Saturday, August 6, 2016

Designing for People On the Go

On the fly people have no time to sort through stuff.  

A great GPS design makes you do nothing. It knows what you like and notifies you when you come across it. 

Scrolling becomes strolling. As you walk, GPS triggers notifications for viewing opportunities you like.  No sorting, no clicking. 

This is the world of walkable media. 

One problem of window shopping "nearby" for content is seeing the same old stories on the shelf. This can be solved by "hyper-jumping."

You stroll, you get notified of a story you like. You look at the window and you can see other stories related to the person who was here.   If Bob Dylan visited this spot, this spot now becomes a Bob Dylan museum you can explore. You can see new posts now at this window, the latest of Dylan's history. 

Like Haley Joel Osmen at St Augustine's Catholic Church (243 N Lawrence St, Philadelphia) in The Sixth Sense, you can see "dead people" and where they have been, the trail that led them to this spot.

This is what William Gibson called a locative media exhibit in Spook Country (2007). You see the ghosts of history on site.  

Overlaying powers virtual urban museums for locative narratives - augmenting reality. A story can connect people from the past and present who also have stories to share here.  Locations are annotated with compelling stories. 

You can flash fiction or non-fiction. 

Geo-fiction  leaves pieces of fiction, a part of a narrative on site. You have to go site to site to see the rest of the story at the sites of the plot. Places and travel become adventurous. 

Locative narratives make a place multi-dimensional and can get quite elaborate. 

In geo-cinema, you scavenge for scenes planted for game play. You are in the movie. The street is your movie screen. 

Immersive cinema mixes with reality.

As a viewer collects culture, liking things that fit one's taste, the GPS algorithm knows more. 

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Mapping a history of stories

10 years ago, for leisure, i started collecting stories walking circles around the block in the vicinity of Caffe Vivaldi (32 Jones, NYC) and even once bumped into a history teacher doing so. From word of mouth, people who lived here started to send stories to me. 

5 years ago, i started to compile and map them. Caffe Vivaldi is where 100,000 artists have sung and where i had been chronicling stories for years. 

Our adviser Vamsi Sistla (birthday today) who once worked for TV Guide (launching its first app) suggested i expand and study Union Square and a place we both knew (Mercer Kitchen). 

This sparked the expansion of studying stories on location. 

I then became interested in stories up Broadway, the spinal history of NYC. 

Broadway is where New Yorkers share stories most (measured by tweets)....also true for historical archives pre-Twitter. This was an illustration by Eric Fischer showing where people shared stories most using Twitter data. I suspect story-telling and urban growth are guided by public transit behavior.

I went up 5th Ave next, then every avenue, then every numbered street, then every un-numbered street. Then i followed New Yorkers, the Beat Poets, to San Francisco and studied stories there. 

This expanded to mapping my entire archive of photos curated daily over 5 years then (now 10 years) and branching into movie scenes.  Other categories included mapping art, inventions (digital investments), music history and notable books. Bob Giraldi who was involved in Mercer Kitchen was then mapped for where he directed the video for Michael Jackson's Beat It and Say Say Say with Paul McCartney. Where Beatles songs were written got mapped (and so on). 

For 2-3 years, i started mapping biographies daily on birthdays and death anniversaries.  Astrological patterns emerged. 

With greater depth, these stories started to connect and form patterns worldwide illustrating the behavior of creativity and history - how people intersect and how moments burst into life. 

These stories paint the topography of a place. A new kind of cartography.