Will Locative Media emerge in the near future as the third great wave of modern digital technology? There are several indications of this happening:
1) Free data
Like the early Internet, which relied on public funding and open standards to foster innovation, there exists a vast untapped reservoir of geo-located content referring to every part of world that has been publicly funded through taxation, in the form of GIS data.
2) Scarcity of geo-information
The second argument in favour of this, is the scarcity of information that only appears to contradict – at least on paper – the free availability of geodata. Just as the music economy only blossomed once music was available as a thing to be bought on records, an image economy might blossom once images can be allocated to the temporal and locally limited spatial resources and events. Even if digital data can themselves never be scarce, which is the basis for the current crisis in the media music economy, the spatial and temporal coordinates still create a region of scarcity within digital information.
It is obvious that an increasing number of images are being produced, transmitted and stored on the Internet. This results in a situation known from the earliest days of the web, even though at that point it was text-based data that were to the fore. When information is present in excess, accessing it decides whether or not it actually becomes available. Linking geo-references with images creates the possibility to access the ever increasing amount of visual information.
Locative Media therefore justifiably appear to be a harbinger of the semantic Web 3.0.
Tristan Thielmann Biography
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