Design Engaged 2004

We are all sat around a table in Amsterdam, at Design Engaged 2004. There are lots of photos going up to Flickr, and here are my notes.

h2. Ben Cerveny
* The growth of the soil
* How do we comprehend complexity
* How do we build structures around complex information
* Accreting meta-data: GPS data, descriptive information

h3. Decomposition
* Break down of material as it hits the soil
* Soup, tags, condensed and distilled meta objects

h3. Self organisation
* sorting mechanisms, affinity browsers, related, filtering, emergent relationships, interrelationships
* How do we conceive a metaphor for building these processes? A structure that is meaningful for the users.
* Application design: movement through states of application: to tending to a flow of processes
* Tending to meta-data is a growth process
* DLA diffusion limited aggregation, natural process model
* The relationships between metadata can be visualised as this * Should model metadata using plant models: plant models have existed for eons, basic structures for material

h3. Rules for expression
* L-systems growth, mimics biological rulesets
* Map rule-sets in metadata onto L-systems, affinity rules
* Branching tree structures could be used to make metadata more useful

h3. Roots and Feeds
* RSS feeds, a root system, aggregator has roots, to the surface of a newsreader

h3. Structural information
* After applying rules of expression (algorithms, l-systems) we could see differences in the way that the plant has evolved
* A “botany” of these different structures: smaller, larger clusters, structures.

h3. Cultivation as culture
* From a user perspective the idea of cultivation: users can actually affect change: can breed your own searches, using searches generationally, using own adapted metaphors for new contexts
* Mix and match mechanisms or instruments (specific rule-sets) move expressions and apply them to different rule-sets
* Don’t have to understand genetics, but we have found use for plants for generations
* User doesn’t need to know mechanisms, just ability to make changes and view outcomes

h3. Tending the garden
* Incredible complexity, incredible diversity
* Not intimidated by the complexity of the garden
* Present similar tools to tend to data

h3. Discussion
* Casey Reas: organic information design
* Thinkmap, physical simulation systems
* Mitchell Resnick: Turtles Termites, Traffic Jams
* Matt J: Does it rely on visual metaphors: how do we get people to cultivate rather than consume?

h2. Thomas Van Der Wal
* Synching feeling

h3. Everything fit in our brain
* then libraries
* then digital bits
* then putting everything in one place
* Our information on our pdas, cellphones, somewhere
* The dream is that we have accurate information at our disposal when we need it
* Personal info-cloud
* Local info-cloud: should it be located?
* External info-cloud: things you don’t know about
* How do users use information?
* Device versus network?
* Our networked space, that exists out in space
* Usable: syncing between two devices: calendar, address book, to do list
* Dodgy: documents, media maps, web-based info, multiple devices
* Personal version control: different devices have different versions
* Personal categorisation:

h3. Standard metadata for personal info-cloud
* content description
* creator
* privacy
* context
* use type (eg)
* instruction: destroy, revise in 6 months
* object type:
* categories: not a structured system, but hackable flat data

h3. Actual solutions
* Spotlight (Apple Tiger)
* MIT Project Oxygen

h3. Possible/partial solutions
* Script aggregation by metadata tag
* Publish to private/public location in RSS
* Rsynk and CVS
* Groove (Windows)
* Quicksilver (Mac)

h2. Adam Greenfield
* All watched over by machines of loving grace
* Some ethical guidelines for user experience in ubiquitous computing environments
* Ubicomp is coming: IPV6 6.5×10 to the 23 addresses for every square metre on the planet
* Moving from describing to prescribing
* Technological artefacts are too dismissive of people
* Someone to watch over me: attractive as well as scary

h3. Default to harmlessness
* must ensure user’s physical psychic and financial safety
* must go well beyond graceful degredation
* faults must result in safety

h3. Be self disclosing
* Contain provisions for immediate, transparent querying of ownership, use, capabilities, etc.
* Seamlessness is optional
* Analogue of broadcast station identification or military IFF
* Web derived model for user-consent: cannot carry over to ubicomp, would be too intrusive to have to approve each and every disclosure of information in four space

h3. Be conservative of face
* ubiquitous systems are always already social systems: they must not unnecessarily embarras, himiliate or shame
* Goes beyond formal information-privacy concerns
* Prospect of being nakedly accountable to an inseen omipresent network

h3. Be conservative of time
* Must not introduce undue complications into ordinary operations
* Adult, competent users understand adequately what they want, shouldn’t introduce barriers
* Potential conflict with principle 1

h3. Be deniable
* Should be able to opt-out, anytime, anywhere, any process
* Critically: the ability to say no, without sacrificing anything but the ability to use whatever usage
* The “safe word” concept may find an application here

h3. Discussion
* Fabio: what about gossip
* Chris: surely there’s human responsibility
* Tom C: Social control includes humiliation and embarrasment
* Molly: systems for shaming: can be institutionalised and applied in problem places: difference between smart and smartass. Haven’t got good enough at modelling situations in order to get this right.

h2. Stefan Smagula
* Teaching and writing about interaction design

h2. Mike Kuniavsky
* Writing about ubicomp, society and social
* Material products areform from social values
* Products affect how we think
* The pattern is “a recognition of the complexity, unpredictability, confusion of the world”
* The framework of thought of the last 600 years is coming to an end
* “by dividing the world into smaller pieces, ways can be found to explain it”: this method is waning
* Communication and transportation has been the key driver of this change
* Shown people (designers?) how complex life is
* Most people don’t know what to do about this complexity
* At the end of the prescriptive rationalist vision of the world
* It is our job as designers to recognise these ideas: “design is a projection of people’s ideals onto product”
* Past the confusion of postmodernism: the complexity hasn’t been branded yet, hasn’t been given a core set of ideas
* Book: Human built world
* The complexity of the world is an uncomfortably bright light, people turn away: designers can make it manageable
* Go to the light of compexity!

h3. Discussion
* Adam: are we up against biological limits: are we wired to deal with things in a linear way? Yes: physiological limits: 7 +-2.
* Ben: we conceive as a subtractive process: a mental scene out of an excess of input: we have a body of linear tools to process. There is a realisation that we are non-linear systems: technology is becoming us, and the other way around.
* Matt: we can learn complexity way more than we realise: tests show that we subconsciously learn complexity beyond language and rational thought
* Magical thinking is not wrong: all our models are wrong
* Tom C: Looking at people as shearing layers of perception and cognition

h2. Remon Tijssen
* Behaviours, tactility and graphics
* Tensionfield between playfulness and functionality

h2. David Erwin
* The funnel
* Serial, parallel and optional interfaces

h2. Peter Boersma
* Transactional interfaces
* ezGov uses IBMs RUP
* RUP is weak in user-experience
* Added StUX, definitions of deliverables for user experience

h2. Dan Hill
* Self centred design
* Not selfish design
* Background: adaptive design, design as social process, inspiration from vernacular architecture, hackability, allowing and encouraging people to make technology what they want to be
* Inspiration from trip to US
* Assumption that UCD is generally a good thing
* The focus on usability has distracted people: it has become an end in itself
* UCD manifests itself in usability, at the expense of usefulness
* Cultural and social products: massive variation of use across the globe
* Products most innovative at BBC/music: audioscrobbler/lastFM: intense meaning in the patterns it generates. More innovative than iTunes music store. Steam: setting reminders for radio stations: hacked third party product, BBC is trying to support this innovation.
* This innovation is coming from non-designers
* Veen: Amateurised design: the most interesting design on the web: Shirky: Situated software
* Always consider a thing in it’s next larger context: Eliel Saarinen: useful piece of design process. Chair, room, house, city.
* A lot of information about the self, coming out of these systems
* Audioscrobbler: looking at ones music, bookmarks, photos, lunches, weblog posts, gps co-ordinates: how does this affect habits?
* Pace of development: what can be done on the web.
* Self-knowledge and enlightenment: how does it affect one’s life
* The practice and focus of design is moving towards behaviour

