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robertogreco : wayfinding   42

Will Self: Are humans evolving beyond the need to tell stories? | Books | The Guardian
"Neuroscientists who insist technology is changing our brains may have it wrong. What if we are switching from books to digital entertainment because of a change in our need to communicate?"



"A few years ago I gave a lecture in Oxford that was reprinted in the Guardian under the heading: “The novel is dead (this time it’s for real)”. In it I argued that the novel was losing its cultural centrality due to the digitisation of print: we are entering a new era, one with a radically different form of knowledge technology, and while those of us who have what Marshal McLuhan termed “Gutenberg minds” may find it hard to comprehend – such was our sense of the solidity of the literary world – without the necessity for the physical book itself, there’s no clear requirement for the art forms it gave rise to. I never actually argued that the novel was dead, nor that narrative itself was imperilled, yet whenever I discuss these matters with bookish folk they all exclaim: “But we need stories – people will always need stories.” As if that were an end to the matter.

Non-coincidentally, in line with this shift from print to digital there’s been an increase in the number of scientific studies of narrative forms and our cognitive responses to them. There’s a nice symmetry here: just as the technology arrives to convert the actual into the virtual, so other technologies arise, making it possible for us to look inside the brain and see its actual response to the virtual worlds we fabulate and confabulate. In truth, I find much of this research – which marries arty anxiety with techno-assuredness – to be self-serving, reflecting an ability to win the grants available for modish interdisciplinary studies, rather than some new physical paradigm with which to explain highly complex mental phenomena. Really, neuroscience has taken on the sexy mantle once draped round the shoulders of genetics. A few years ago, each day seemed to bring forth a new gene for this or that. Such “discoveries” rested on a very simplistic view of how the DNA of the human genotype is expressed in us poor, individual phenotypes – and I suspect many of the current discoveries, which link alterations in our highly plastic brains to cognitive functions we can observe using sophisticated equipment, will prove to be equally ill-founded.

The neuroscientist Susan Greenfield has been prominent in arguing that our new digital lives are profoundly altering the structure of our brains. This is undoubtedly the case – but then all human activities impact upon the individual brain as they’re happening; this by no means implies a permanent alteration, let alone a heritable one. After all, so far as we can tell the gross neural anatomy of the human has remained unchanged for hundreds of millennia, while the age of bi-directional digital media only properly dates – in my view – from the inception of wireless broadband in the early 2000s, hardly enough time for natural selection to get to work on the adaptive advantages of … tweeting. Nevertheless, pioneering studies have long since shown that licensed London cab drivers, who’ve completed the exhaustive “Knowledge” (which consists of memorising every street and notable building within a six mile radius of Charing Cross), have considerably enlarged posterior hippocampi.

This is the part of brain concerned with way-finding, but it’s also strongly implicated in memory formation; neuroscientists are now discovering that at the cognitive level all three abilities – memory, location, and narration – are intimately bound up. This, too, is hardly surprising: key for humans, throughout their long pre-history as hunter-gatherers, has been the ability to find food, remember where food is and tell the others about it. It’s strange, of course, to think of Pride and Prejudice or Ulysses as simply elaborations upon our biologically determined inclination to give people directions – but then it’s perhaps stranger still to realise that sustained use of satellite navigation, combined with absorbing all our narrative requirements in pictorial rather written form, may transform us into miserable and disoriented amnesiacs.

When he lectured on literature in the 1950s, Vladimir Nabokov would draw a map on the blackboard at the beginning of each session, depicting, for example, the floor plan of Austen’s Mansfield Park, or the “two ways” of Proust’s Combray. What Nabokov seems to have understood intuitively is what neuroscience is now proving: reading fiction enables a deeply memorable engagement with our sense of space and place. What the master was perhaps less aware of – because, as yet, this phenomenon was inchoate – was that throughout the 20th century the editing techniques employed in Hollywood films were being increasingly refined. This is the so-called “tyranny of film”: editing methods that compel our attention, rather than leaving us free to absorb the narrative in our own way. Anyone now in middle age will have an intuitive understanding of this: shots are shorter nowadays, and almost all transitions are effected by crosscutting, whereby two ongoing scenes are intercut in order to force upon the viewer the idea of their synchrony. It’s in large part this tyranny that makes contemporary films something of a headache for older viewers, to whom they can seem like a hypnotic swirl of action.

