Continuous connectivity,handheld computers, andmobile spatial knowledgeMatthew W. Wilson, PhDAssistant Professor of Geogra...
Matthew W. Wilson, PhD   2
Matthew W. Wilson, PhD                                 3                         Mother Jones Magazine by meli66a, Flickr
closed-world                                cyborg       Matthew W. Wilson, PhD                                    4      ...
closed-world                                cyborg       Matthew W. Wilson, PhD                                    5      ...
hardware < > software   automated programming         personal  ubiquitous            Matthew W. Wilson, PhD            6...
hardware < > software   automated programming         personal  ubiquitous            Matthew W. Wilson, PhD            7...
hardware < > software   automated programming         personal  ubiquitous            Matthew W. Wilson, PhD            8...
The body is raised to the level ofhardware – as the ‘mechanics’ thatunderlie the practice of computing –as that which make...
What does the future hold for thecalculator? In the midst of more powerfulcomputers that are being built smaller andsmalle...
a problem-to-be-solved,a science-to-be-practiced,a nation-to-be-saved              Matthew W. Wilson, PhD   11
?a problem-to-be-solved,a science-to-be-practiced,a nation-to-be-saved                         portable,             pen-b...
continuous connectivity        Matthew W. Wilson, PhD   13
continuous connectivity            synchronization protocols and ergonomic, hand-based user-interface techniques design   ...
connected mobility : the P D A           Matthew W. Wilson, PhD   15
Matthew W. Wilson, PhD   16
In the Valley of Dreams          The Zen of Palm       Crossing the DesertThe Fight for Independence              Sea Chan...
Matthew W. Wilson, PhD   18
Matthew W. Wilson, PhD   19
Palm Connect        Matthew W. Wilson, PhD   20
Palm Connect        Matthew W. Wilson, PhD   21
Matthew W. Wilson, PhD   22
Matthew W. Wilson, PhD   23
Matthew W. Wilson, PhD   24
Matthew W. Wilson, PhD   25
Matthew W. Wilson, PhD   26
Matthew W. Wilson, PhD   27
Matthew W. Wilson, PhD   28
Matthew W. Wilson, PhD   29
Matthew W. Wilson, PhD   30
Matthew W. Wilson, PhD   31
mobility < > connectivity      Matthew W. Wilson, PhD   32
Matthew W. Wilson, PhD   33
histories of computing    embodiment of technology               imaginations of use             Matthew W. Wilson, PhD   34
histories of computing    embodiment of technology               imaginations of use      situating the geoweb            ...
We need a renewed commitment to theGIS & Society agenda, to interrogate theconditions of technological developmentas these...
Thank you.@wilsonism             Matthew W. Wilson, PhD   37
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Continuous connectivity, handheld computers, and mobile spatial knowledge

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Presented for the Local & Mobile 2012 conference on 18 March 2012; also presented a couple weeks earlier at the 2012 AAG meetings in NYC on 24 February 2012.

Abstract:
As geospatial information seemingly moves from users' personal computers to 'the cloud', the use of the phrase 'geographic technologies' has increasingly indicated things beyond desktop GIS. With these shifts in the distribution of geospatial data and practices, and the rise of the geoweb as a site of inquiry, new concepts are needed to better understand the conditions of geographic technologies. In this paper, I conceptualize one such element of interactivity: connection. Here, I argue that a logic of continuous connectivity underlies the development of digital spatial media and influences the contemporary production of spatial knowledge. For those lives lived that are presumed to be 'always-connected', interactions are figured by these connections to digital media. Many of these digital devices (especially mobile ones) become functional only through a series of connections to data and communication networks. For instance, mobile phones are in continuous communication regardless of direct use, 'listening' to cellular towers and analyzing proximity to deliver the best possible connection. From these system-level codes that maintain device connectivity to software-level codes that push and pull data to and from 'the cloud', being always-connected is part of a cultural milieu that has diverse implications not only for attention but also for the development of collective, spatial knowledge. Here, I situate the emergence of continuous connectivity in the marketing of handheld computers in the late-1990s, to historicize the importance of connection for understanding geospatial practices.

