The advent of smart phones equipped with GPS technologies and constant connection to the internet has fostered a suite of applications allowing developers and owners to associate data and information with physical locations. Longitudinal and latitudinal coordinates create geofences around physical locations and platforms such as FourSquare use a combination of established addresses and crowd sourcing to add locations to their database. FourSquare as a social media game, with members vying to become the mayor of a location, has led to the FourSquare database becoming amongst the largest and most active index of georeferenced places on the internet. The virtuous circle of users of the mobile app, ascribing their attachment to a place by ‘checking‑in’, and places wanting to be part of a global map, means to have your longitude and latitude in the FourSquare database is an important survival strategy. The database is the new map, and if you’re not in it, you won’t be on it. In the emerging battleground for locative media services, Google Maps appeared to have a distinct advantage, dominating mapping services (43% market share). But it transpires that they do not own all of the data that matters to people. Owning a base map is one thing, but owning where people like to go is likely to prove even more valuable and what if the basemap is adaptable? In this paper the authors present a third condition for locative media practice, where geofences are connected to moving objects and basemaps are customisable to the user’s needs, abilities and desires. In digital and network mapping, longitudes and latitudes are merely numbers in a database, open to constant change. In support of their theoretical premise the authors present three funded research projects that introduce the application of geofences to moving things: people, buses, clouds and basemaps
- Chris Speed, University of Edinburgh, UK, is Chair of Design Informatics at the University of Edinburgh where his research focuses upon the Network Society, Digital Art and Technology and The Internet of Things. Chris has sustained a critical enquiry into how network technology can engage with the fields of art, design and social experience through a variety of international digital art exhibitions, funded research projects, books, journals and conferences.
- Ben Butchart, Edina, University of Edinburgh, UK
- Janet Dickinson & Julia Hibbert, School of Tourism, University of Bournemouth, UK
Full text (PDF) p. 59-66