It will come as no surprise to Gutenberg minds to learn that reading is a better means of forming memory than watching films, as is listening to afternoon drama on Radio 4. This is the so-called “visualisation hypothesis” that proposes that people – and children in particular – find it harder not only to remember film as against spoken or written narratives, but also to come up with novel responses to them, because the amount of information they’re given, together with its determinate nature, forecloses imaginative response.

Almost all contemporary parents – and especially those of us who class themselves as “readers” – have engaged in the Great Battle of Screen: attempting to limit our children’s consumption of films, videos, computer games and phone-based social media. We feel intuitively that it can’t be doing our kids any good – they seem mentally distracted as well as physically fidgety: unable to concentrate as they often look from one handheld screen to a second freestanding one, alternating between tweezering some images on a touchscreen and manipulating others using a remote control. Far from admonishing my younger children to “read the classics” – an utterly forlorn hope – I often find myself simply wishing they’d put their phones down long enough to have their attention compelled by the film we’re watching.

If we take seriously the conclusions of these recent neuroscientific studies, one fact is indisputable: whatever the figures for books sales (either in print or digital form), reading for pleasure has been in serious decline for over a decade. That this form of narrative absorption (if you’ll forgive the coinage) is closely correlated with high attainment and wellbeing may tell us nothing about the underlying causation, but the studies do demonstrate that the suite of cognitive aptitudes needed to decipher text and turn it into living, breathing, visible and tangible worlds seem to wither away once we stop turning the pages and start goggling at virtual tales.

Of course, the sidelining of reading narrative (and along with it the semi-retirement of all those narrative forms we love) is small potatoes compared with the loss of our capacity for episodic memory: would we be quite so quick to post those fantastic holiday photographs on Facebook if we knew that in so doing we’d imperil our ability to recall unaided our walk along the perfect crescent of sand, and our first ecstatic kiss? You might’ve thought that as a novelist who depends on fully attuned Gutenberg minds to read his increasingly complex and confusing texts I’d be dismayed by this craven new couch-based world; and, as a novelist, I am.

I began writing my books on a manual typewriter at around the same time wireless broadband became ubiquitous, sensing it was inimical not only to the act of writing, but that of reading as well: a novel should be a self-contained and self-explanatory world (at least, that’s how the form has evolved), and it needs to be created in the same cognitive mode as it’s consumed: the writer hunkering down into his own episodic memories, and using his own canonical knowledge, while imagining all the things he’s describing, rather than Googling them to see what someone else thinks they look like. I also sense the decline in committed reading among the young that these studies claim: true, the number of those who’ve ever been inclined “to get up in the morning in the fullness of youth”, as Nietzsche so eloquently put it, “and open a book” has always been small; but then it’s worth recalling the sting in the tail of his remark: “now that’s what I call vicious”.

And there is something vicious about all that book learning, especially when it had to be done by rote. There’s something vicious as well about the baby boomer generation, which, not content to dominate the cultural landscape, also demands that everyone younger than us survey it in the same way. For the past five years I’ve been working on a trilogy of novels that aim to map the connections between technological change, warfare and human psychopathology, so obviously I’m attempting to respond to the zeitgeist using this increasingly obsolete art form. My view is that we’re deluded if we think new technologies come into existence because of clearly defined human objectives – let alone benevolent ones – and it’s this that should shape our response to them. No, the history of the 20th century – and now the 21st – is replete with examples of technologies that were developed purely in order to facilitate the killing of people at … [more]
willself  communication  digital  writing  howwewrite  entertainment  books  socialmedia  neuroscience  2016  marshallmcluhan  gutenbergminds  print  change  singularity  videogames  gaming  games  poetry  novels  susangreenfield  rote  rotelearning  twitter  knowledge  education  brain  wayfinding  memory  location  narration  navigation  vladimirnabokov  proust  janeausten  film  video  attention  editing  reading  howweread  visualizationhypothesis  visualization  text  imagery  images  cognition  literacy  multiliteracies  memories  nietzsche  booklearning  technology  mobile  phones  mentalillness  ptsd  humans  humanity  digitalmedia  richardbrautigan  narrative  storytelling 
november 2016 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
Eye Magazine | Opinion | Are you sure you need that new logo?
"Item: Last year, in the remote town of Sylhet, in the north-east corner of Bangladesh, I hailed a cycle-ricksha and asked to be taken to the house of my friend Abdul Khaled Kayed in the district of Ambar Khana. I didn’t even know the street he lived in, let alone the number of the house. ‘No problem,’ said the ricksha driver, though he had never heard of my friend and was not familiar with the district. We proceeded by means of a series of encounters with shopkeepers, cafe waiters and fellow ricksha drivers, each one taking us a little closer to our destination. It was a leisurely, somewhat erratic journey. Each conversation was interesting and enjoyable, including invitations to take tea, to describe my house in Camden Town and to discuss the meaning of life; I was almost sorry when we finally arrived at my friend’s house. If there were any street signs to be seen during the journey I didn’t notice them, nor did my driver consult them.

