Urban Tapestries: public authoring

G. Lane. Urban tepestries: Wireless networking, public authoring and social knowledge. Personal Ubiquitous Computing, (7):169–175, April 2003.

Urban Tapestries is a collaborative mapping project where people can participate in building sound map of the city and leave multimedia content attached to the map of the city while walking. Their core idea and the metaphor to attach this to the 2D representation of the city is pretty similar to my view of the MapTribe project. Their concept is to use a PDA combining a GPRS access with a WiFi communication system. The idea underneath is that combining the different systems of comjunication is possible to have a full coverage of the city space.

The system is designed to propose spatial threads which corresponds to geographical paths connecting places with a common history of feature that the thread whants to highlight. Joint with this fruition activity, the user is also asked to author the map adding comments and other multimedia material while walking. An extra step is to give the user the abilit y to share this informaiton with other wlakers using Bluetooth beams.

Three point constitute the distinctiveness of the project: 1. UT is cooperative and not hirarchical: it relies on the community and not on the network provider; 2.Co-creation not consumption: the content is not preparated but is co-created by the user; 3. accretive and organic not static: UT grows with time at the pace set by the users, a microcosm on how our cities and communities develop, prosper and die.