Space-time trails and locative technologies
(Pictures of space-time trails in CatchBob!, nothing really related to the paper below, just found it illustrative of this digital trail notion)
Perusing "Where Were We: Communities for Sharing Space-Time Trails" by Scott Counts and Marc Smith, I was interested by this notion of "space-time trails".
Constituted by the movement of people in space indeed forms an interesting social object. Space-time trails incorporate both a collection of spatial positions with relationships to one another along with sensor and community-based annotations (photographs, video, environmental sensor data, physiological attributes, community-based content such as tags and comments). According to the authors:
"We argue that space-time trails, or routes, include an intentionality on the part of the user that contains more information than a collection of points. A route has a start and finish, as well as properties like time, distance, speed, directional orientation, numbers of stops, and so on. When browsing, retracing, mining, recommending, and searching, these collective and relational attributes can be leveraged for a significantly richer end-user experience than could a collection of points. (...) The sum of these changes could be considered to be a kind of “pervasive inscription revolution”, an era in which practices of inscription explode to include almost all human actions and interactions. The signs of the expansion of inscription are visible in the behavior patterns seen in many online services."
Why do I blog this? interested in how "routes" and "trails" becomes social documents enriched with other forms of information (beyond synchronous/real-time location-awareness). Some interesting new practices can emerge out of this and lots of issues regarding privacy are about to be discussed.