h3. Limitations
* This is early adopter activity, this is geeky, high barrier to entry, it requires code to make these things. It’s self limiting: only certain kind of people can make these products.
* Scaleability problems: resilience: lack of reliability of iterative development, when will we be at the stage when we can rely on things working?
* BBC, radio broadcasting needs to be resilient: public service
* Database design and scaleability: Flickr doesn’t need to be normalised
* Common appeal of these things is self-limiting: too much systems level thinking.
* Moving into a space where products are social, and can have social meaning, and thus be socially harmful
* People’s assumption and experiences are based on context
* Need to be more rigourous about understanding social patterns
* audioscrobbler is not good at classical music
* Designers and researchers need better understanding of each other
* Designers are at their most useful when they are enabling adaptive design
* Using ethnography within a design process, look at long-term ethnographic process: hooking it into the rapid prototyping of the adaptive design world
* There is the value of sociology here. Ethno-methodology, Heidegger
* Book: Where the action is, Dourish.
* Social systems work well when there is accountability
* Building things where this also builds an account of the building
* Place and space: place being about social structures
* Embodiment: Appropriating products, building social meanings into products
* Accountability: part of the action is a documentation of the action (Dourish). Is ‘view source’ accountability?
* Book: Presentation of self: Irvine Goffman

h2. Matt Webb
* Neuroscience and interaction design
* This is really mostly psychology
* Game: remembering animals
* Light comes from top left
* Easier to react in the direction that things approach you from
* Dialogue boxes, work with natural directions
* We follow human eye direction, not robot eye direction, pulling a lever is faster when eyes point in that direction
* We respond the same to arrows as we do to gaze
* All that neuroscience has done is to confirm what we know from psychology
* 3 types of object, animate, inanimate and tool
* 3 zones: graspable, peripersonal The schema of the body is extended by the held tools
* Our body space is quite mutable: space on a screen becomes the space represented by the body, anything which moves as part of your hand becomes part of your grasp, there’s an amount of time that this takes to understand this, learning process and experience
* Grasping has as much primacy as a cup itself: so “sit down” or “chair” are equivalent in the brain
* If we see or say grasping, or looking at coffee cup shows
* “What to do with too much information is the great riddle of our time” a* Mapping observed phenomena to the science of jetstreams, same thing will happen to neuroscience.

h2. John Poisson
* The stretch time conundrum
* Sony is a huge force: vaunted to villified in three short decades
* Loss of brand value: products are not meeting user expectations
* Sony founders have changed, directions have changed
* One of the problem is in the fact that it’s japanese: basic simple cultural processes
* Hikaru dorodango: process refinement as creative expression: successively sculpting and crafting mud balls into spheres
* 3 interconnected languages are undocumentably mixed
* Languages are connected to neurological development: learning japanese at an early age increases the threshold of tolerance of the pain of complexity: Kanji pain begets user pain.
* At first thought that it was a problem of language, but then realised this increased tolerance of complexity pain.
* Sony “iPod killer” is a user-experience nightmare, but for japanese it’s not too complex
* There’s an overall acceptance of complexity in Japan
* Pattern based learning: origami: 48 steps of process, more complex than interfaces
* Stretch time: at 3o’clock on the Sony campus everyone stops, music plays and everyone is encouraged to stretch.
* Process is good: start with rice cookers and end up with transistors: releasing lots of stuff and then seeing what works. But there are a lot more misses than hits at the moment

h2. Sanjay Khanna
* Kurt Vonnegut in “Cold Turkey”
* Mike: intended effects are insignificant compared with the emergent effects, just noise compared to the overall outcomes

h2. Niels Wolf
* Intro to JXTA
* Works on every network device
* Allows control over your data, sharing, peer to peer backup
* Implemented in many languages: including python
* Assigned a unique number, which works across IP, bluetooth, mobile rendezvous, etc.
* Everybody becomes a server if no other can be found

h2. Molly Wright Steenson
* All hail the vast comforting suburb of the soul
* Lots of research into garden cities
* Worried that the future is going to be boring
* Closing off some avenues for development by focusing on urban environments
* What are the constraints that define a suburb?

h2. Jack Schulze
* Mapping and looking
* Lots of cool stuff: no notes.

h2. Matthew Ward
* Questioning the commodification of space
* We are social, spatial, temporal beings

h3. What were the conditions for the rise of these spatial technologies
* 2001 descrambling of GPS
* FCC policy to make sure 911 callers can be located
* Ubiquity of mobile phones
* If we don’t move away from the “where’s my nearest pizza” we are going to get really bored really soon
* Differential space: socio-spatial differences are emphasised and celebrated
* Iain Borden: Skateboarding
* “social space is a social product.” “Our task now is to construct everyday life, to produce it, consciously to create it, boredom is pregnant with desires, frustrated desires” Lefebvre.

h2. Chris Heathcote
* Nuts and bolts, how to use location
* Location is co-ordinates
* Location is names and titles
* Location is also near Matt Webb, or near my iBook: relative position might be more useful way of thinking
* Physical augmentation: using, abusing, changing where they live
* Visual design: Buddy finder on mobile phones: spatially false, chart junk
* Context awareness is really hard:
* What happens when you get rid of the maps?
* Lots more cool stuff that I didn’t take notes on…

h2. Matt Jones
* Nokia: Insight and foresight
* A hard problem: “Ubicomp is hard, understanding people, context and the world is hard, getting computers to handle everyday situations is hard, and expectations are set way too high.” Gene Becker, Fredshouse.net
* Next-gen mobile: big screens, more whizzy features, but we still have the same old messy world
* A modest start: being in the world instead of in front of the screen
* 3220: 5140: power up covers with new capabilities
* 3220: LED displays with accelerometers and thus motion capture
* Where the action is: This ignores 99% of our daily lives
* dance dance revolution and eyetoy: new world
* 5140: first RFID reader phone
* New ways of using mobiles with touch based tech
* easy and concrete access to services and repeat functions
* transfer of digital items between devices as simple as a gesture of giving
* in the future also fast and convenient local payment and ticketing: fast, easy way of getting settings and services
* When you count all the steps to make simple actions are about 100 actions: to find settings, set up the human modem thing
* Touch actions are potentially two orders of complexity less: into 1 action
* LAunched active cover with NFC: near field communication: philips, sony, visa, samsung: nfcforum.org
* Pairing things up, putting things together (how is this different from BT? passive chips)
* Prototype things!
* NFC is a touch based RFID technology
* Putting the information into the tag: can contain more than an ID
* Close mapping to physical objects: Dourish
* NFC active objects will have mixed spirit world of objects having magic behind them: permitted moves for games, origins of objects, spime like stuff,
* One to one mapping: multiple digital meanings on objects
* it’s not a one-way world: these things are re-writeable: secular isn’t the dominant way of thinking
* Now that we can give objects spirit world, semiotic, actions
* Into fetish objects: auspicious computing, unique wooden balls (minority report)
* Friendster: a game of how many connections. Turning into an info-fetish physical game
* – phones are precious, tags are not
* – throwaway, data detritus, spime spume
* + programmatic product life-cycle
* + audit trails for trash
* + automation of recycling
* Techno-optimism
* WWF: sustainability at the speed of light

h3. Long now, (Stewart Brand)
* Fashion
* Commerce
* Infrastructure
* Governance
* Culture
* Nature
* Sometimes technology can disrupt these layers

h2. Fabio Sergio
* From collision to convergence
* How I learned to stop worrying and watch tv on my mobile phone
* 2001: who the hell would want to watch tv on a mobile?
* 2003: using mobile to watch big brother from the car
* consultants: timeliness, context sensitivity, self-expression, immediacy, relevance
* People rely on their connected devices to fill-in interstitial time slots
* Armed with this notion outlets aquired content and chopped it into 3-5 minute videos
* The end result is too much navigation and not enough content, undermines the concept of “snacking”. The navigation has become the experience
* Navigation is not bad per-se, the web is arguably built on it
* Flow: where the consumer is completely engaged with interaction
* Mobile content experiences happen in contexts that basically negate the ability to focus
* How do you access video: at the moment through a browser
* Big Brother: lessons learnt
* Always on-ness: there is aways something new happening: marshall mcluhan meets orwell
* Something might happen at any time
* Action can be just a video call away
* Easy to get into the flow of what’s happening
* Cut to measure: as little or as long as you want
* Conversation-based: you can keep hearing when you can’t watch: don’t need to look at the screen
* Why should the browser and media player be two different applications? should probably be one.
* People need context medium content, probably in this order
* The handset should be a remote control: as much as possible make navigation resident on teh device
* Content should be snackish: but should be grouped
* The experience should be around the on/off switch

h2. Timo Arnall

* “Presentation and notes”:http://www.elasticspace.com/2004/11/spatial-memory-design-engaged

h2. Sunday discussion

* Brief: design a ticket machine that also allows city navigation and takes care of tourists and busy commuters equally, that doesn’t have a screen
* Alternative brief: A permanent tag large enough to contain digital info, that could be unobtrusively attached to anything in public space
* Mechanisms for friendly denial

h3. I’m lost: design a physical pathway which
* includes the idea of signs to explain features of teh environment to the unmediated
* which could serve as a compensation or apology for people denied in the ubiquitous sense
* which was distinctively local and amsterdamish
* includes infrastructure
* poetics and emotional enhancements required

Overheard somewhere at the bar: anthropology/ethnography is this year’s library science: another new/old juxtaposition. Not that I agree.

