GPS bottles and people representation of space
"Message in a Bottle" is an intriguing locative media art project by Layla Curtis:
"Fifty bottles containing messages were released into the sea off the south-east coast of England near Ramsgate Maritime Museum, Kent. The intended destination of the bottles is The Chatham Islands in the South Pacific Ocean. The islands, which are 800km east of mainland New Zealand, are the nearest inhabited land to the precise location on the opposite side of the world to Ramsgate Maritime Museum. It is anticipated that the bottles may be found several times before reaching the Chatham Islands. (...) Several of the bottles are being tracked using GPS technology and are programmed to send their longitude and latitude coordinates back to Ramsgate every hour. The information they transmit is used to create a real time drawing of their progress."
People who found a message could report it (and then replace the bottle's contents, reseal the bottle and release it back into the sea to continue its journey to The Chatham Islands).
Why do I blog this? Beyond the poetic/aesthetic aspects of the lost bottles, I find this project interesting as it explores other use of GPS, related to the movement of objects in space.
Furtermore, an interview of Layla Curtis by Peter Hall in the Else/Where mapping book interestingly address some topics that are close to my research interests. Hall highlight the fact that "there's a nice juxtaposition here between the precision of the GPS mapping system and the relative imprecisions of people reporting findings by email". Of course, this is partly caused by the interface Curtis provided to report bottle's findings; as people had to fill a form with "Place bottle found". It can be very relevant to dig more into the naming of these places; I can imagine a sort of typology of mismatch that would be very informative for location-based services designers.