Stories and GPS tracklogs

(via the locative media list) On narrative, abstract and location: a few words on location based data in art (pdf) by Paul Thayer. Some exceprts I quote here:

If we produce a work of art that is based on data aqcuired from a locative device such as GPS, Bluetooth or WiFi the fact that it tells a story of some sort, is a given. It's inherent. To produce the data, the device would have to physically move from point A to B to C etc.. So if I show someone the following and explain that it's a tracklog, downloaded from a GPS device, the fact that it describes a story is unavoidable: Trackpoint N67 53.037 E12 59.075 6/21/2004 1:42:58 PM 76 ft 94 ft 00:00:03 Trackpoint N67 53.047 E12 59.102 6/21/2004 1:43:01 PM 75 ft 84 ft 00:00:03 Trackpoint N67 53.055 E12 59.324 6/21/2004 1:43:18 PM 76 ft 510 ft 00:00:17 (...) If I'm made aware of the fact that this is a GPS tracklog, I know that there must be some form of narrative regardless of whether or not I'm actually able to read any of it. This is one of the most important aspects of locative media as an art medium. Regardless of how we choose to present it, it's always a record of a sequence of events. A story. (...) And the reason that this is important is that we can choose to present the data in a variety of different ways.

Also check his alst project: Autodrawn: Sketching landscapes seen through my windows.