Physical computing workshop

The workshop was organised by “Erich Berger”:http://randomseed.org/ (of “7 Mile Boots”:http://randomseed.org/sevenmileboots/ fame) who brought in Helen Evans & Heiko Hansen of “HeHe”:http://www.hehe.org/ to give context and direction to the technical process.

!/images/physcomp00.jpg!

My intention was to avoid the screen for the duration of the workshop, to concentrate on simple interactions between sensors and outputs entirely independent of a desktop computer. But I ended up staring at microprocessor programming languages like “PBasic”:http://stage.itp.nyu.edu/~tigoe/pcomp/stamp/stamp-programming.shtml and “JAL”:http://sourceforge.net/projects/jal while making lots of LEDs blink.

!/images/physcomp01.jpg!

A lot of it brought back memories of school; circuit diagrams, resistance calculations, it was great to refresh the memory. We spent a lot of time translating circuit diagrams onto breadboards, and programming both “PIC”:http://stage.itp.nyu.edu/~tigoe/pcomp/pic/index.shtml and “Basic Stamp”:http://stage.itp.nyu.edu/~tigoe/pcomp/stamp/index.shtml microprocessors.

Erich is now setting up a Physcomp lab at Atelier Nord to support art/design projects in Oslo, maybe alongside some regular meetings (entitled Atelier Nerd :). There are many projects that I would like to pursue, this should be a great resource.

Geo-referenced photography

The easiest way of linking photos to locations is to combine the time-stamps from both a digital camera and GPS receiver or other location-aware device. If this data is available (over the same period of time) it’s possible to process a series of images and location tracks to stamp each image with location metadata.

Here are a few resources, papers, projects, guidelines and other geo-reference issues.

h3. Papers

* “Position-annotated Photographs: The Geotemporal Web”:http://www.dmst.aueb.gr/dds/pubs/jrnl/2003-PC-GTWeb/html/gtweb.html
* “GEOREP: Digital Library for Spatial Data”:http://www.dlib.org/dlib/december96/canada/12proulx.html
* “Geographic location tags on digital images, Microsoft [pdf]”:http://wwmx.org/docs/wwmx_acm2003.pdf
* “Portable digital photo album [time based interface]”:http://www.ece.ubc.ca/~elec418/project/project2handedin/nsiu/prototype.html

h3. Prior work

* “Tokyo Picturesque”:http://www.downgoesthesystem.com/devzone/exiftest/final/ “[Details]”:http://www.downgoesthesystem.com/devzone/exiftest/details/
* “Habitat Perspectives”:http://www.marumushi.com/apps/perspectives/
* “Photo Location”:http://www.986.org/sites/ghogh/CDC/CDC_5505.html “[Details]”:http://www.986.org/sites/ghogh/CDC/CDC_metadata.html
* “Geo Snapper”:http://www.geosnapper.com/index.php
* “WWMX web demo”:http://www.wwmx.org/WebClient.aspx
* “Good list of other photo mapping projects”:http://transmutable.com/PhotoMaps/

h3. Geo-referencing Photos

These are some commercial applications and scripts that link photographs to geographic information.

* “Robophoto”:http://www.robophoto.com/settings8.html
* “93 Photo Street”:http://transmutable.com/93PhotoStreet/
* “Photofusion”:http://topofusion.com/photofusion/
* “Media Mapper”:http://www.redhensystems.com/products/
* “OziPhotoTool”:http://oziphototool.alistairdickie.com/
* “GPS photo link”:http://www.geospatialexperts.com/
* “GPS TrackMaker”:http://www.gpstm.com/eng/screens_eng.htm
* “QuakeMap”:http://www.earthquakemap.com/
* “WWMX Travelogue application “:http://www.wwmx.org/Download.aspx/
* “AkuAku: GPS tagged jpegs”:http://akuaku.org/archives/2003/05/gps_tagged_jpeg.shtml
* “Adding GPS Information to EXIF Images with Photostudio”:http://www.stuffware.co.uk/articles/00000001.html
* “GPS Photo Linking in iViewMedia Pro [Mac]”:http://www.macdevcenter.com/pub/a/mac/2004/06/15/gps_photo.html
* “GPS plotting in Flash”:http://www.marcosweskamp.com/components/tokcomponents/geoplotter/demo.html

h3. GPS track and waypoint extraction

Transferring data from GPS devices can be problematic. If this is going to work in a wider, collaborative context there is a need to make guidelines for this process. It is also really important to make sure units and timezones are correctly set up on all software, so that no translation happens as the data is converted. Exported data also tends to be messy, with mixed tracklogs and waypoints, which for us meant a lot of hand-tweaking.

* “Garmin Mapsource”:http://www.garmin.com/cartography/
* “MacGPS Pro”:http://www.macgpspro.com/
* “GPS Babel”:http://gpsbabel.sourceforge.net/
* “GPSylon tool for downloading/viewing GPS data”:http://gpsmap.sourceforge.net/
* “GPS to GEO-RDF”:http://www.hackdiary.com/archives/000040.html
* “Some notes on coordinate translation”:http://life.csu.edu.au/geo/dms.html

h3. Extracting EXIF data

To get a handle on the photographic data we need to look at the embedded EXIF information, which contains things like capture date, time, exposure and aperture.

* “Python Exif Parser”:http://pyexif.sourceforge.net/
* “Media Metadata for Python”:http://sourceforge.net/projects/mmpython/
* “Extracting EXIF data with Python”:http://simon.incutio.com/archive/2003/11/13/exif
* “Geo tagging images: Exif GPS with python and java”:http://kennethhunt.com/archives/000935.html
* “EXIF metadata extraction in java”:http://www.drewnoakes.com/code/exif/

h3. Content metadata guidelines

In order to standardise the sharing of geographic information (tracklogs and waypoints) we need to think carefully about the formats used. We initially intended to use locative packets, but have ended up using GPX format alongside some custom XML for time and photo information.

* “Locative packets”:http://locative.net/workshop/index.cgi?Locative_Packets
* “Other recommended vocabularies”:http://locative.net/workshop/index.cgi?Recommended_Vocabularies
* “GPX namespace manual”:http://www.topografix.com/gpx_manual.asp
* “JPEG RDF strategy for storing location info”:http://nwalsh.com/java/jpegrdf/jpegrdf.html
* “W3 RDF geo-vocabulary”:http://www.w3.org/2003/01/geo/
* “Describing and retrieving photos using RDF and HTTP”:http://www.w3.org/TR/photo-rdf/
* “Exif vocabulary workspace – RDF Schema”:http://www.w3.org/2003/12/exif/
* “Vocabularies for w3photo project”:http://esw.w3.org/topic/W3PhotoVocabs

Social filtering for online forums

“Yayhooray”:http://www.yayhooray.com re-launched with new features and functions, and what looks like a rich environment for writing, browsing and discussion. As far as I know it’s the first forum built to use the buddy list as a form of content filtering: to increase the signal to noise ratio in the content.