Item: In her book New Lives, New Landscapes (1970), the late Nan Fairbrother showed two photographs of the main street of Suffolk village of Lavenham. The first is of the street festooned with telephone wires and power cables. The second shows exactly the same viewpoint, taken after a successful campaign to remove the overhead wires. The improvement is startling. The Civic Trust Award, so often given to commemorate the application of lettering to shopfronts and offices, or the addition of suitably designed concrete tubs with suitable plants to enhance the village square, was here given to a scheme whose sole purpose was subtraction."



"Item: When I set up my Graphic Design business 30 years ago, one of our first clients was a prestigious furniture maker who wanted a complete graphic styling job: stationery range, information sheets, showroom graphics, vehicle livery and promotional pieces. When we presented our proposals, the managing director was duly impressed and gave us an immediate go-ahead. Then he said, ‘I particularly like the name style for the company, but perhaps we’ll hold on to that until you come up with your proposal for the symbol to go with it.’ When I told him we considered the name style to be quite adequate as an identity device and had no plans for including a symbol, he was much taken aback. ‘But we’ve always had a symbol,’ he said, ‘and anyway, I thought you would insist on us having one.’ After some to-ing and fro-ing we agreed he would think about it. At the end of a nail-biting week, he phoned back to say he was entirely reconciled to not having a symbol. ‘A much more elegant solution,’ he said. ‘And it kills two birds with one stone. We won’t have to bother about all the problems of symbols – when to use them and when not, how small can they be without becoming mere blobs, how big without looking bloated. And we save the sizeable fee you’d be charging us if you did design it.’

There’s the rub. How do we charge for convincing our clients not to have some graphic indulgence they have set their hearts on? And even more difficult, how do we get them to remove something that is unhelpful, or intrusive, or superfluous, or downright misleading? Who is going to pay for something they are not going to get? And who is going to pay for having something they do not need taken from them?"
legibility  design  wayfinding  kengarland  unproduct  notbuilding  bigidea  1993  branding  logos  simplicity  navigation  cities  graphicdesign 
august 2013 by robertogreco
From Here to There | the art of asking for directions | Spoon & Tamago
Outfitted in a souvenir baseball cap and Century 21 shopping bag, Japanese artist Nobutaka Aozaki hits the streets of Manhattan, asking strangers for directions wherever he goes. However, Aozaki is not a tourist nor does he have a horrible sense of direction. This is “From Here to There,” an ongoing art piece in which Aozaki is constructing a map of Manhattan based on hand-drawn directions people create for him.

“Sometimes my destinations come from Japanese guide books but other times they’re just where I’m headed to meet friends or, if I’m hungry, to get a bite to eat,” Aozaki tells us. The NY-based artist isn’t necessarily trying to complete the map. What’s more important is that the artistic process reflects his daily life; almost like a diary.
maps  mapping  art  nobutakaaozaki  2013  nyc  manhattan  directions  handdrawnmaps  wayfinding  ncmideas  via:tealtan 
august 2013 by robertogreco
Space and Culture › Moving across landscapes (and one ocean)
"At Tesugen, Peter Lindberg takes a close look at Bruce Chatwin’s beautiful novel*, The Songlines. One of my favourite exchanges is this:

Certain phrases, certain combinations of musical notes, are thought to describe the action of the Ancestor’s feet. Once phrase would say, ’salt-pan’; another ‘creek-bed’, ’spinifex,’ ’sandhill,’ ‘mulga scrub,’ ‘rockface’ and so forth. An expert songman, by listening to their order of succession, would count how many times his hero crossed a river, or scaled a ridge–and be able to calculate where, and how far along a songline he was.

