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Digital methods: the city as interface

This investigation is part of the Digital methods initiative of the University of Amsterdam (UVA), a two week long summer school held in June 2014.

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Digital methods: the city as interface

  1. 1. The City as Interface Nataliya Tkachenko, Xinyang Xie (Yang), Peta Mitchell, Maarten Groen, Adrian Bertoli, Khwezi Magwaza, Naomi Bueno de Mesquita, Joe Shaw, Alexander van Someren, Tim Leunissen, Michele Mauri, Philip Schuette, Donato Ricci, Sabine Niederer
  2. 2. The city as interface Background The “parochial realm [is] characterized by a sense of commonality among acquaintances and neighbors who are involved in interpersonal networks that are located within ‘communities’” Lofland, Lyn. The Public Realm: Exploring the City’s Quintessential Social Territory. New York: de Gruyter, 1998, p 10. “[Cities] are not like suburbs, only denser. They differ from towns and suburbs in basic ways, and one of these is that cities are, by definition, full of strangers.” Jacobs, Jane. The Death and Life of Great American Cities. 1961. #dmi14
  3. 3. The city as interface Background Martijn de Waal on parochial realms and urban media “This raises the following questions: how do urban media enable us to shape these different domains in new ways? How does the emergence of a new technology shift the balance between parochial and public domains? Does the emergence of new technologies reinforce the parochial domain, and do new technologies make it easier for city dwellers to withdraw to their own ‘turf ’? Or can they actually reinforce the public domain, which is dominated by mutual interchange?” (City as Interface, pp. 16–17) “Urban spaces are becoming hybridized, meaning they are composed through a combination of physical and digital practices”. (Gordon, Eric, and Adriana de Souza e Silva. Net Locality: Why Location Matters in a Networked World. Chichester: Wiley Blackwell, 2011, p. 14.) #dmi14
  4. 4. The city as interface Research Question: What kind of Amsterdam do geosocial media platforms (such as Foursquare, Twitter, Pinterest, Flickr, Meet-up, and Geocaching) present? … and can we identify the parochial and the public spaces of a city by looking at the places put forward by these platforms? #dmi14
  5. 5. The city as interface Methodology & Data Retrieve Amsterdam-specific posts/meetups/pins on (secondary) social media and plot on a map. Data: Pinterest: Term ‘Amsterdam’ in “place” boards = list of 781 boards, pulling first 100 pins per board, total of 31479 pins (8274 geolocated) Meetup - 489 events in 258 locations from 172 community's over a 4 month period. Twitter: keyword Amsterdam over a 10-day period (13–22 June), resulting in 4930 geotagged tweets in the Amsterdam area Geocaching: 700 of geocaches in Amsterdam ( Analyze first the type of Amsterdam the platform presents, and secondly identify stacks of parochial spaces (within and cross platform); the more overlapping parochial spaces, the more public this space is. #dmi14
  6. 6. Layered map of Amsterdam link to interactive cartodb change background
  7. 7. The city as interface Meetup - Categories on map #dmi14
  8. 8. The city as interface Meetup - Public and Parochial places #dmi14
  9. 9. ‘Local’ vs. ‘non-local’
  10. 10. Keywords layers
  11. 11. Pinterest Main Findings: Pinterest produces the ‘Boutique view’ of Amsterdam >where specialist interests like food, interior design, child-friendly & culture intersect >Local pinners and boards described as ‘hidden gems’ in outskirts while travel and touristy hotspots in city center >Also an interesting view of retail culture in particular Haarlemmerstraat and Haarlemmerdijk which feature concept stores plus smaller bars and restaurants, not the larger commercial predominate. Proliferation of travel industry and local business and how they are leveraging the platform for destination marketing and commercial promotion could provide for interesting extra study.
  12. 12. The city as interface Twitter ● Used TCAT to find all geolocated Amsterdam-area tweets with keyword Amsterdam over a 10-day period (13–22 June), resulting in 4930 tweets ● Analysed this data to identify what type of users were geo-tweeting (locals, out- of-towners, tourists) and which sources/platforms the tweets were generated from (e.g., Twitter apps, foursquare, instagram, flickr) ● Geovisualised tweets by user type (local/out-of-towner/tourist) to show different user visions of the Amsterdam area #dmi14
  13. 13. The city as interface Amsterdam geotweets: sources & users #dmi14
  14. 14. The city as interface instagram & foursquare geotweets by user #dmi14
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  16. 16. Amsterdam: tourists vs locals
  17. 17. Amsterdam: tourists vs locals
  18. 18. The city as interface #dmi14 PLAY - Ingress (location-based AR) and figure running Through geosocial media platforms, narratives are created and played out in the city. In Ingress players must be physically near objects (public art landmarks) on the map to interact with them. In figure running players compete with each other, creating drawings on their city.
  19. 19. The city as interface PLAY - geocaching Inspired by psychogeography, geocaching (a treasure hunt game) could be seen as an encountering of new and authentic ways of experiencing the city. The journey and the narrative around it seems to be of similar interest. #dmi14
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  26. 26. Geocaching findings In comparison with other geosocial platforms/networks, geocaching is less of an urban phenomenon, and geocachers are more likely to engage with places that are harder to get to or on the periphery of the city.
  27. 27. The city as interface Findings & future research Comparing pinterest, meetup, geocaching and twitter: Flickr: Software filters: Pinterest: Amsterdam Boutique City Twitter: Amsterdam Leisurely City Meetup: Amsterdam Parochial City Geocaching: Amsterdam Playful City Future research: Bottom-up approach, ranking places from most public to most parochial maps per category (cross-platform #dmi14
  28. 28. Layered map of Amsterdam link to interactive cartodb change background