Here’s a bit of Yayhooray history:

Built by “skinnyCorp”:http://www.skinnycorp.com in 2001 as an experiment in online community. Along with “o8”:http://66.102.9.104/search?q=cache:1nd31d-exeAJ:www.cotworld.com/main/journal.asp%3FJournal_ID%3D539 it soaked up some of the users from “Dreamless”:http://www.dreamless.org/, the ‘design forum’ that reached critical mass and became its own “worst enemy”:http://www.shirky.com/writings/group_enemy.html at the end of 2000.

Originally it was built to manage itself through a levels system; allowing users to earn administration responsibilities (similar to implicit moderation systems employed by other forums like “metafilter”:http://www.metafilter.com). It worked well at a small scale but led to cliques forming around the early adopter’s own social networks.

The levels system evolved into a points system, allowing anyone to award points to anyone, on a limited (one a day, one person a week) basis, similar to karma systems adopted at “slashdot”:http://slashdot.org/ and “kuro5hin”:http://www.kuro5hin.org/. This briefly led to multiple account scams, and ended up in the ‘point orgy’ where ‘points were swapped rather than STDs’.

In the end, both systems were abused, subverted and widely discussed, often taking over from normal discussions and swamping the site with controversy. Many regulars left to other places, some seeing closed, invite only communities (like “humhum”:http://humhum.be) as the only option left for humane, creative discussion.

Yayhooray, in this latest version, is setting itself up to deal with these problems by globally filtering the content through a buddy system, rather than explicitly administering the content and user reputations. This applies to the entire site including the categorised discussions, blogging interface, links database, buddy lists and search.

!/images/yayhooray_filter.gif!

The most obvious feature is a meter on the left hand side, which allows 4 different filtering settings:

* you and only you
* you and your buddies
* you, your buddies, and their buddies
* every user on Yay Hooray!

This applies a filter to the entire site, including user lists and search, which took me a little by suprise. The site is effectively meshing off into small, interlinked communities of interest, based on individual social networks and collaborative filtering.

In my case, buddies are mostly people that I have met, talked to, or seen invest time into making things: initiating photographic threads, dealing with social issues, administering creative collaborations, giving good design critique…

Logging in now (using ‘you, your buddies, and their buddies’) I see a small subset of the overall forum, focused on these parts of the discussion. Given that the filter is so prominent and usable, it is also possible to jump out into the chaos of the full site.

There is also a useful, if somewhat harsh, system that censors posts and links based on a list of people that you class as ‘enemies’! Being based on proper XHTML, CSS and DOM technologies means that censored posts are easily toggled on and off.

On the downside there will most likely be confusion and clashes when different groups that don’t mesh with each other, but have completely different experiences of the place, come together in a single thread. There will also be more repetition, or double posts of content gets repeated amongst different groups that are out of sync by virtue of the filters.

To fully appreciate this you need to invest time in it, and to build up a network of trusted buddies. YH can be hyperactive and annoying, it must be difficult for a new user to become engaged. The filters are perhaps most useful for long-time users looking for relief from ‘worst enemy’ problems.

Because it has become an adaptive social platform, and has the potential to be subverted and shaped into many different kinds of system, I will reserve judgement for now, and make a new report soon.

Mobile outskirts workshop

There is a “workshop wiki”:http://locative.rixc.lv/tcm/workshops/index.cgi?Location_Norway and “media archive”:http://aware.uiah.fi/packet/?id=TCM that we are attempting to keep updated via fairly limited wireless coverage.

A painless and creative 15 hour bus drive took us from Trondheim up to the islands of Lofoten, in a bus full of GPS receivers, cameras and “impromptu artworks”:http://www.boutiquevizique.com/analoGps/.

Notcon 04

h3. Barcodes for spatial markup and control

“Spotcodes”:http://www.highenergymagic.com/spotcode/index.html use a very “simple circular barcode”:http://www.highenergymagic.com/spotcode/symbols.html, to mark objects for interaction with a camera equipped phone.

* Requires a “small application”:http://www.highenergymagic.com/spotcode/download.html running on a Series 60 phone to scan barcodes with the built in camera
* Each barcode can currently store 42 bits of data using technology modified from iris tracking and wavelet technologies (as far as I understood)
* Potential for more data by increasing the number of rings, but current setup is a compromise for low quality cameraphone cameras
* The mobile phone application can determine position of phone relative to barcode by the elliptical distortion of the circle, could perhaps be used for quite accurate tracking with multiple spots
* The phone application communicates via bluetooth or gprs, using the barcodes as triggers for interactions
* It’s coded ‘close to the hardware’ to use the video input to do barcode calculation in realtime: Java/Symbian apps don’t have an API to realtime video input
* In use commercially via “Bango”:http://www.bango.net

h3. Bluetooth mapping

“Reverend Rat”:http://www.spy.org.uk/ratblog/ demoed his 10 Watt bluetooth receiver, 10 times more powerful than a 35 mile 802.11b receiver, and 100 times more powerful than a Bluetooth dongle.

Not particularly interesting in itself, but using it from a high vantage point he might be able to map out usage patterns in urban areas, or track the flow of people and devices.

h3. Some photos

!/images/notcon01.jpg!

p(caption). Nice impromptu public markup

!/images/notcon02.jpg!

p(caption). Inside

!/images/notcon03.jpg!

p(caption). Outside

!/images/notcon04.jpg!

p(caption). Anil demonstrates test barcodes for spotcode

!/images/notcon05.jpg!

p(caption). Reverend Rat discovers Bluetooth devices

!/images/notcon06.jpg!

p(caption). Celia and Rod

!/images/notcon07.jpg!

p(caption). Geeks

Mobile social software applications

h3. “Jabberwocky / Familiar Strangers”:http://www.urban-atmospheres.net/projects.htm

This research project explores our often ignored yet real relationships with Familiar Strangers. We describe several experiments and studies that lead to a design for a personal, body-worn, wireless device that extends the Familiar Stranger relationship while respecting the delicate, yet important, constraints of our feelings and relationships with strangers in pubic places.

h3. “Encounter bubbles”:http://www.seansavage.com/encounter-bubbles/

A visualization tool based on “Mobster”:http://scott.lederer.name/projects/mobster.html that enables users to explore their social encounters in new ways. Designed to be an open framework on which locative (meaning location-based) networking applications can be built.

h3. “TraceEncounters”:http://traceencounters.org/

A social network tracking and visualization project. The project distributes a set of small stickpins, each of which uses limited-rage infrared data exchange to remember every other pin that it encounters. When pin wearers come to a central location to view the accreting network, they see a thousand circles on a plasma display panel, each representing a pin.

h3. “Fluidtime”:http://www.fluidtime.net/

The first of these services is aimed at public transport users in Turin. While on the move, travellers can find dynamic information on mobile screen-based devices while at home or at the office, people can find the same information on physical display units. The other service is a personalised and flexible scheduling system to help Interaction-Ivrea students organise shared laundry facilities; mobile and stationary tools give them constant updates about the progress of their laundry cycle.

h3. “Mobster”:http://scott.lederer.name/projects/mobster.html

Affords the social creation and excavation of proximity history. At its core is a simple question: Who was near who when? Software on users’ mobile devices (laptops, cell phones, PDAs) monitors the presence of nearby devices (Wi-Fi hotspots, cell towers, Bluetooth devices), from which Mobster infers historical proximity models. We call these sociospatial histories.

h3. “WiFi Bedouin”:http://www.techkwondo.com/projects/bedouin/index.html

Expanding the possible meaning and metaphors about access, proximity, wireless and WiFi. This access point is not the web without wires. Instead, it is its own web, an apparatus that forces one to reconsider and question notions of virtuality, materiality, displacement, proximity and community.

h3. “Tuna”:http://www.medialabeurope.org/hc/projects/tuna/

A mobile wireless application that allows users to share their music locally through handheld devices.

h3. “Jukola”:http://portal.acm.org/citation.cfm?doid=1013115.1013136

An interactive MP3 Jukebox device designed to allow a group of people in a public space to democratically choose the music being played. A public display is used to nominate songs which are subsequently voted on by people in the bar using networked wireless handheld devices.

