Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Paper published! Augmented reality in urban places: contested content and the duplicity of code

A paper ("Augmented reality in urban places: contested content and the duplicity of code") that I wrote with Matt Zook and Andrew Boulton has just been officially published in the Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers.

Feel free to download a copy or send me a message if you would like me to email you a copy. The opening story (inspired by Stan Brunn) is below:

Amid the buzz and clatter of Dublin’s Temple Bar, Natasha checks her phone; she is getting hungry, and Stan should be here already. Maybe he has lost his phone? Or did he turn it off to save on roaming charges? It was over one hour ago that he used Facebook to check in at the café near their hotel. All of a sudden, a Twitter notification pops up from Stan: ‘waiting for @natasha_tcd at Ha’penny Bridge #watchingtheLiffeyflowby.’ Typical Stan!, Natasha thinks: right time, but wrong place.  Natasha pulls up Google Maps on her phone, types in ‘Ha’penny Bridge,’ and impatiently waits for the results. ‘Not enough signal strength here’ she thinks as she walks down the street in search for a better connection. After only a dozen steps she has full signal strength and repeats the search. She sees that ‘Ha’penny Bridge is only a couple of minutes’ walk away even if she takes the longer route past Eamonn Doran’s, a bar with a geo-tagged Wikipedia article that notes that the Cranberries used to play there. She is a huge music fan and can’t resist the detour. As Natasha inspects the façade of the bar and reviews the list of musicians who played there, she simultaneously has to dodge the crowds walking by. ‘Have they no respect!’, she thinks and instantly laughs at herself for criticizing people’s ignorance of a history she’s only just learning herself.  Before moving on, she notices a sponsored ad on her phone for a restaurant called Yamamori Sushi just on the other side of the river near Ha’penny Bridge. Clicking on the restaurant, she sees that it has sixty-six reviews, most of which are glowing and hopefully not just from the owner’s friends. Looks like a good place! Oblivious to the ‘Grand Opening – Half Price Sushi’ banner posted on the hopeful storefront of a different restaurant across the street, Natasha hurries over to meet the increasingly anxious Stan (he’s already sent three texts asking where she is) hoping that he is in the mood for sushi.

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