“So a musical phrase,” I said, “is a map reference?”

“Music,” said Arkady, “is a memory bank for finding ones’ way about the world.”

Hear hear!"
annegalloway  2004  brucechatwin  memory  maps  mapping  wayfinding  thesonglines  music  language  words  cartography  mapmaking  place  psychology  psychogeography  landscape 
march 2013 by robertogreco
Two Things (Gibson TTS and Fictional Memory Palaces) | booktwo.org
"It’s all oddly appropriate for Gibson though, an experience mightily enhanced by walking around the city while you listen to it.

And talking about Gibson reminds me of something I didn’t mention before about the last book, Zero History: how all my friends, without planning it, read it at pretty much the same time. We didn’t talk about it explicitly—not much anyway—but for a couple of weeks we all inhabited the same fictional space, which leaked out around us in a constant, low-level hum of Bigend references, fictional brands, and in-jokes.

It was fun, and good. Perhaps, this is what Invisible Book Club is.

If you play a lot of video games, or a lot of a video game, you slowly learn the map, it stays in your head. It doesn’t exist, it’s an imaginary place, but you can find your way around in it, even give directions within it.

A shared fiction is like a shared map, a space we can inhabit, a shared memory palace, even for a brief period."
postgeography  post-geographic  situatedmeanings  memorypalaces  sciencefiction  fiction  imaginaryplaces  place  wayfinding  location  mapping  maps  invisiblebookclub  cities  zerohistory  williamgibson  2012  jamesbridle  sharedfiction 
december 2012 by robertogreco
Luke Johnson: Mysteries and Curiosities Map of JPL: How can design influence an established culture?
"It was during this walk that I first realized JPL was a lot like the television show Lost."

"The map functions as a tool to orient new employees, encourage Lab explorationg for current employees, and to put a human face on JPL for the outside public."

"Armed with a GPS tracknig device, camera, and a trusty pair of shoes, I walked to every buidling on Lab in numerical order. What I thought would take a Saturday afternoon took 22 hours over the span of four days at a walking distance of 52.2 miles."

"The map itself is divided into two sections. The front is an Insider's Guide containing information I wish someone had explained to me when I began working at the Lab. The back provides several Walking Tours. A Welcome Pack and Website/Smartphone App were recently funded."

"The creation of a new design practice requires a certain entrepreneurial spirit and chutzpah"

[via: https://twitter.com/Bopuc/status/267163844512714752 ]
wayfinding  nasa  california  exploration  cartography  mapping  maps  buildings  numbering  numbers  lost  alexandersmith  davidmikula  juliatsao  christianeholzheid  erinellis  pasadena  jpl  lukejohnson 
november 2012 by robertogreco
Walk [Your City]™
"What? An online pedestrian empowerment tool for any citizen to become an engaged stakeholder in their community. The W[YC] platform will allow anyone to auto-magically create their own guerrilla wayfinding sign to export, print and install.

Why? Walk Raleigh, our initial guerrilla (unsanctioned & self initiated) wayfinding project, has resonated with so many people, both home and away (even the BBC came to town!), we had to make it accessible for more people to use. Walk Raleigh has even been adopted as a pilot educational program in Raleigh, N.C. Wait, whats guerrilla or tactical urbanism anyways?

How? By using existing digital resources and the newly released “google maps” walk tool, we will develop a simple point and click sign-making experience for even the most novice of computer-user. Anyone will be able to auto-magically download their own sign."
srg  edg  activism  classideas  templates  communities  community  exploration  guerillawayfinding  wayfinding  northcarolina  raleigh  urbanism  urban  cities  walking  projectideas 
november 2012 by robertogreco
Walk [Your City]™
"What? An online pedestrian empowerment tool for any citizen to become an engaged stakeholder in their community. The W[YC] platform will allow anyone to auto-magically create their own guerrilla wayfinding sign to export, print and install.

Why? Walk Raleigh, our initial guerrilla (unsanctioned & self initiated) wayfinding project, has resonated with so many people, both home and away (even the BBC came to town!), we had to make it accessible for more people to use. Walk Raleigh has even been adopted as a pilot educational program in Raleigh, N.C. Wait, whats guerrilla or tactical urbanism anyways?

