogreco
GeoPlanet Explorer
"Welcome to the GeoPlanet Explorer. Here you can explore the geographical information provided by Yahoo in the GeoPlanet API and data set.
api  data  development  gis  gps  geography  location  neogeography  geoplanet  visualization  maps  mapping 
march 2010 by robertogreco
Cell phones show human movement predictable 93% of the time
"Most customers seemed to stick to the same small area, a radius of six miles or less, but there were a few callers that regularly traveled areas of a radius of hundreds of miles. It would seem that the cell phone users who traveled the least would be the most predictable in their movements, but the authors found this to be untrue. All users were roughly equally predictable, regardless of the size of their typical traveled region. Everyone seemed to have a set area that they rarely left, and that area was always traveled in a very regular way—even the jet-setters appear to rarely deviate from their travel patterns."
psychology  geolocation  gps  mobile  behavior  movement  patterns  data  phones  brain  travel 
february 2010 by robertogreco
::NoiseTube:: Turn your mobile phone into an environmental sensor and participate to the monitoring of noise pollution
"Noise pollution is a serious problem in many cities. NoiseTube is a research project about a new participative approach for monitoring noise pollution involving the general public. Our goal is to extend the current usage of mobile phones by turning them into noise sensors enabling each citizen to measure his own exposure in his everyday environment. Furthermore each user could also participate to the creation of a collective map of noise pollution by sharing automatically his geolocalized measures with the community.

By installing our free application on your GPS equipped phone, you will be able to measure the level of noise in dB(A) (with a precision a bit lower than a sound level meter), and contribute to the collective noise mapping by annotating it (tagging, subjective level of annoyance) and sending this geolocalized information automatically to the NoiseTube server by internet (GPRS)."

[via: http://www.iftf.org/node/3314 ]
noise  gis  gps  sensors  pollution  crowdsourcing  activism  mapping  environment  maps  experience  sound  monitoring  mobile  research  community  collaborative  audio  soundscape  sensornetworks  noisetube  soundscapes  sounds 
february 2010 by robertogreco
Locative media - Wikipedia
"Design scholars Anne Galloway & Matt Ward state that "various online lists of pervasive computing & locative media projects draw out breadth of current classification schema: everything from mobile games, place-based storytelling, spatial annotation & networked performances to device-specific applications."
locativeart  locativemedia  alternatereality  ar  locative  socialmedia  media  gps  geography  interaction  interactive  trends  art  mobile  play  williamgibson  annegalloway  christiannold  communication  augmentedreality 
february 2010 by robertogreco
OffMaps: Offline Maps for iPod Touch and iPhone
"OffMaps lets you take your maps offline. It is the ideal companion for any iPhone and iPod Touch user, who wants to access maps when travelling abroad (and avoid data roaming charges) and who wants to have fast access to maps at all times. This app (and the icon) just has to be on the right hand side of Apple's built-in maps app. OffMaps uses OpenStreetMap that include a lot more information than simple road maps: from ATMs and train stations to restaurants and pubs! You choose which areas to download instead of buying a new app for every city you want to visit. Our guides include all data from OpenStreetMap and lets you browse a wide array of points of interest offline. Check out the Guides section to see our ever-expanding Guide library." [Update: Kottke approved]
googlemaps  openstreetmap  mapping  ipod  ipodtouch  itunes  gps  maps  iphone  applications  navigation  offline  software  mobile  travel  handhelds  osm  offmaps  ios 
february 2010 by robertogreco
Mary Meeker: Economy Is Recovering, Mobile Is Exploding, And The iPhone Is Awesome.
