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Bringing the internet down to earth : emerging spaces of locative media

Collis, Christy & Nitins, Tanya (2009) Bringing the internet down to earth : emerging spaces of locative media. In Papandrea, Franco & Armstrong, Mark (Eds.) Record of the Communications Policy & Research Forum 2009, Network Insight Pty Ltd, University of Technology, Sydney , pp. 122-130.

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Abstract

Web 1.0 referred to the early, read-only internet; Web 2.0 refers to the ‘read-write web’ in which users actively contribute to as well as consume online content; Web 3.0 is now being used to refer to the convergence of mobile and Web 2.0 technologies and applications. One of the most important developments in mobile 3.0 is geography: with many mobile phones now equipped with GPS, mobiles promise to “bring the internet down to earth” through geographically-aware, or locative media. The internet was earlier heralded as “the death of geography” with predictions that with anyone able to access information from anywhere, geography would no longer matter. But mobiles are disproving this. GPS allows the location of the user to be pinpointed, and the mobile internet allows the user to access locally-relevant information, or to upload content which is geotagged to the specific location. It also allows locally-specific content to be sent to the user when the user enters a specific space. Location-based services are one of the fastest-growing segments of the mobile internet market: the 2008 AIMIA report indicates that user access of local maps increased by 347% over the previous 12 months, and restaurant guides/reviews increased by 174%.

The central tenet of cultural geography is that places are culturally-constructed, comprised of the physical space itself, culturally-inflected perceptions of that space, and people’s experiences of the space (LeFebvre 1991). This paper takes a cultural geographical approach to locative media, anatomising the various spaces which have emerged through locative media, or “the geoweb” (Lake 2004). The geoweb is such a new concept that to date, critical discourse has treated it as a somewhat homogenous spatial formation. In order to counter this, and in order to demonstrate the dynamic complexity of the emerging spaces of the geoweb, the paper provides a topography of different types of locative media space: including the personal/aesthetic in which individual users geotag specific physical sites with their own content and meanings; the commercial, like the billboards which speak to individuals as they pass in Minority Report; and the social, in which one’s location is defined by the proximity of friends rather than by geography.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 28668
Item Type: Conference Paper
Keywords: locative media, location-based media
ISBN: 9780980434422
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > COMMUNICATION AND MEDIA STUDIES (200100) > Communication Technology and Digital Media Studies (200102)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Current > Schools > Journalism, Media & Communication
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2009 please consult authors
Deposited On: 18 Nov 2009 14:43
Last Modified: 01 Mar 2012 00:10

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