How? By using existing digital resources and the newly released “google maps” walk tool, we will develop a simple point and click sign-making experience for even the most novice of computer-user. Anyone will be able to auto-magically download their own sign."
walkability  googlemaps  signs  guerillawayfinding  wayfinding  mapping  maps  signalization  transportation  urbanism  urban  walking  pedestrians  empowerment  cities 
july 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
Max Tabackman Fenton
[The delightful copy from May 15, 2012.]

"Hello, I'm Max Fenton.

Knowingly or not, I've enlisted friends, peers, and strangers to unpack a puzzle that involves reading and writing on networks and screens.

You can follow along or participate by reading, clipping, grokking, assembling, questioning, and sharing—while making a path. You'll need electrons, a wish to explore, and an eye for how these pieces might fit together in novel shapes and forms.

My trails are charted through twitter, tumblr, pinboard, readmill, reading, and 2nd hand [flavors.me]."

[As shared on Twitter:

"Made my site a little more accurate [http://maxfenton.com] then read @pieratt's "Transparency" http://pieratt.tumblr.com/post/23108094947/transparency-in-the-evolution-of-technology — Yes."

http://twitter.com/maxfenton/status/202477843534454784 ]

[See also: http://twitter.com/rogre/status/202481485633159168 ]
stockandflow  flow  commonplacebooks  friends  peers  talktostrangers  strangers  networkedlearning  benpieratt  transparency  comments  peoplelikeme  howwethink  howwecreate  socialmedia  participation  pinboard  readmill  flavors.me  reading.am  tumblr  twitter  2012  sensemaking  meaningmaking  clipping  assembling  sharing  questioning  crumbtrails  conversation  howwelearn  howwework  cv  online  web  trails  wayfinding  pathfinding  maxfenton 
may 2012 by robertogreco
SF Muni Fast Pass Colors - a set on Flickr
"A small cache of SF Muni Fast Passes (2005-2011) to aid a casual study of urban wayfinding, social design processes and their influence on visual culture.

Themes: security and aesthetic caprice."
urbanwayfinding  wayfinding  urbanism  publictransit  transportation  munipasses  colors  color  socialdesign  socialdesignprocesses  urban  2005  2006  2007  2008  2009  2010  2011  sanfrancisco  fastpass 
may 2012 by robertogreco
read/write | booktwo.org
"…all the way through the talk I was trying to say: this bit is about writing, and this bit is about reading.

And it didn’t make sense, at least to me, it didn’t make sense, because reading and writing, for me, are not separate activities. It’s all way-finding, orienteering through literature, and sometimes someone else has beaten down the path and sometimes you have to make it for yourself…

I started trying to write a book last year, for various reasons, and I kept getting derailed by the sheer pointlessness of the format for what I was trying to do. The only point I could identify in writing it as-a-book was to make a saleable thing, which is fine but the whole point of this not-book was/is to talk about what is not that.

Network Realism is about yoinking as much of the network as you need into the text. Something something the whole network i.e. reading and writing, flow, process."
process  flow  networkrealism  books  writingasthinking  understanding  thinking  wayfinding  writing  reading  2012  jamesbridle 
march 2012 by robertogreco
Convenience | Near Future Laboratory
"The newspaper is called Convenience and it’s based on the hypothesis that all great innovations and inventions find their way into the Corner Convenience store. Take for example, the nine we selected to feature in the newspaper, amongst a couple dozen:

AA Battery (Power)
BiC Cristal Pen (Writing)
Eveready LED Flashlight (Light..and laser light!)
Durex Condom (Prophylactic)
Reading Spectacles
Map (Cartography/way-finding)
BiC Lighter (Fire)
Disposable Camera (Memory)
Wristwatch (Time)

It’s a hypothesis designed to provoke consideration as to the trajectory of ideas from mind-bogglingly fascinating and world-changing when they first appear to numbingly routine and even dull by the time they commodify, optimize and efficient-ize…"

[Follow-up post: http://nearfuturelaboratory.com/2012/03/04/corner-convenience-near-future-design-fiction/ ]
nickfoster  rhysnewman  nearfuturelaboratory  nicolasnova  2012  cornerconvenience  electricity  power  writing  vision  glasses  cartography  wayfinding  fire  cameras  memory  time  wristwatches  batteries  maps  innovation  inventions  technology  commodification  convenience  design  julianbleecker  designfiction 
march 2012 by robertogreco
Lost & Found - Radiolab
"In this episode, Radiolab steers its way through a series of stories about getting lost, and asks how our brains, and our hearts, help us find our way back home.

