Placelogging : mobile spatial annotation and its potential use to urban planners and designers
Mobile spatial annotation and its potential use to urban planners and designers
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning.
Lawrence J. Vale.
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With the rise of 'Mobile 2.0,' digital telecommunications are beginning to provide deep resources of information to mobile city dwellers. Particularly striking among recent applications is placelogging, defined here as the practice of digitally annotating physical places with user-generated text and media accessible onsite to other mobile users. Placelogging presents potential as a means of engaging citizens with each other and with their environment, as well as distributing authority over defining what Kevin Lynch called "the image of the city." But as an emerging practice, its uniqueness as a mode of communication distinct from other forms of spatial annotation has not yet been proved. To investigate the uniqueness of placelogging, the thesis first establishes a taxonomy of spatial annotation through which to consider the different forms, functions, and trends in official adoption of a wide range of annotating media. Next, annotations made through various media, including placelogging projects [murmur] and Yellow Arrow, are catalogued in two neighborhoods each of Toronto and New York City. A preliminary methodology is defined to analyze and compare trends in distribution, placement and content of annotations.(cont.) Placelogs are found to distinguish themselves by annotating a wide range of public and private places, identified as what Margaret Crawford calls the 'everyday space' of city residents, with predominantly subjective, first-person content, which is described as marking 'everyday time.' Participant interviews and research on related technologies are used to support claims that placelogging could be used to identify sites of shared meaning in the city as well as to foster place attachment, claim to space and social connections among participants. Uses in community development are considered through three cases of implementation: [murmur] in Toronto, Yellow Arrow in Copenhagen and Proboscis' Urban Tapestries in London. Uses for revealed meanings are proposed in preservation, identification of development priorities and sensitivity of response in urban development. Lynch's visual image of the city is revisited as a 'meaning image' that encourages design practices of 'interactive ethnography' and 'sometimes' urban design. Finally, unfamiliarity with and differential access to technology are considered in the context of public uses for placelogging and its derived data.
Thesis (M.C.P.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning, 2007.This electronic version was submitted by the student author. The certified thesis is available in the Institute Archives and Special Collections.Includes bibliographical references (p. 162-168).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Urban Studies and Planning.