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Continuous connectivity, handheld computers, and mobile spatial knowledge

  1. 1. Continuous connectivity,handheld computers, andmobile spatial knowledgeMatthew W. Wilson, PhDAssistant Professor of GeographyNew Mappings CollaboratoryUniversity of Kentuckymatthew.w.wilson@uky.edu@wilsonism 18 March 2012
  2. 2. Matthew W. Wilson, PhD 2
  3. 3. Matthew W. Wilson, PhD 3 Mother Jones Magazine by meli66a, Flickr
  4. 4. closed-world cyborg Matthew W. Wilson, PhD 4 Mother Jones Magazine by meli66a, Flickr
  5. 5. closed-world cyborg Matthew W. Wilson, PhD 5 Mother Jones Magazine by meli66a, Flickr
  6. 6. hardware < > software automated programming personal  ubiquitous Matthew W. Wilson, PhD 6 DSAC by psd, Flickr
  7. 7. hardware < > software automated programming personal  ubiquitous Matthew W. Wilson, PhD 7 DSAC by psd, Flickr
  8. 8. hardware < > software automated programming personal  ubiquitous Matthew W. Wilson, PhD 8 DSAC by psd, Flickr
  9. 9. The body is raised to the level ofhardware – as the ‘mechanics’ thatunderlie the practice of computing –as that which makes mobile. Matthew W. Wilson, PhD 9
  10. 10. What does the future hold for thecalculator? In the midst of more powerfulcomputers that are being built smaller andsmaller, the calculator may change …Sometime in the future, computers mayevolve into calculators or calculators mayturn into computers.(Kim 1990: p. 62) Matthew W. Wilson, PhD 10 Commodore pocket calculator by farnea, Flickr
  11. 11. a problem-to-be-solved,a science-to-be-practiced,a nation-to-be-saved Matthew W. Wilson, PhD 11
  12. 12. ?a problem-to-be-solved,a science-to-be-practiced,a nation-to-be-saved portable, pen-based computing, for consumers. Matthew W. Wilson, PhD 12
  13. 13. continuous connectivity Matthew W. Wilson, PhD 13
  14. 14. continuous connectivity synchronization protocols and ergonomic, hand-based user-interface techniques design personal digital assistants, pen-based computing, handheld devices,technologies connection cradles, Bluetooth and wireless synchronization practices of mobile computer usage, always-connected devices, practices cloud-based computing experiences of brining computing with you, your computer desktop inexperiences your pocket, accessing the server farm from your hand visions of ubiquitous computing and wearable computing, of the fantasies fantasies of the smallest, most powerful, personal computer the language of connectivity and transferability, of devices that are languages globally distinct “The whole world in your hand”, “See the future in your hand”, metaphors “Where do you want to go today?” Matthew W. Wilson, PhD 14
  15. 15. connected mobility : the P D A Matthew W. Wilson, PhD 15
  16. 16. Matthew W. Wilson, PhD 16
  17. 17. In the Valley of Dreams The Zen of Palm Crossing the DesertThe Fight for Independence Sea Change Uncharted Waters Matthew W. Wilson, PhD 17
  18. 18. Matthew W. Wilson, PhD 18
  19. 19. Matthew W. Wilson, PhD 19
  20. 20. Palm Connect Matthew W. Wilson, PhD 20
  21. 21. Palm Connect Matthew W. Wilson, PhD 21
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  23. 23. Matthew W. Wilson, PhD 23
  24. 24. Matthew W. Wilson, PhD 24
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  26. 26. Matthew W. Wilson, PhD 26
  27. 27. Matthew W. Wilson, PhD 27
  28. 28. Matthew W. Wilson, PhD 28
  29. 29. Matthew W. Wilson, PhD 29
  30. 30. Matthew W. Wilson, PhD 30
  31. 31. Matthew W. Wilson, PhD 31
  32. 32. mobility < > connectivity Matthew W. Wilson, PhD 32
  33. 33. Matthew W. Wilson, PhD 33
  34. 34. histories of computing embodiment of technology imaginations of use Matthew W. Wilson, PhD 34
  35. 35. histories of computing embodiment of technology imaginations of use situating the geoweb Matthew W. Wilson, PhD 35
  36. 36. We need a renewed commitment to theGIS & Society agenda, to interrogate theconditions of technological developmentas these impact a society hungry forcompelling geospatial data. Matthew W. Wilson, PhD 36
  37. 37. Thank you.@wilsonism Matthew W. Wilson, PhD 37

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