Questioning the TomTom effect(s)
A quite interesting session at the Association of American Geographers Annual Conference: Situating Sat Nav: Questioning the TomTom Effect (transferred to me by Fabien). Organized by Chris Perkins and Martin Dodge, the session deals aims at questioning the social effects, cultural meanings and political economy of in-car satellite navigation:
"Comprehensive in-car satellite navigation (Sat Nav) systems have rapidly become affordable and ‘must-have’ mass-market accessories, advertised on television and the focus of ‘scare’ stories in the tabloid press. With their driver’s-eye position, dynamic maps and an authoritative voice telling you where and when to turn, these archetypal geographical gizmos depend on the ‘magic’ locational power of a cluster of unseen satellites and the global reach of corporations marketing the latest consumer fad. SatNav offers technologically sophisticated spatial data models of the world, but the technology quickly sinks into taken-for-granted everyday driving practices, such that its social and political significance is hard to assess. The gadgets themselves take space on the dashboard and windscreens, but also make new senses of space for the driver, well beyond the car. What exactly is the nature of this TomTom effect? "
Why do I blog this? it seems it's too late to submit something there but it connects with my interest in studying the user experience of location-aware technologies. My PhD research addressed the socio-cognitive implications of mutual-location awareness. How this connects to the present session? The results from my dissertation would be interesting to discuss in conjunction with features such as TomTom buddies that lets you track your friends on the road. A friend locator coupled to a car navigation systems? What's new? What are the constraints? What can be the impacts? etc. Perhaps that can help "questioning the TomTom effect".