h3. “Mamjam”:http://www.mamjam.com/

One of the first location-based instant messaging platform for mobile phones. Asks the user to input location, and then creates links to others in the same space. (“Case study here”:http://www.elasticspace.com/2001/06/mobile-interaction-design-case-study)

h3. “Dodgeball”:http://www.dodgeball.com/

Tell us where you are and we’ll tell you who and what is around you. We’ll ping your friends with your whereabouts, let you know when friends-of-friends are within 10 blocks, allow you to broadcast content to anyone within 10 blocks of you or blast messages to your groups of friends.

h3. “BEDD”:http://www.hardwarezone.com/news/view.php?cid=9&id=15844

A Bluetooth-enabled mobile social medium that allows people to meet, interact and communicate.

h3. “BuzZone”:http://www.buzzone.net/eng/keyfeatures.html

Using Bluetooth-enabled laptops and PDAs to find new contacts, communicate over small distances, and share information related to their business.

h3. “TxtMob”:http://www.3-way.org/help.html

A service that lets you quickly and easily share txt messages with friends, comrades, and total strangers. The format is similar to an email b-board system. You can sign up to send and receive messages from various groups, which are organized around a range of different topics.

h3. “IcyPole”:http://www.agentarts.com/devices_mobile.php

Uses Bluetooth to detect the proximity of other devices and determine whether there is a match between users? entertainment profiles. The application can be used as a platform for personal area network music discovery, file exchange and/or sampling, as well as for social networking based on similar entertainment interests.

h3. “Peepsnation”:http://www.peepsnation.com/

Enables users to connect with others with a similar interest that meet your filter criteria using user-definable groups tied to a specific location.

h3. “Proxidating”:http://www.proxidating.com/

Using bluetooth technology, ProxiDating allows you to meet people with common interests.

h3. “Plazes”:http://blog.plazes.de/

Plazes is a web service offering information on people and places based on your location. It enables you to tag your location and announce it to your friends or the world. You can find other Plazes in your vicinity or see where your friends are at the moment. It also allows you to see other people you do not know yet at the same Place.

h3. “Plink mobile”:http://beta.plink.org/mobile.php

A ‘people search engine’ and social networking application. You can search for friends, see who they know and who knows them, find people with shared interests. Can use an SMS interface in the UK.

h3. “Saw you”:http://www.saw-you.com/

Saw-You allows u 2 chat 2 people who go to the same social venues you do on your mobile phone. U don’t see their number and they don’t see yours.

h3. “Mobule serendipity”:http://www.mobule.net/

An application for mobile phones that can instigate interactions between you and people you don’t know. A profile, along with your mobile phone provide a connection a community of people around you.

h3. “Who at”:http://www.whoat.com/go/in/

Lets you find dates and friends anywhere, anytime. Tell WhoAt where you are and we tell you who’s nearby – all from your mobile phone, PDA, or PC.

h3. “Hocman”:http://hocman.notlong.com/

We have performed an ethnographic study that reveals the importance of social interaction, and especially traffic encounters, for the enjoyment of biking. We summarized these findings into a set of design requirements for a service supporting mobile interaction among motorcyclists.

h3. “ImaHima”:http://www.imahima.com/

The Japanese expression for “are you free now?”. A mobile, location-integrated, community and instant messaging service allowing users to share their current personal status (location, activity, mood) publicly and privately with their buddies and send picture and instant messages to them.

h3. “Socialight”:http://www.socialight.net/

A location-aware mobile social networking platform that allows people to connect with their friends and friends of friends in new, expressive ways.

h3. “Socializer”:http://www.alphaworks.ibm.com/tech/socializer/

A distributed, peer-to-peer platform that connects a person to people and services in the same location. An open, extensible platform. New features can be developed and propagated by an open-source community running on wired as well as wireless networks.

h3. “Aware”:http://aware.uiah.fi/

A flexible platform that operates a spatio-temporal moblog (mobile log) allowing collective contribution and distribution of media. Considering scalable systems, comprehensive and inclusive models for participation, the project has focused upon how to communicate context-awareness, mobile experience, and its narrative potential.

h3. “Meetup”:http://www.meetup.com/

A technology platform and global network of local venues that helps people self-organize local group gatherings on the same day everywhere.

h3. “Modus”:http://stage.itp.tsoa.nyu.edu/~dc788/spring2003/netobjects/modus/

Music in a venue should reflect the taste of the people in that space, not the owner of the jukebox or the people working behind the bar. What if a jukebox allowed people to add their own music or could help you remember what was played at a particular time? What if the box was aware of who was in the room and could queue up your favorite songs as you walked through the door?

h3. “Traces of fire”:http://www.traces-of-fire.org/

Transmitters, embedded in cigarette lighters deliberately lost in carefully chosen pubs, illuminate the social relationships underlying daily habits of travel, entertainment and (nicotine) gifting.

h3. “Ashphalt games”:http://www.asphalt-games.net/play/

An Internet-enhanced street game in which players stage and document small interventions or “stunts” on the street corners of New York in order to claim turf on a virtual map of the city. The game is an experiment in collectively reimagining commonplace views of New York. By providing an online counterpart to the urban environment, it allows players to share their visions of the city with others.

h3. “Crowd surfer”:http://www.smallplanet.net/

Enables a user to surf for other Bluetooth devices and get in contact with them, primarily designed for a campus environment.

h3. “Pocket rendezvous”:http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/06/03/pocket_rendezvous/

A web server for the Pocket PC that advertises itself to other Pocket PCs in the neighbourhood wirelessly using ad-hoc WiFi networks and Rendezvous.

h3. “Meetingpoint”:http://www.net-cell.com/MP/index.html

A contact/messaging application using Bluetooth wireless technology. Runs on Smartphones/PDA or PC and helps people to meet in mobile situations.

h3. “Activematch”:http://www.simeda.com/activematch.html

Enables users to find their ‘ideal partner’ on the spot (unity of time and venue). Works in any GPRS network and on all mobile phones with Symbian OS and Nokia’s Series 60 platform.

h3. “Urban Plexus”:http://www.urbanplexus.com/

Cell phone software that enables Members to communicate with others, blog, chat in forums, file share, publish events, locate others, buy & sell, geo-tag locations and play games.

h3. “nTag”:http://ntag.com/ (“Research”:http://www.cs.uml.edu/~fredm/medialab/memetag/)

An event communications system using wearable computers that improve networking among event participants while streamlining event management.

h3. “Playtxt”:http://www.playtxt.net/

A mobile location based friendship and flirting network. Built with a mobile messaging engine, it offers full web integration and dating, flirting and friends networking capabilities, including six degrees of seperation, all mobile enabled.

h3. “Mtone”:http://www.mtone.com/

A social networking multi-user game “Cell Phone” is based on the popular Chinese movie of the same name. This comedy movie was directed by one of China’s best known directors, Feng Xiaogang. Customers play this multi-combining romance and SMS and MMS.

h3. “Tagtext”:http://www.tagtext.com/

Download pictures, wallpapers, screensavers and avatars to use for Bluejacking.

h3. “Bluetooth against Bush”:http://www.bluetoothusersagainstbush.com/

Uses bluetooth enabled devices (mobile phones, PDA’s, laptop computers) to create moments of ad-hoc solidarity for people opposed to George W. Bush.

h3. “Wavemarket”:http://www.wavemarket.com/

A suite that can turn a mobile phone user into an on-location broadcaster. You can add information and commentary about restaurant reviews to safety tips. You can find a buddy, or track a truck, inspect a neighborhood for real estate or child safety. It’s good for both social and business and it puts the power of blogging technology into the hands of the masses.