"Meeker thinks we’re in a new computing cycle with the mobile web. Meeker believes Apple’s iPhone and iPod touch are leading the way here, big time. She thinks the mobile web will be 10 times as big as the more traditional desktop Internet, and that it will grow much faster.
technology  economics  trends  iphone  apple  facebook  internet  digital  ecommerce  business  mobile  location-based  wifi  gps  3g  bluetooth 
november 2009 by robertogreco
Noisy Decent Graphics: The Hidden Park - iPhone game
"It's an ambitious game that uses the iPhone's GPS, the camera and the speaker to create a sort of ARGish geo-cachingish mash up for families. You pick a park, head down there with the kids and run around solving clues and puzzles and trying to find the magical creatures...The best bit as far as the kids were concerned were these brilliant little photos created by standing in exactly the right spot...It seems to make sense in an emerging post-digital world. It takes something you can't do on a screen (going outside and run round a park) and merges it with something you can't do with twigs or paper (animate creatures over pictures etc). But also it takes the best bits of those worlds, going to the park is a good fun thing and gps and camera etc uses the best of the iPhone. That's smart and importantly it doesn't feel forced or false. Throw in gaming on the top and you've got a very interesting mix."
iphone  applications  games  gaming  arg  children  thehiddenpark  via:preoccupations  gps  augmentedreality  location  play  outdoors  videogames  geocaching  ios  ar 
september 2009 by robertogreco
BlockChalk
"BlockChalk is the voice of your neighborhood. Use it to talk to anyone, about anything.

It's anonymous, there's no sign-up and nothing to install (it runs entirely in your iPhone's browser). You can read more about it on our blog."
iphone  local  location  gps  hyperlocal  geolocation  digitalgraffiti  location-based  community  mobile  messaging  sandiego  ios  applications 
august 2009 by robertogreco
route-me - Project Hosting on Google Code
"A slippy map library for the iPhone. Fast! Completely written in objective-c using CoreAnimation. Runs like the built-in app. Currently OpenStreetMap Microsoft VirtualEarth and CloudMade are supported as map sources. Use it in your iPhone project. It's licensed under the new BSD license. You are responsible for getting permission to use the map data."
mobile  software  maps  mapping  iphone  opensource  openstreetmap  osm  programming  gis  gps  iphonesdk  api  google  code  open  cloudmade 
july 2009 by robertogreco
Boston to debut ‘killer app’ for municipal complaints - The Boston Globe
"City officials will soon debut Boston’s first official iPhone application, which will allow residents to snap photos of neighborhood nuisances - nasty potholes, graffiti-stained walls, blown street lights - and e-mail them to City Hall to be fixed."
iphone  applications  boston  government  crowdsourcing  transparency  technology  mobile  urban  gps  municipal  ios 
july 2009 by robertogreco
YouTube - Nearest Tube Augmented Reality App for iPhone 3GS from acrossair [see also: http://www.acrossair.com/apps_nearesttube.htm]
"acrossair, the makers of the TVGuide.co.uk iPhone app bring you Nearest Tube one of the first augmented reality apps to go live in the iPhone AppStore. Forget boring 2D tube maps! Try this amazing new application that tells Londoners where their nearest tube station is via their iPhones video function.
augmentedreality  iphone  applications  location  geolocation  underground  london  gps  compass  via:blackbeltjones  ios  ar 
july 2009 by robertogreco
TomTom GPS system with Homer Simpson voice
"Directly from Springfield, America’s most popular Dad makes his way to TomTom devices. With the original Homer at your side, even the shortest drive will transform into a journey to remember.
homer  gps  navigation  humor  thesimpsons 
june 2009 by robertogreco
Pulse Laser: What if GPS worked like Here & There?
"You get used to the Here & There projection really fast. ... It starts feeling weird that you can’t see over rooftops. And while these prints we’ve shown so far are tied to two intersections (one looking from 3rd and 7th, and the other from 3rd and 35th), yes we are working on doing it on the fly, and yes we’re looking at generating projections from all kinds of places for one-off prints.

The natural question is, what would this look like driving round Manhattan? (If you forget about the traffic.) As Fast Company and Gizmodo said, Garmin should do it. They totally should. And so here it is."
maps  schulzeandwebb  visualization  mattwebb  jackschulze  gps  geography  3d  mapping  nyc  berg  berglondon 
may 2009 by robertogreco
graphpaper.com - Who Watches the Watchman?
