Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Mapping the Campus (using locative technologies) - a sketch of a proposal

Using an iPhone, combine GPS and accelerometer data (standard in the iPhone) to trace in 4D the paths of people (graduate students in architecture) exploring main campus, taking photos (on the iPhone), sketching (on the iPad???), and writing about what they sense and what “senses” them. (Pick a couple of useful applications already in existence for blogging and photographing with geo-tagging (i've heard Breadcrumbs is a good start), and write a program in Processing (a software good for this sort of thing – interactive computer-mediated environments designed by artsy types) to collect the GPS and accelerometer info and map it (with a decay function built-in i.e., the lines disappear over time) – unless an application doing that already exists, too.

Data is streamed into a map-blog which plots the paths followed, and represents associated information (text, photos, sketches) as pins/links/banners. The spatial (locative) data must be formatted in such a way as to be able to be integrated into a sketchup model. (**for later: Including a pin indicating the map-blog reader's current position would permit that user to orient themselves and find any place that had already been visited and “posted.” A search mechanism would be necessary (something like google earth, in spatial organization (the zooming in-and-out), or mapquest but rather than searching for an address a keyword search (like evernote, searches text, tags, AND PICTURES) would be best.)

A field of beacons of some sort – pylons with a multicoloured/dimming light might do, maybe a screen, a touchscreen, an (iPad???) – could also re-present some/all of the data, disseminating collected info and advertising the available resource.

This could be a stand-alone project as research for the wayfinding system design (narrative, photographic (and possibly occupation) data and 3D modeled paths – with some degree of accuracy, not likely a perfect model, but one that offers a frame on which to hang more detailed models), or it could be incorporated into the final signage design and become a self-renewing wayfinding resource (a student would have to agree to broadcast their location and other privacy concerns would have to be addressed). Incorporation of this system into the final product would also potentially provide a platform for all sorts of spatial research in the School of Architecture and other faculties: students could write their own applications for the iPhone and advertise approved projects through the wayfinding system and/or draw data from the wayfinding website.

COMMENTS? IDEAS? i'd love to hear from you all about this

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