Spatial annotation projects

!/images/yellowarrow01.jpg(Yellow Arrow)!:http://www.yellowarrow.org

p(caption). Image from Yellow Arrow project.

h3. “Murmure”:http://www.murmure.ca/

An archival audio project that has collected stories set in specific locations throughout Vancouver’s Chinatown. At each of these locations, a murmur sign marks the availability of a story with a telephone number and location code. By using a mobile phone, people can listen to the story of that place while engaging in the full physical experience of being there. Some stories suggest that the listener walk around, following a certain path through a place, while others allow a person to wander with both their feet and their gaze.

h3. “Area Code”:http://www.areacode.org.uk/

Invites you to collect and reflect upon your immediate environment, and enables new forms of engagement and information exchange between person and place. Areacode aims to inspire comments about the affect of urban regeneration in the city.

h3. “Yellow Arrow”:http://www.yellowarrow.org

A physical sticker allows people to mark places of interest, then tell a story about it using a photographic record.

h3. “Grafedia”:http://www.grafedia.net/

Grafedia is hyperlinked text, written by hand onto physical surfaces and linking to rich media content – images, video, sound files, and so forth. It can be written anywhere – on walls, in the streets, or in bathroom stalls. Grafedia can also be written in letters or postcards, on the body as tattoos, or anywhere you feel like putting it. Viewers “click” on these grafedia hyperlinks with their cell phones by sending a message addressed to the word + “@grafedia.net” to get the content behind the link.

h3. “The Blue Plaque project”:http://www.blueplaqueproject.org

Collect all of the plaques in London, and then to put the people and events they commemorate in context – with their time, their contemporaries, and location.

h3. “Implementation”:http://nickm.com/implementation/

Implementation begins as sheets of stickers, with a different text on each sticker. We will distribute these sheets to individuals, both personally and via post. Instructions, asking people to peel the stickers off and place them in an area viewable by the public, will accompany the sheets.

h3. “Talking street”:http://www.talkingstreet.com/

Using everyday technologies, like your own cell phone, Talking Street offers new ways to explore a destination. It’s having an ultra-savvy resident show you around — a guide who can reveal what a place is really like, and how it got that way.

h3. “The intelligent street”:http://www.informal.org/street/

The intelligent street will enhance the experience of users in both locations by creating a gentle sonic playground that reflects the cultures of its users, entertain and act as a talking point. Users will be able to interract by sending SMS messages from their mobile phone. A display in each location and on the web will give optional information about how users are engaging.

h3. “Neighbornode”:http://www.neighbornode.net/

Group message boards on wireless nodes, placed in residential areas and open to the public. These nodes transmit signal for around 300 feet, so everyone within that range has access to the board and can read and post to it.

h3. “TAG: Scripting Presence”:http://a.parsons.edu/~awhung/thesis/site/concept.htm

The inundation of consumer and mass media advertisements has eroded the presence of the individual within the city. In my thesis, I will explore how we can reclaim our physical landscape by reinserting the individual through visual representation into her/his urban environment. My intent is to create a momentary place to communicate messages of self-expression contributing to a network in which the next user can connect and experience.

h3. “R-Click”:http://www.nttdocomo.com/presscenter/pressreleases/press/pressrelease.html?param%5Bno%5D=379

An area-information service from NTT DoCoMo incorporating mobile phones and a “wireless tag” device. A small, handheld RFID device will enable users to receive a wide variety of area information as they walk around the new metropolitan cultural complex of shops, restaurants, entertainment facilities, residences and hotels (Roppongi Hills).

h3. “Public Play Spaces”:http://civ.idc.cs.chalmers.se/projects/pps/

A platform for creative work exploring the playful, emotional and appropriate incorporation of technology into everyday public life. Drawing on our combined background in art, architecture, game and interaction design, the work focuses on developing both innovative design methods and experimental prototypes for social interventions in public space.

h3. “Trailblazer”:http://www.interaction-ivrea.it/theses/2002-03/f.li/

A computer-mediated communication tool for supporting a virtual community. It attempts to integrate aspects of physical activity by community members in the real world into the virtual environment and to provide a structure for discourse around those activities.

h3. “34 North 118 West”:http://34n118w.net/

Lets the user uncover samples of Los Angeles’s hidden history as s/he navigates through the multi-layered depths of downtown’s most poetic and surreal space. The result is a new kind of ‘scripted space’…

h3. “InterUrban”:http://interurban.34n118w.net/

A user-driven experience that responds to participant’s amble through the city streets. Factors such as the distance traveled by the listener, time of day and proximity to fictive events, determine how the narrative unfolds.

h3. “Hidden natures”:http://www.heretico.net/pretext.html

Location based narrative. Texts read by actors are the voices of the characters you hear as you walk through a space. A double headed arrow on the screen of your pocket computer (PDA) indicates the narrative direction – the future in one direction and the past another

h3. “Greyworld: Telescapes”:http://www.creativetime.org/consumingplaces/art_greyworld.html

Visitors discover a soundscape of messages left for them by both the artists and the public via voice and email. This interactive installation calls attention to how advances in cellular and wireless technologies contribute to the ubiquity of personal communications in public spaces, while illuminating the relationship between the built environment and the invisible networks that make these fleeting exchanges possible.

h3. “Geoloqus”:http://www.geoloq.us/blog/

Geoloq.us is a service that lets users leave behind memories, comments and digital artefacts in a physical location, for others to discover and enjoy. A cameraphone with a web browser is all you need to use geoloq.us; browse pictures from the place you?re at, comment a location or a picture and find out what?s nearby. Tag your items and surf those tags for similar items from other people in other places.

h3. “GeoNotes”:http://www.sics.se/research/article.php?newsid=105

Based on positioning technology, allows people to attach virtual notes to real world locations. When other people pass the location, they will be notified about the note and will be able to read it. GeoNotes allows mass-annotations with no or little restrictions on accessing others’ GeoNotes. It is also social in the way it incorporates social filtering techniques to sort out unwanted GeoNotes.

h3. “GeoStickies”:http://www.andrew.cmu.edu/user/noriyuki/artworks/geostickies/index.html

An interactive public art project that enables us to make and access to collective of personal memory that could have been overlaid on to urban space. The project puts some “tags” of small events onto geographical fields so that the audience can feel correspondence between “Information space” and “Urban space”. The audience will find tiny electronic memorials for tiny events. But those are only visible or able to be experienced through mobile phones.

h3. “GeoGraffiti”:http://www.gpster.net/geograffiti.html

To demonstrate the concept of waypoint sharing we have been developing a number of waypoint sharing applications. These applications access the waypoint lists for retrieval and storage of waypoint data and other accessory information, such as text, images, audio, video, or links to other information.

h3. “Digital Graffiti (Siemens)”:http://www.pcworld.com/news/article/0,aid,119598,00.asp

The application allows mobile phone owners to send a message, similar to an SMS (Short Message Service), to a geographical point where it appears on the screens of other users passing through the defined location. Unlike an SMS, the message is not sent to a person but rather to a location, and can be received by a number of mobile phone users entering the defined radius.

h3. “Ambient Wood”:http://machen.mrl.nott.ac.uk/Projects/Digitalplay/Ambientwood-I.htm

An outdoor playful learning experience. Pervasive technologies are used to digitally augment a woodland in a contextually relevant way, enhancing the ?usual? physical experience available to children exploring the outdoor world. Studies show this to be a highly engaging novel experience for learners, that effectively supports collaborative learning, as well as providing preliminary guidelines for designing different ways of delivering digital information for learning.

h3. “Thingster”:http://thingster.org/

Lets you publish information about places. You can use thingster to discover things in your own neighborhood that might be interesting to you – and you can use thingster to publish information about things that you find interesting. Thingster also provides signalling and discovery services for discovering other nearby folks with interests similar to your own.

h3. “World-Wide Media eXchange”:http://wwmx.org/

The project explores possibilities with digital photographs and geographic location. The location where a photo was taken provides clues about its semantic context and offers an intuitive way to index it, even in a very large collection. The combination is powerful, but still not supported well by either the photo-software or camera-hardware industries.

h3. “Mobile Media Metadata”:http://hci.stanford.edu/cs547/abstracts/03-04/040402-davis.html

Leverages the spatio-temporal context and social community of media capture to infer media content.

h3. “Altavistas”:http://proboscis.org.uk/prps/docs/p_hooker_kitchen.html

An experimental project to explore how physical and electronic spaces can be designed in conjunction with each other to provide new kinds of experience in the city.