After hearing about a little girl who gets lost in front of her own house, Jad and Robert wonder how we find our way in the world. We meet a woman who has spent her entire life getting lost, and find out how our brains make maps of the world around us. We go to a military base in New Jersey to learn about some amazing feats of navigational wizardry, and are introduced to a group of people in Australia with impeccable orientation. Finally, we turn to a very different kind of lost and found: a love story about running into a terrifying, and unexpected, fork in the road."
radiolab  wayfinding  navigation  human  brain  jonahlehrer  beinglost  classideas  animals  love 
january 2011 by robertogreco
Amazon.com: A Field Guide to Getting Lost (9780143037248): Rebecca Solnit: Books
"This meditation on the pleasures and terrors of getting lost is-as befits its subject-less a coherent argument than a series of peregrinations, leading the reader to unexpected vistas. The word "lost," Solnit informs us, derives from the Old Norse for disbanding an army, and she extrapolates from this the idea of striking "a truce with the wide world." It's the wideness of the world that entices: a map of this deceptively slender volume would include hermit crabs, who live in scavenged shells; marauding conquistadors; an immigrant grandmother committed to an asylum; white frontier children kidnapped by Indians; and Hitchcock's "Vertigo." Solnit imagines a long-distance runner accumulating moments when neither foot is on the ground, "tiny fragments of levitation," and argues, by analogy, that in relinquishing certainty we approach, if only fleetingly, the divine."
rebeccasolnit  books  wayfinding  philosophy  discovery  serendipity  art  culture  curiosity  travel  yvesklein  understanding  human  maps  mapping 
november 2010 by robertogreco
Serendipitor
"Serendipitor is an alternative navigation app for the iPhone that helps you find something by looking for something else. The app combines directions generated by a routing service (in this case, the Google Maps API) with instructions for action and movement inspired by Fluxus, Vito Acconci, and Yoko Ono, among others. 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 introduce small slippages and minor displacements within an otherwise optimized and efficient route. 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."

