Locative Lab

researching locative media

Maya 2 Google Earth

Maya2GoogleEarth is an open-source, cross-platform tool developed at
Eyebeam for exporting 3D models from Maya into Google Earth. Once installed, it allows you to export 3D models from within your scene as a single Google Earth Placemark (KML) file.

The project was inspired by the Open GL extraction utility OGLE which can extract 3D data from openGL programs like Google Earth. We thought that it would be fun to be able to take the
extracted 3D data, remix and add to it and then load it back into
Google Earth. You can see some examples of this below.



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Here the sidewalk ends, and we begin.

The GumSPotS Mobile Data System is centered toward a single purpose: provide a means of communication between all users of mobile devices and provide each individual user trhe means to be a node of network growth.

A complete system for distributing content to the public is only the beginning of an ongoing relationship that allows a company to understand its public betters through fueling their desire to communicate back.


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Bible now available on S.African mobile phones

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South African Christians seeking aquick spiritual boost will be able to download the entire bibleon to their mobile telephones phones from Wednesday as part ofa drive to modernize the scriptures.

The South African wing of the non-denominationalInternational Bible Society, which translates and distributesthe Bible, said mobile phone users with the right type of phonecould download the whole bible in either English or Afrikaansusing the text messaging function SMS.

“The Virtual Bible will enable the Bible Society to supplythe Bible to every modern cell phone user in a fast andaffordable format,” Rev. Gerrit Kritzinger, chief executive ofthe Bible Society in South Africa, said in a statement.

The Bible Society hopes the gimmick, which costs 40 rand($5.43), will appeal to young people in mobile-mad SouthAfrica, where the majority of the population is Christian.

Customers can choose between the traditional King Jamesversion of the bible or more up-to-date translations. Zulu andXhosa version will be available soon and other languages willfollow.

By sending an SMS, customers get the complete Old and NewTestaments as well as a built-in search engine.

The Bible Society provided the content, while ChristianMobile — a South African firm that sells mobile phoneringtones of Christian songs and an “SMS Hopeline” of dailybible verses and prayers — came up with the technology.

The statement said 80 percent of South African phones hadthe 1.2 megabytes of memory needed to receive the Bible andwere java enabled with Internet access.


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Google’s Gapminder

What you see is a scatterplot where each bubble represents a country. The position of the bubble is determined by the indicators on the axes. The default indicators are income and life expectancy. The indicators can be changed by clicking on their names and selecting a new indicator from the list. The size of the bubble represents the population of the country. The color represents the country’s geographic region by default, but it can be changed to show indebtness or income group instead. To see what a certain color means, move the mouse over the colored boxes to the right of the chart.

The bubbles are interactive,
you can move the mouse over them to see their values on the axes, its population and color group name. The bubbles can be selected by clicking on them or on the country names in the list on the right. Deselect by clicking on them again or the Deselect All button. Selected bubbles will leave a trail after when animated over time.To see change over time, press Play or click or drag the time slider.

You can change view between the chart and map by clicking on the tabs at the top. To change the speed of the animation use the speed slider in the lower left corner. You can also change between linear and logarithmic scale by clicking on the buttons next to the indicator names.

Each change you make to the chart is reflected in the URL in the browser window.
That means that you can bookmark the page or copy/paste the URL into an email or blog entry at any time. When you click on the saved link the state is restored and you get the back the chart you bookmarked. You can also use the browser’s Back and Forward button to navigate or undo changes.

To view a part of the chart in more detail you can use the zoom functionality. By clicking the zoom in button you enter zoom in mode. You can now click-drag to select a chart area to zoom in on. To zoom out, click the zoom out button to enter zoom out mode, or the 100% button to zoom out to chart default data spans.

The visibility of deselected bubbles can be adjusted by moving the Show nonselected slider.


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Charge your cell phone while you walk

A 19-year-old Indian from Himachal Pradesh has invented a pair of shoes fitted with an appartus, that charges a cell phone while you walk, reports CNN-IBN via Techtickerblog and digg.

“The mechanism is quite simple – a dynamo attached to the shoeconverts the mechanical energy produced by the pressure of the foot onthe sole into electrical energy. A bridge rectifier further converts the AC current into DC current and produces five to six volts of electricity.

For this invention, Pankaj won first prize last July in the student category from the National Innovation Foundation“.


Related innovative chargers:

Solar golf bag charges cell phones

Links to other solar cell phone chargers

Wind-Powered Cell Phones

Car batteries recharge cell phones in Soweto

Muscle power of an albino Buffalo recharges cell phones

Links to many hand-cranked rechargers

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In his novel L’Innommable Beckett describes a strange world made up from a complex system of repetitive cyclical events. What is described as social architecture – the spatial / temporal organisation of everyday life- is often very similar to this: people do the same things at the same time. They follow the same routes in regular periods. Sometimes when riding the tram, visiting a cafe or going to the supermarket I recognize strangers who seem to live in the same “loops” like I do.