h3. “mStory”:http://www.techkwondo.com/projects/mstory.htm

A mobile mapping and recording system built for the PocketPC platform. It integrates GPS tracking technology with a set of diary-like recording features. mStory assign a variety of attributes to recorded locations, including photos, audio recordings, narrative descriptions and icons.

h3. “Katumuisti tositarinoita Helsingista [Street memories]”:http://www.katumuisti.net/

Personal local stories for public listening using mobile phones & billboard notices.

h3. “Interactive portrait of the Liberties”:http://www.mle.ie/~vnisi/liberties/indexLib.html

An interactive digital narrative application providing multimedia content to individuals and to groups, which is relevant to them at a particular point in time and space.

h3. “Section”:http://www.section.ws/

A database video project, currently under development, that examines the embedded syntax of our routes through the city and challenges the mediated experiences of the urban environment through methods of collecting, editing and compositing video.

h3. “TRACE”:http://www.research.umbc.edu/%7Erueb/trace/paper.html

A memorial environmental sound installation that is site-specific to the network of hiking trails near the Burgess Shale fossil beds in Yoho National Park, British Columbia.

h3. “Map Hub”:http://www.maphub.org/

MapHub is a web-based, multi-user, group managed information storage system and map. Collecting information about people, places, events, and notes, can help to document unseen narratives and histories in public or private theme-based Hubs.

h3. “Community Mapbuilder”:http://mapbuilder.sourceforge.net/

Offers a range of resources to help organizations get started with standards-based online mapping. The main initial focus is creating an open source framework to allow communities to jointly build geographic databases and share them over the web.

h3. “Annotated multimedia Google map”:http://www.engadget.com/entry/1234000917034960/

This how-to will show you how to make your own annotated Google map from your own GPS data. Plus, you?ll be able to tie in images and video to create an interactive multimedia map.

h3. “City of memory”:http://www.localprojects.net/cofm/cofm.shtml

A narrative map of New York City that allows visitors to create a collective memory by submitting stories. Visitors link stories together by theme, creating new “neighborhoods” of narrative that can be explored by others. Stories can be recommended, giving new visitors a sense of the narrative created by the populace.

h3. “TeleTaxi”:http://www.year01.com/teletaxi/

A site-specific media art exhibition in a taxicab. The taxi is outfitted with an interactive touch screen that displays video, animations, music, and information triggered by an onboard GPS(Global Positioning System) receiver which allows the displayed artwork to change depending on where the taxi is in the city.

h3. “New York Songlines”:http://home.nyc.rr.com/jkn/nysonglines/

By relying on maps, signs and Manhattan’s perpendicular geography, New Yorkers have given up something important: a sense of place. If you can get from your starting place to your destination without knowing anything about the points in between, chances are you won’t pay much attention to them.

h3. “Touch Tone Tours”:http://www.touchtonetours.com

Delivers tour guides of popular landmarks, museums, attractions and the unusual to wireless devices. “More info”:http://ctlss.com.

h3. “Soundwalk”:http://www.soundwalk.com/

Sound recordings as guides to specific locations. Available as audio for sale or as downloaded format from Audible or iTunes.

h3. “Tag”:http://a.parsons.edu/~awhung/thesis/

A street activity proposed for the site of Times Square, NYC. Employing mobile phone text messaging, it focuses on increasing personal contribution and interaction to the experience of this public space. Individuals will participate with one another as they tag designated areas or ?nodes?? by displaying their inscription.

h3. “Mogi”:http://www.thefeature.com/article?articleid=100501

A collecting game ‘item hunt’. The game provides a data-layer over the city of Tokyo. As you move through the city, if you check a map on your mobile phone screen, you’ll see nearby items you can pick up and nearby players you can meet or trade with.

h3. “ASAP: another spatial annotation project”:http://www.techkwondo.com/projects/a_s_a_p/index.html

Allows you to visualize your location on a map, use a GPS unit (I use a GPS-based GPS device) to mark your coordinates (or just navigate the map to find your location – especially useful in cavernous cities like Manhattan), annotate that location by titling it and giving it a description, optionally adding an icon or snapping a digital picture with the attached camera.

h3. “Urban Tapestries”:http://urbantapestries.net/

A research project exploring social and cultural uses of the convergence of place and mobile technologies.

h3. “HyConExplorer”:http://www.daimi.au.dk/~fah/hycon/html/

HyCon is a framework and infrastructure for context aware hypermedia systems developed primarily by the hypermedia group at the University of Aarhus, Denmark. The HyCon framework encompasses annotations, links, and guided tours associating locations and RFID- or Bluetooth-tagged objects with maps, Web pages, and collections of resources. The HyCon architecture extends upon earlier location based hypermedia systems by supporting authoring in the field and by providing access to browsing and searching information through a novel geo-based search (GBS) interface for the Web.

h3. “Herecast”:http://www.herecast.com/

Provides location-based services on a WiFi device. At its simplest level, it can tell you where you are. More advanced services can use your location to enhance information lookups, publish presence information and create games.

h3. “Texting Glances”:http://www.mee.tcd.ie/~ledoyle/textingglances.htm

This ambient “waiting” game establishes a symbiotic relationship between a transient audience, a waiting place, and a story engine that matches SMS inputs to image output. By incorporating culturally current messaging norms, the audience becomes an active collaborating author in a layered exploration of social familiarity and public space.

h3. “Public alley 818”:http://www.ikatun.com/k/publicalley818/

Creating and performing artworks in a public alley in Boston, MA, with work selected by participants in the space and online.

h3. “One block radius”:http://www.oneblockradius.org/

Psychogeographic survey of one block in New York, building a multi-layered portrait of a particular part of the city.

h3. “Annotate space”:http://www.annotatespace.com

A project to develop experiential forms of journalism and nonfiction storytelling for use at specific locations. Stories are presented through text, images and audio files that participants can download from the Web to their handheld computers and take with them to the place of interest.

h3. “Annotated Earth”:http://www.annotatedearth.com/

The goal of AnnotatedEarth is to create a user-driven community of quality location and spatial information, a infrastructure for accessing that information, and software that uses that information to provide location-aware information.

h3. “Embedded Theatre”:http://www.interaction-ivrea.it/theses/2002-03/r.genz/

A system for creating immersive narrative experiences where location is an actor. It is the result of an intensive research and design project addressing how interactive narrative can be successfully realized through mobile technology.

h3. “Tag and Scan”:http://www.tagandscan.com/

London-based locational application and service for mobile telephones. The technology allows users to “tag” a physical locations, placing them into meaningful context. Tags can be private or public. Other TagandScan users can scan their environment for public tags left by others. TagandScan essentially enables the community to annotate its physical features.

h3. “Spotcode”:http://www.highenergymagic.com/spotcode/index.html

Each Spot is a circular symbol that holds data like a two dimensional bar code. Users of the latest camera phones point their phone at the Bango Spot circular symbol, click and the mobile site opens on their phone in a matter of seconds.

h3. “PDPal”:http://pdpal.walkerart.org/

A mapping application that transforms everyday activities and urban experiences into a dynamic city that you write. Engages the user through a visual transformation that is meant to highlight the way technologies that locate and orient are often static and without reference to the lively nature of urban cultural environments.

h3. “AmbieSense”:http://www.ambiesense.com/

Context-sensitive technology based on the use of context tags. These small electronic tags are a means of capturing and communicating information about the surroundings.

h3. “Hypertag”:http://www.hypertag.com

A commercial service allowing access to info and content on a mobile phone directly from objects like adverts and signs. It works by allowing infra-red mobile phones, and PDAs (e.g. Palm Pilots or Pocket PCs) to interact with a small electronic tag which is attached to the advert or sign.

h3. “Pathalog”:http://www.patholog.org/

Exploring the ability of a path-based publishing system, based upon GPS tracking technologies, to foster new relationships between communities of users and their environments.

h3. “Waveblog”:http://www.waveblog.com/ / “Wavemarket”:http://www.wavemarket.com/

Three commercial platforms for location based services. You can add information and commentary about restaurant reviews to safety tips. Waveblog lets users upload blog-like information with geographic metadata.