[See also: http://vimeo.com/14205766 AND http://serialconsign.com/2010/09/out-wayfinding-serendipitor AND http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2010/09/serendipitor-gives-maps-and-navigation-a-gaming-layer/ ]
serendipity  wayfinding  maps  iphone  applications  serendipitor  mapping  discovery  exploration  vitoacconci  yokoono  fluxus  psychogeography  situationist  meandering  flaneur  derive  dérive  ios 
september 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
Damn Interesting • The Mysterious Toynbee Tiles
"In 1992, a chap in Philadelphia by the name of Bill O’Neill starting noticing strange tiles randomly embedded in local roads. They were generally about the size of a license plate, and each had some variation of the same strange message: “TOYNBEE IDEA IN KUbricK’s 2001 RESURRECT DEAD ON PLANET JUPiTER.” They varied a bit in color and arrangement, but they were all made of an unidentifiable hard substance, and many had footnotes as strange as the message itself, such as “Murder every journalist, I beg you,” and “Submit. Obey.” Some were accompanied by lengthy, paranoid diatribes about the newsmedia, jews, and the mafia."
via:britta  toynbeetiles  annotation  geography  streetart  graffiti  tiles  howto  tutorials  messages  waymarking  wayfinding  arnoldtoynbee 
august 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
Teaching in Social and Technological Networks « Connectivism
"social & technological networks subvert the classroom-based role of the teacher. Networks thin classroom walls. Experts are no longer “out there” or “over there”. Skype brings anyone, from anywhere, into a classroom. Students are not confined to interacting with only the ideas of a researcher or theorist...The largely unitary voice of the traditional teacher is fragmented by the limitless conversation opportunities available in networks. When learners have control of the tools of conversation, they also control the conversations in which they choose to engage. Course content is similarly fragmented. The textbook is now augmented with YouTube videos, online articles, simulations, Second Life builds, virtual museums, Diigo content trails, StumpleUpon reflections, and so on...The following are roles teacher play in networked learning environments: 1. Amplifying 2. Curating 3. Wayfinding and socially-driven sensemaking 4. Aggregating 5. Filtering 6. Modelling 7. Persistent presence"
connectivism  teaching  learning  technology  education  networking  socialmedia  georgesiemens  wayfinding  unschooling  deschooling  networkedlearning  tcsnmy  lcproject  curation  filtering  modeling  sensemaking  cv  amplifying  content  textbooks  pedagogy  21stcenturylearning  openeducation  highereducation  networks  e-learning  elearning  apprenticeships  teacherasmasterlearner 
february 2010 by robertogreco
Derek Sivers: Weird, or just different? | Video on TED.com
""There's a flip side to everything," the saying goes, and in 2 minutes, Derek Sivers shows this is true in a few ways you might not expect."
ted  dereksivers  maps  mapping  japan  india  health  medicine  culture  opposites  negativespace  streets  perspective  assumptions  inversion  music  africa  timing  westafrica  names  naming  wayfinding 
january 2010 by robertogreco
Amazon.com: The Image of the City: Kevin Lynch: Books
"What does the city's form actually mean to the people who live there? What can the city planner do to make the city's image more vivid and memorable to the city dweller? To answer these questions, Mr. Lynch, supported by studies of Los Angeles, Boston, and Jersey City, formulates a new criterion--imageability--and shows its potential value as a guide for the building and rebuilding of cities. The wide scope of this study leads to an original and vital method for the evaluation of city form. The architect, the planner, and certainly the city dweller will all want to read this book."
cities  art  architecture  wayfinding  maps  mapping  urbanism  urban  books 
july 2009 by robertogreco
Living in an Urban World: how do designers and architects collaborate?: Cross-cultural Design: Professional Resources: AIGA
"According to Ramus, studying this process was an important reason to collaborate with Bruce Mau. He says that Rem Koolhaas’ practice is distinguished by its desire for collaboration. They seek out collaborators to work with at the earliest stages of designing—Mau is now a regular, along with 2 by 4 Design. According to Ramus, Mau is a deeply trusted collaborator, able to share and elucidate Koolhaas’ vision. Cheung also testifies that Bruce Mau’s design practice is defined by the etymological meaning of “studio”: studio as a place of study. Together, the design team closely studied the issues of information retrieval in the 21st century, and posed the question this way: what are the physical domains, the spatial scales that assert themselves in between your initial quest for information, and the final retrieval, in the form of a specific number in the Dewey decimal system?"
via:cityofsound  remkoolhaas  brucemau  design  wayfinding  collaboration  seattle  libraries  multidisciplinary  signage  princeramus  architecture  howwework  process  information 
august 2008 by robertogreco
Letterboxing North America
"intriguing pastime combining navigational skills and rubber stamp artistry in a charming "treasure hunt" style outdoor quest. A wide variety of adventures can be found to suit all ages and experience levels. Click on the desktop items above to explore th
letterboxing  geocaching  classideas  wayfinding  location  rubberstamps  maps  mapping  us  northamerica  craft  glvo  unschooling  homeschool  fun  roadtrip 
july 2008 by robertogreco
Interactive City - Redefining the Basemap - Sant
