A video about our participation to Societing.
Real Time Cairo: the real-time digital life of the city of Cairo, Egypt
To harvest all the data generated through social networks in a city.
Each day we use social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Foursquare as public spaces in which we express ourselves, our feelings and emotions, our perception of the spaces around us, our desires, wishes and expectations.
Or, such as in Cairo, Egypt, right now, to express our dissent, to enact our freedoms, and to inform of the difficult situations in which we find ourselves and with the communities we live in.
But social networks are not public spaces.
They are privately owned digital spaces whose strategies and interests have nothing to share with public space.
Through hundreds (if not thousands) of years of development of our cultures we have learned to form our expectation about what is public space, how it works and what to expect from it. We have developed shared ways by which we have collectively shaped our idea of what is a public space, and how to change its rules.
On social networks this does not apply.
A simple, unilateral, change in the terms of service of any of these networks/spaces can radically change the ownership and modalities according to which the information that we publish and share is used and leveraged, possibly giving rise to its exploitation, censorship, business usage.
But everything in these networks/spaces is designed to augment our understanding of them as public spaces and, thus, to apply or expectation of how public spaces work to them.
- on one side, we perceive a public space in which to express ourselves, expecting that it will function according to our understanding of the ways in which public spaces work;
- on the other side we have private spaces whose objective is to mimic the ways in which public spaces work, so that people use them, increasing business
The intent is to create the availability of tools by which to re-appropriate information published on what we perceive to be our digital public spaces, and to make it available for visualization, aggregation, etc: to establish a novel source of Open Data in our cities by gathering all the conversations that take place in our digital public spaces, to allow people to use them to understand their cities and to imagine shared practices and methodologies to use this information, making it accessible and usable by everyone, not only by social network service providers.
The interface shows
- the map, with the information popping up as soon as people in Cairo publish it using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Foursquare (information that is not geo-referenced using the networks’ tools is harvested as well, but it does not show on the map)
- a tag cloud of the most used words in the last 80 minutes
- some statistics showing the number of messages and users who published information in the latest 80 minutes, and in what languages they write
- a timeline, allowing the comparison of the number of messages posted during each hour of the last few days
We are still developing elements of the project (more updates will come soon) including:
- an API through which to download all of the dataset (or only parts of it, selected by date range, source, keywords etc)
- a visualization to show the human geography/topography of the city
The source code will be released under GPL as soon as we are able to finish adding these first few pieces.
Our text about Leaf++ has been just published on Not Here Not There Part 2, Leonardo Electronic Almanac, Volume 19 Issue 2.
LEAF++: Transformative Landscapes
+ Interview, Statement, Artwork [LINK]
by Salvatore Iaconesi, Luca Simeone, Oriana Persico, Cary Hendrickson
“Landscapes mark a certain terrain, delineating here from there and beyond: places and spaces of reference for our memories, our actions, helping us to place our being in specific moments. From private gardens to rolling hillsides in the country, landscapes represent overlapping visions of what is universal and at the same time personal. A multi-sensory experience we build and engage in anywhere, at any time. LEAF++ is a presentation and research project, an attempt at combining what we experience as individuals and, through the use of open source augmented reality (AR), adding on to the layers of what can be experienced by the wider community of users of a given site. The AR system combines computer vision techniques and allows for interactive experiences, educational contents and other information to be attached to leaves and other parts of plants: users contribute their own images, video, audio or other multi-media information to existing data available such as information about the plant’s habitat and biophysical characteristics. The LEAF++ project has been applied to not only identify Gilles Clément’s Third Landscape but also create a transformative view on urban space and foster experiential, analytical and aesthetic links between a diverse audience’s visions, perceptions and behaviors.”
Full article is available for download as a pdf here.
Volume 19 Issue 2 of Leonardo Electronic Almanac (LEA) is published online as a free PDF but will also be rolled out as Amazon Print on Demand and will be available on iTunes, iPad, Kindle and other e-publishing outlets.
LEA Volume 19 Issue 2
Volume Editors: Lanfranco Aceti and Richard Rinehart
Editors: Ozden Sahin, Jonathan Munro and Catherine M. Weir
Date of Publication: April 15, 2013
Number of Pages: 221
You can get it HERE
Among the contributions you will find our “Cities Out of Control“.
Here we wanted to share our point of view on the possibility to define a crisis (a breakdown, to be followed by a new rise) on the ideas about the ways in which we interpret (and control, and govern) our cities.
New modalities, rituals, perceptions have entered our daily lives, through the availability of digital ubiquitous sensorialities through which we perceive the world around us and we orient ourselves, make decisions and decide our tactics: the digital info-scape has merged with the physical landscape, producing a new whole in which multiple (even millions) points of view are constantly at our disposal (through search engines and social media) to support our presence and decisions in our daily lives.
How does orientation mutate? How does governance transform? What is the evolution of our tactics in the city?
S. Iaconesi, L. Simeone, O. Persico, (2013) “Cities out of Control” on Krisis Magazine “Orientation”, AIAP, Brescia, ISBN 9788890583933
Just out from press:
Advancing digital technologies continue to shape all aspects of our society, with particular impact on the professional research community. These new and exciting developments offer considerable advantages in terms of speed, access connectivity, and economy.
Advancing Research Methods with New Technologies examines the applicability and usefulness of new technologies, as well as the pitfalls of these methods in academic research practices. This book serves as a practical guide for designing and conduction research projects for scientists all of disciplines ranging from graduate students to professors and practitioners.
We have contributed a chapter titled The Co-Creation of the City:
Is it possible to imagine novel forms of urban planning and of public policies regulating the ways in which people use city spaces by listening to citizens’ expressions, emotions, desires, and visions, as they ubiquitously emerge in real-time on social networks and on other sources of digital information? This chapter presents the theoretical and methodological approach, the investigation and research phases, the design and prototyping processes constituting the ConnectiCity initiative, a collaborative, multi-disciplinary series of projects in which artists, scientists, anthropologists, engineers, communicators, architects, and institutions participated to the design of innovative ubiquitous and pervasive systems which were able to transform the ways in which the concepts of urban planning and city-wide decision-making are defined. Novel forms of urban life were imagined, in which cities became the time/space continuum for multiple, stratified layers of information expressing the ideas, goals, visions, emotions, and forms of expression for multiple cultures and backgrounds, producing new opportunities for citizenship: more active, aware, and engaged in the production of urban reality, and in the transformation of city spaces into possibilistic frameworks.
Contact us for samples and extracts.
Iaconesi, S., & Persico, O. (2013). The Co-Creation of the City. In N. Sappleton (Ed.), Advancing Research Methods with New Technologies (pp. 12-33). Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference. doi:10.4018/978-1-4666-3918-8.ch002