The Project which I propose is a subjective description of the city as a set of repeating actions and events on different scales. A space composed of closed loops, intersecting each other. each loop is a thematic entity, a story: a stroll through the shelves of a local supermarket. Looking for a free place in a parking lot. A tourists guide round through a district. A hotel maid’s morning round.

Loop city’s concept of space is topological and relativistic – the lengths of each strand don’t have to correspond to its accurate metric length in real space. They can be scaled by its temporal length or by the amount of information contained within.


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Google AdSense for land owners?

“..But what if these acres and acres of untouched, up-and-coming prime
marketing real estate went up on the advertising market? This could
make for some interesting adventures in advertising.” (TheDesignBlog)

Cropcircle makers, time to make a living out of it, or Google, start your GeoAdSense program and put the old meaning back to the word site.


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MIT ISpots


How Wireless Technology is Changing Life on the MIT Campus

New wireless communications technologies are changing the way we live and work. This fact is particularly evident at MIT, thanks to the presence of two conditions: 1) the very high percentage of laptop computer ownership on campus; and 2) the existence of one of the most pervasive wireless Internet networks on earth, which includes over 2,800 access points and was completed at the end of October 2005.

The iSPOTS project aims at describing changes in living and working at MIT by mapping the dynamics of the wireless network in real-time. Thus, the complex and dispersed individual movement patterns that make up the daily life of the campus can be revealed, helping TO answer many questions: Which physical spaces are preferred for work in the MIT community? How could future physical planning of the campus suit the community’s changing needs? Which location-based services would be most helpful for students and academics?

Also, as many cities around the world are launching extensive wireless initiatives, the analysis of the MIT environment could provide valuable insights for the future. Will today’s MIT be tomorrow’s norm? Click for more…


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Cell Phone Disco


Cell Phone Discois a playful experimental installation made out of flashing cells. Bymultiplication of a mobile phone gadget, only slightly altered consumerproduct, we created a space to experience the invisible body of themobile phone.

Flashing cells basically consist of one or more LEDs, battery and a sensor that detects electromagnetic (EM)radiation transmitted by an active mobile phone. When the sensordetects EM waves it sets off the LEDs to flash for a couple of seconds.In general the flashing cells are enclosed in a plastic casing on astrap and sold as a fashion accessory for a mobile phone.

The Cell Phone Disco installation has two parts:


Flashingcells with sensors of higher sensitivity are used to detectelectromagnetic radiation of active mobile phone in a range ofapproximately a meter. This way a sort of aura appears around thephone, revealing a part of it’s invisible body.

While the user moves around talking on his cell phone, this aura follows the conversation as a light shadow through the space.


Muchless sensitive cells are used to create a canvas for an inkless marker.The LEDs get activated only by an extreme proximity of theelectromagnetic source. Moving the phone close to the cells thereforeleaves a trace of light, an electromagnetic drawing.


At the moment we are developing new variations as well as a modularversion which can be used in public space and places such as venues. Ifyou’re interested in applying such installation please contact us at projects@informationlab.org.


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Place Lab

Place Lab is software providing low-cost, easy-to-use device positioning forlocation-enhanced computing applications. Place Lab tries to providepositioning which works worldwide, both indoors and out (unlike GPS which onlyworks well outside). Place Lab clients can determine their location privatelywithout constant interaction with a central service (unlike badge tracking ormobile phone location services where the service owns your locationinformation).

The Place Lab approach is to allow devices like notebooks, PDAs and cell phonesto locate themselves by listening for radio beacons such as 802.11 accesspoints, GSM cell phone towers, and fixed Bluetooth devices that already existin large numbers around us in the environment. These beacons all have uniqueor semi-unique IDs, for example, a MAC address. Clients compute their ownlocation by hearing one or more IDs, looking up the associated beacons’positions in a locally cached map, and estimating their own position referencedto the beacons’ positions.


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Cityscape LocativeLab.org is Ronald Lenz's research website on locative & mobile media. This is mostly an archive of blogposts I find inspiring and interesting and an overview of my work. I'm a strategist, technologist and researcher in the field of Location-Based Mobile Services and work at Waag Society, a medialab in Amsterdam, The Netherlands where I head the Locative Media research program and at 7scenes, a platform for GPS games and tours as creative director. Picture 4 Find me at Twitter, LinkedIn or via ronald [at] waag [dot] org.

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