"How do you make sure that the night watchman patrolling your factory floor or museum galleries...actually makes his rounds? How do you know he’s inspecting every hallway, floor & stairwell? How do you know he is not just spending every night sleeping at his desk? If you’re a technology designer, you might suggest using surveillance cameras or even GPS to track his location each night, right? But let’s make this interesting...go...back...[to]1900. What could you possibly do in 1900 to be absolutely sure a night watchman was making his full patrol? An elegant solution, designed and patented in 1901 by the German engineer A.A. Newman, is called the “watchclock”. It’s an ingenious mechanical device, slung over the shoulder like a canteen and powered by a simple wind-up spring mechanism. It precisely tracks and records a night watchman’s position in both space and time for the duration of every evening. It also generates a detailed, permanent & verifiable record of each night’s patrol."
watchmen  security  interface  history  technology  time  space  gps  surveillance  behavior  control  gadgets  location-based  chistopherfahey 
may 2009 by robertogreco
Sparrow - iPhone Location Updater for Fire Eagle and Twitter
"Sparrow is the simplest way to update your location on iPhone. With one tap, you can tell Fire Eagle and Twitter exactly where you are. No other iPhone app does so little, so well. Check-in with Sparrow, and get on with your life."
fireeagle  twitter  iphone  applications  geodata  yahoo  geolocation  mapping  geotagging  location  mobile  gps  via:preoccupations  ios 
april 2009 by robertogreco
iMob Hits The iPhone: Prepare To Become An Addict
"The game itself is too complex to fully describe in a few paragraphs, but the gameplay generally revolves around doing ‘jobs’, attacking other players to earn cash, and spending the proceeds to buy more powerful weapons and other items. It might not sound like much (especially given the lack of flashy graphics), but it can be incredibly addictive once you’ve gotten a grip on the basics."
iphone  applications  games  gaming  imob  gps  presence  location-based  csiap  ios 
february 2009 by robertogreco
iGPS: Path tracking with Snail Trail
"Snail Trail is another path tracking app for your iPhone. You can suspend tracking (by hitting the home button) and later on continue. It also features waypoints that can be added. Export is done by mail, you can hit the "email coordinates" button and a mail with a Google Earth KML file attatchment will be sent to the mail address provided. It's priced 0.99$
iphone  applications  gps  tracking  location  geotagging  geography  mobile  ios 
february 2009 by robertogreco
Exporting the past into the future, or, “The Possibility Jelly lives on the hypersurface of the present” « Magical Nihilism
"I’m still convinced that hereish-and-soonish/thereish-and-thenish are the grain we need to be exploring rather than just connecting a network of the pulsing ‘blue-dot’."
location  locative  location-based  geolocation  dopplr  serendipity  spacetime  precision  gps  design  space  socialsoftware  interaction  mattjones  fireeagle  place  time  latitude  herish  nowish  future  past  present  hereandnow 
february 2009 by robertogreco
A Lethal app for your iPhone - The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW)
"Lethal (click opens iTunes) from Elany Arts takes a location from either the iPhone's built-in location services or a list of 300 cities or parks throughout the USA, then provides you with a "lethal index" number. This number ranges between 0 and 400, with 400 being an extremely dangerous location.
iphone  applications  statistics  crime  gps  locative  mobile  humor  safety  via:rodcorp  lethal  csiap  ios 
february 2009 by robertogreco
My Tracks for Android
"My Tracks is an application for your AndroidTM phone that enables you to record GPS tracks and view live statistics – such as time, speed, distance, and elevation – while hiking, biking, running or participating in other outdoor activities. Once recorded, you can share your tracks, upload them to Google Spreadsheets and visualize them on Google My Maps."
android  applications  gps  location  tracking  cartography  maps  mapping  fitness  running  mobile  phones  software 
february 2009 by robertogreco
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