"looks at the city as a space of events, defined by the ways in which it is used rather than the orthogonal geometry by which it is constructed; and highlights several key examples from the history of urban planning and art practice that provide models fo
mapping  gps  maps  situationist  wayfinding  urbanism  urban  theory  philosophy  locative  location-based  mobile  phones  collaborative 
july 2008 by robertogreco
How Birds Navigate: Research Team Is First To Model Photochemical Compass
"results provide clear proof of principle that magnetic compass sense of migratory birds is based on magnetically-sensitive chemical reaction whose product yields and/or rate depend on orientations of molecules involved with respect to geomagnetic field,"
birds  migration  science  biology  navigation  wayfinding  vision  sight 
may 2008 by robertogreco
Enkin: navigation reinvented
"new handheld navigation concept...displays location-based content in unique way that bridges gap between reality & classic map-like representations...combines GPS, orientation sensors, 3D graphics, live video, several web services and a novel user interf
android  google  geolocation  geotagging  visualization  location  location-based  locative  maps  navigation  wayfinding  gps  software  handheld  mobile  phones  embedded  mapping 
april 2008 by robertogreco
Jan Chipchase - Future Perfect: From You to I: ""Where are you now?" doesn't go away with shared location awareness, it becomes "Where am I now?""
"sharing current location information with peer group...someone knows local neighbourhood better than you; has access to better data; or more suitable device to view it - right now they know where you are better than you do."
mobile  technology  phones  location  location-based  navigation  wayfinding  sharing  future  identity  social  janchipchase 
april 2008 by robertogreco
Virtual Cable™ Car Navigation - Safe, Simple and Intuitive
"Our invention, called Virtual Cable™ is a unique display for a car navigation system. The driver sees the Virtual Cable™ image through the windshield."
cars  mapping  maps  prototype  technology  transportation  gps  navigation  displays  wayfinding  virtual  interface 
january 2008 by robertogreco
momo
"A haptic navigational device that requires only the sense of touch to guide a user. No maps, no text, no arrows, no lights. momo sits in the palm of your two hands and navigates you to an end location by leaning and vibrating."
haptic  location  navigation  wayfinding  locative 
december 2007 by robertogreco
Stick Charts
"Like the carved wooden map from Greenland stick charts reflect a different perception of the world. They are made with sticks with shells to represent islands. The straight sticks are a framework. Curved sticks indicate ocean swells curving from contact
navigation  wayfinding  marshallislands  charts  maps  mapping  gvlo  stickcharts 
november 2007 by robertogreco
Micronesian Stick Charts
"constructed by palm ribs bound by coconut fibre with shells used to represent the islands. These stick charts are not charts in the western sense but are instructional and mnemonic devices concerned with swell patterns. They are not an essential navigati
navigation  wayfinding  marshallislands  charts  maps  mapping  glvo  stickcharts 
november 2007 by robertogreco
Marshall Islands stick chart - Wikipedia
"Marshall Islands stick charts were made and used by the Marshallese to navigate the Pacific Ocean by canoe off the coast of the Marshall Islands."
navigation  wayfinding  charts  maps  mapping  glvo  marshallislands  stickcharts 
november 2007 by robertogreco
What is a Map? -- Journey Maps
"A collection of unusual maps from Maps: Finding Our Place in the World"
books  maps  mapping  history  wayfinding 
november 2007 by robertogreco
Proboscis | SoMa | projects | urban tapestries
"Urban Tapestries is an experimental software platform for knowledge mapping and sharing – public authoring. It combines mobile and internet technologies with geographic information systems to allow people to build relationships between places and to as
annotation  locative  location-based  local  location  psychogeography  maps  mapping  convergence  folksonomy  urban  urbanism  ubiquitous  ubicomp  everyware  wayfinding  mobility  mobile  phones  communication  community  collaboration  cities  computing  architecture  art  geotagging  memory  geography 
october 2007 by robertogreco
Sensory Deprivation Mapping - Christian Nold
"Normally we perceive our surroundings using 5 senses - sight, sound, smell, touch and taste. What happens when we walk through our environment without sight and sound?"
maps  senses  wayfinding  mapping  children  christiannold  experience  interaction 
october 2007 by robertogreco
Symbol Signs: Society & Environment: AIGA
"The complete set of 50 passenger/pedestrian symbols developed by AIGA is now available on the web, free of charge. Signs are available in EPS and GIF formats."
aiga  infodesign  symbols  signs  signage  graphics  icons  images  visualization  wayfinding  travel  cartography  information  international  design 
august 2007 by robertogreco
cityofsound: From A-to-Bee
"On bumblebees. And their extraordinary facility for wayfinding."
nature  animals  place  symbols  wayfinding  design  books  architecture 
september 2006 by robertogreco
Wayfaring: Maps, your way. (built on Google Maps)
"With Wayfaring.com you can explore maps created by others, or create your own personalized map. Share them with friends or the whole world."
online  annotation  internet  maps  mapping  geography  web  tools  social  software  collaborative  make  howto  cartography  collaboration  googlemaps  socialnetworking  wayfinding  wayfaring  directions  travel  googleearth  geotagging  locative  location  location-based  storytelling  visualization  tourism  walking  tagging 
november 2005 by robertogreco

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