Community mapping and the sensor citizen

Receiver magazine (published by Vodafone) has a remarkable special issue on the state of geolocation services and the Geospatial Web.

Amongst the many interesting articles is the one by Anne Galloway on community mapping:

We often think of mobile technologies simply in terms of their communication capabilities, but their increasing ability to trace our movements and collect information about the spaces through which we pass, can also make it easier for people to keep track of the places and things that matter most to them. From geo-visualisations and mapping mash-ups, to the mobile geospatial web and location-based services, people’s relationships to places (and each other) are changing.

Community mapping and sensing projects that use commonly available consumer electronics as environmental measurement devices, enable people to collect and view a wide array of location-based data. As a form of public science, such projects stand to reinvigorate environmentally focused civic engagement. However, given public concerns around environmental risks and their connections to technological progress, I believe that this kind of active citizenship should promote more critical reflection on the values and goals of the very projects that expect to create such profound changes in these domains, and carefully consider the limits of its own power.”

Martijn de Waal introduces MySpace Urbanism:

this refers to the role of social networks, on-line profiles and tracking sites as spaces where we project our identities, through which we connect and which could lead to interaction in the real city. Secondly, the term implies that these media can help us to personalise the city: to focus only on the bits and connections that are of specific interest to us personally, to remake the city in our own image.”

Do have a look at the full table of contents!

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