From Locative Information to Urban Knowledge

(via) In, "From Locative Information to Urban Knowledge" (see in the the conference pre-proceedings), Viktor Bedö addresses a question very close to my research interests: How does information generated and shared through locative media and mobile communication technologies turn into knowledge?. The paper is about information visualization and how an organic metaphor (elaborated by Ben Fry) can be pertinent to represent information generated and shared via mobile communication technologies such as spatial annotation systems. Let's jump directly to the conclusion:

"What we can anticipate is that after reaching the critical volume (1), these community level patterns will have effects on the individual level: users will navigate using these patterns, make decisions based on these patterns, and contribute to them by posting their own information. The pattern emerging on the dynamic urban maps become urban knowledge based on locative information. The primal representation of urban knowledge will be on the map, the method of identifying and interpreting the patterns is looking at the map. It is important to note that there are no cues when inspecting the emerging patterns on the map and there are no masters telling us what to see as we deal with a new instrument showing a new quality. The metaphor of organism/organisation in this case does not transfer meaning, in the, but a way of seeing, that helps ideintifying, discovering the patterns of locative urban knowledge.

(1) The use of spatial annotation and other location avare social software has not reached the critical volume therefore we can not even anticipate by now how many messages are going to constitute a coherent pattern. Will it be fifty, four hundred, or two thousand?"

Why do I blog this? this is very close to something I wrote lately (as well as this blogpost) although it was not uniquely focused on spatial annotation system. However, I am not sure about the "critical volume" described by the author: it's definitely that a topic we discussed a lot with Fabien and Mauro. Will there really be a peak? How the success of certain applications could last over time?