h3. “Rabble”:http://www.rabble.com/

Rabble enables a new kind of self-expression that informs, entertains and connects people through the media they create. Create your channel and post location-based media – your favorite places, photos or an up-to-the-minute newsworthy event. It’s like putting virtual sticky notes on the world around you.

h3. “Earthcomber”:http://www.earthcomber.com/

Lets you connect with customers in a timely, efficient and positive way. By providing a direct match between a user’s favorite and something you offer, Earthcomber brings you to the customer’s attention. In multiple information screens, they can see what you offer and where you are on the map.

h3. “Timespots”:http://www.timespots.com/

Offers ‘location-based services’ on mobile devices (PocketPC/phones) enabling new uses of traditional travel and tourism services. We overcome current limitations (in reach of and access to information and services) by combining information and navigation services with communication services on one device.

h3. “Websigns”:http://www.hpl.hp.com/news/2001/jul-sept/websign.html

HP research labs. Using a handheld computer, cellular phone or other device, users can get information on the Web related to physical structures and objects in the immediate vicinity.

h3. “Microsoft Aura”:http://aura.research.microsoft.com/

The Advanced User Resource Annotation system (A.U.R.A.) is designed to provide the ability to access and author annotations on objects and places using machine readable tags. In our system, a user can associate text, threaded conversations, audio, images, video or other data with specific tags. Users can also review the tags and descriptions of the objects they have encountered and annotated in a custom web portal.

h3. “Active Campus”:http://www.calit2.net/briefingPapers/activeCampus.html

Community-oriented ubiquitous computing, exploring the problem and opportunity of sustaining community through mobile wireless technology. The two principal applications in operation are: ActiveCampus Explorer, which uses students’ locations to help engage them in campus life; and ActiveClass, a client-server application for enhancing participation in the classroom setting via small mobile wireless devices.

h3. “Mobile Augmented Reality Systems”:http://www1.cs.columbia.edu/graphics/projects/mars/

Exploring the synergy of two promising fields of user interface research: Augmented reality, in which 3D displays are used to overlay a synthesized world on top of the real world, and mobile computing, in which increasingly small and inexpensive computing devices, linked by wireless networks, allow us to to use computing facilities while roaming the real world.

h3. “Living Memory LiMe”:http://www.memoire-vivante.org/

A network of augmented places within the local community which support the creation and meaningful distribution of informal content within that community. LiMe provides low-threshold interfaces in natural meeting and crossing points within that community, such as caf?s and bus stops.

h3. “Location linked information”:http://xenia.media.mit.edu/~mankins/lli/

LLI is similar to augmented reality systems which overlay digital information on top of the physical world. Whereas augmented reality systems typically concentrate on solving the user interface problem, LLI attempts to solve the data access and search infrastructure issues. In LLI users navigate the physical world with a variety of XML-speaking devices, discovering and leaving “handles” to information nuggets.

h3. “MUD London”:http://space.frot.org/mudlondon.html

A kind of collaborative mapping project. it consists of geographical models which are represented as RDF graphs. you can wander round them, like a MUD or MOO, with a bot interface which you can use to create and connect new places.

h3. “Psychogeographical Markup Language”:http://socialfiction.org/psychogeography/PML.html

A protocol that can be used to capture meaningful psychogeographical [meta]data about urban space. PML is a unified system of classification that lurks behind the psychogeogram: the diagrammatic representation of psychogeographically experienced space.

h3. “Spatial Annotation with Locative Packets”:http://locative.rixc.lv/workshop/index.cgi?Locative_Packets

An attempt to fuse powerful concepts of existential declaration (I am here experiencing this!) with networked social communication media. By mixing together a set of terms about space, time, description, social relationship, and media, the locative packet project has described a unique ether over which one form of collaborative map can travel.

h3. “Wooster Collective”:http://www.woostercollective.com/

Huge archive of street artists work, techniques, interviews, and guides.

p(context). Here I am only including projects that mark space, not mobile social software or dynamic gaming, smart-mobs, friend-finders or GPS drawing projects, although I have included a couple of spatial platforms, that aim to standardise the way we mark-up space.

Creative Crossings workshop

Some of our ambitions were:

* Investigate transformative use of space and place
* Address gaps in infrastructure: access to standards, material frameworks and technology
* Instigate a triangular network: tried and trusted network practice
* Pursue research and practice, less engineering
* Explore relationships between media, gaming, locative, mobile, visual media

Anne Galloway has posted our collaborative summaries from the workshop and my full notes are here, until they can be put on the collective server.

The discussion is continuing, and the next informal meeting of participants is happening at ISEA 2004.

h3. Some pictures
!/images/creativecrossings01.jpg(Creative Crossings workshop: Graham Harwood and Michelle Kasprzak)!
!/images/creativecrossings02.jpg(Creative Crossings workshop: Jo Walsh and Gabe Sawhney)!
!/images/creativecrossings03.jpg(Creative Crossings workshop: Rachel Baker and Tapio Makela on the 19 bus)!
!/images/creativecrossings04.jpg(Creative Crossings workshop: Tapio Makela on the 19 bus)!
!/images/creativecrossings05.jpg(Creative Crossings workshop: Finnish Ambassador’s residence, Battersea)!
!/images/creativecrossings06.jpg(Creative Crossings workshop: Finnish Ambassador’s residence, Battersea)!
!/images/creativecrossings07.jpg(Creative Crossings workshop: Finnish Ambassador’s residence, Battersea)!
!/images/creativecrossings08.jpg(Creative Crossings workshop: Finnish Ambassador’s residence, Battersea)!
!/images/creativecrossings09.jpg(Creative Crossings workshop: Finnish Ambassador’s residence, Battersea)!

Urban GPS experience

It’s possible to use the “GPS Map 60c”:http://www.garmin.com/products/gpsmap60c/ in an old “Marimekko bag”:http://www.marimekko.fi in a mobile phone pocket just small enough that the aerial sticks out. In this way it can be placed in windows of buses or cars without it sliding around, and I can walk around without looking like a geek or getting mugged.

!/images/urbangps03.gif(Rendered trail of three months walking in Oslo)!

h3. Problems

In short, GPS doesn’t work well in dense urban environments like most European cities. This is from the perspective of a pedestrian confined to the pavements (sidewalks) and public transport. From a few experiences whilst being driven around, it seems to work well in a car, probably because of the clear sky area available in the middle of the road. Inclement weather and green trees also seem to be problematic.

In these last few months, attempting to record a good quality database of tracks to geo-locate my photographs, I must have looked really odd. Face in device, stopping on street corners, stopping in the middle of street crossings and scrambling to grab the front seat of the bus. Discovering that GPS doesn’t just passively work is a great disappointment and my dataset is clouded with gaps and anomalies.

h3. Some other observations

* Fast turns when using public transport or car result in wild deviations: re-aquiring satellites is the problem
* Need a road that aligns with at least 4 satellites to get an acceptable track, anything else and the errors can accumulate
* Glass buildings can result in ‘reflections’ of position, eg jumping to other locations due to reflected signals
* I sit on the outside or front of buses: to get a wider expanse of sky area: I am constantly aware of sky cover
* The relative position of satellites is beginning to have an effect on the side of the street that I walk on
* Walking in the middle of the street: had a couple of near misses with cars – the moving map is just too engaging
* I would like an explanation of the lost track calculations: this device seems to use the last-known bearing and velocity to guess new tracks when the signal fails. This is very unreliable and problematic as it fills the map with phantom trails
* The track can be more useful over time than the (base) map: it shows my personal space and personal routes, I know where I have been and can use it to retrace routes or places. Popular routes build up in blackness and thickness. Home area becomes an abstract scatter plot of routes, but it’s very familiar
* Stored waypoints are really useful for getting large, general bearings on location: zooming out and seeing a relationship to two known landmarks can be really useful in an unknown area

!/images/urbangps04.gif(Rendered trail of two weeks walking and public transport in London)!

!/images/urbangps01.jpg(GPS receiver resting on the top deck of the number 4 bus, London)!

!/images/urbangps02.jpg(GPS receiver in the window of a train, Oslo)!