Locative Lab

researching locative media

Indigenous Mapping: A new Google technology workshop for tribal peoples

Indigenous people worldwide face special challenges in planning, policy and advocacy work. Issues such as cultural preservation, sovereignty, land use management, and handling mineral rights are just a few that they have to tackle. Recognizing this, we’re happy to announce that Google and the Indigenous Mapping Network are teaming up to put on a two day workshop on the Google campus to teach people from native communities how to use Google’s mapping technologies.

The mission of IMN has been to empower native communities by connecting them with the tools they need to protect, preserve, and enhance their way of life within their aboriginal territories. And they endeavor to bridge the gap between traditional “mapping” practices and modern mapping technologies.

On February 25th and 26th, 2010, Google and IMN will host a workshop on the Google campus for members and staff of indigenous groups who want to learn about Google geospatial and mobile technologies. This hands-on workshop will approach Google technologies with the special concerns of indigenous communities in mind, and will focus on the technical aspects of using Google Earth, Google Maps, Sketchup, Android mobile phones and Open Data Kit, among other technologies. Special attention will be given to:

We are very excited to be hosting this event, and look forward to a long relationship with IMN. For more information and to register for this workshop, go to the IMN website.

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There is No Road (the road is made by walking)

There is No Road consists of a range of artists’ projects that record or evoke a series of actual or imaginary journeys, either through the local landscape of Asturias, or through a comparably remote and mountainous terrain

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Grand Tour of the Known Universe


The movie titled “Known Universe” takes viewers from the Himalayas through our atmosphere and the inky black of space to the afterglow of the Big Bang. Every star, planet, and quasar seen in the film is possible because of the world’s most complete four-dimensional map of the universe, the Digital Universe Atlas that is maintained and updated by astrophysicists at the American Museum of Natural History.

Every satellite, moon, planet, star and galaxy is represented to scale and its correct, measured location according to the best scientific research to-date.

Watch the video below.

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Swype vs. Tiki’Notes

Swype, the new text input technology that allows mobile phone users to enter text with the “swype” of a finger rather than the traditional tap is being challenged by a French startup called Tiki’Labs says that its Tiki’Notes text input technology is actually faster.

And it produced this YouTube video to prove it, comparing Swype’s keyboard and the Tiki6Keys’ keyboard.

[via TechFlash]

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Sustainable Cell Phone Concept, to Preserve the Planet

NokiaGreenPhone.jpg ingredientsfor5yearphone.jpg

FastCompany via Yanko Design writes up James Barber‘s cell phone concept, commissioned by Nokiam for a green design in mobile phones, using sustainable components.

Apparently, “for a cellphone used for 2 years, the energy used to create the phone is “roughly 3 times larger” than the energy used by the phone in it’s lifetime!”

James Barber’s trying to push those amounts of energy closer to equal. To do that, he’s created this extremely rough and tough phone with, easily replaceable parts, 85% of which are recyclable. It’s made to last 5 years.

Links to other green cell phone concepts

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iCarte Turns the iPhone Into an RFID Reader


Earlier The Apple Blog reported that the next generation of iPhone might have an RFID reader built in, if rumors prove true. Well, there’s no need to wait that long. Wireless Dynamics in Canada has announced a device called the iCarte that will add both RFID and NFC capabilities to the iPhone. The New York Times/GigaOM reports.

“A chip embedded in the iCarte turns your iPhone into a portable electronic wallet, able to process contactless payments. It can also transmit any information it receives directly to enterprise databases using Wi-Fi or 3G network connections, so that orders and purchases can be automatically input into your company’s home server.”

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Google Goggles blocked over privacy concerns


An internet service launched last week by Google to help cameraphone users to identify strangers in the street has been blocked because of alarm over its threat to personal privacy, reports The Independent.

“The new service, called Goggles, is a picture search which uses images rather than words to trawl the web . By taking a picture of an object and clicking “search”, owners of smartphones can recognise landmarks, identify a species of plant or animal, or obtain tasting notes for a bottle of wine.

But the most controversial aspect of the new visual search tool is its capacity to allow users to take a photo of a stranger to find out more about them.”

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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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