More than just a matter of transport, the ways in which we move through the city affect what we know about it and the ‘mental maps’ we form. What might the visualization and sharing of these constantly changing, subjective, maps of the city bring about? What does Dublin look like through the eyes and movement of its inhabitants?

The aim of the second pilot stage of the prototype is to contribute to answering these questions, by opening up the experiment to anyone who is based in (or moves a lot around) Dublin City Centre. Being only a pilot study, it needed an area to focus on in order to test the concept. The focus area is within the canals (Grand Canal and Royal Canal), and between Heuston Station/Phoenix Park and The Point/Dublin Port. The testing period is Saturday, 24 November and Sunday, 9 December.

If you are interested in the questions posed by this project, in your urban environment and in improving walking experiences in the city centre, please feel free to take part in this project!

To find out more about how to take part and the prizes involved, please email:

 mobilecityscapes(at)gmail(dot)com

 

 

 

Our first mobile scape, created by the movement of those who took part in the project till now and some of their impressions of the city.

We’ve got few more ideas on adding other layers, including soundscapes, colourscapes and maybe even feelingscapes of the city’s streets.

And as always, we’re open to your suggestions!

Thanks Tim!

During Interactivos?’12 workshop, the team focused on the development of an online platform as a way to engage the public in discussing and sharing their experiences of walking in the city. The prototype – InfiniteCity – facilitates the creation of new, alternative maps of the city. These maps are drawn by its inhabitants through tracing their walking routes and annotating them with their experiences – whether comments, photos, or sound recordings.

This prototype is the first step in initiating a two-way communication process:

  • It offers the opportunity for creating communities of city inhabitants who enjoy walking or wish to re-appropriate the city for walkers; using the platform, they can discuss spaces within the city that they consider interesting or with potential.
  • It could become a channel of communicating what those sites of interest are between city inhabitants and City Council members, who may use the application. The application in its current form has the potential to crowdsource such sites, which may traditionally lie outside formal, commercial and city council urban development plans. In this way, InfiniteCity opens up areas of the city that may currently be neglected by more formal planning and policy procedures.

The prototype will be available for testing throughout the remaining part of Hack the City exhibition, finishing on September 7th, 2012. All visitors to the Science Gallery are invited to contribute by walking in the marked area, mapping their tracks and sending us their comments and suggestions for improvements.

Contributions are invaluable for the development of the platform!

After an early afternoon spent cooking with CoCook in the docklands, the last day of Dublin Interactivos´?12 workshop continued with an evaluation session. All participants (mentors, advisers, collaborators and project developers) spoke one by one about their experiences during the workshop, together with suggestions for improvements of future Interactivos workshops.

After the feedback session, the day ended with goodbye drinks in the Pavilion Pub, in Trinity College…

The entire experiences was great – socially and as a learning opportunity – and hopefully we’ll all meet again sometime in the future!

Here are few photos from the Interactivos?12 launch:

The Science Gallery opened at 8am, and Gabriela decided to go in early. On the way, she took a few more photos of the area to be included in the video.  Teresa Dillon had sent new feedback on the info sheet, so Corelia from home and Gabriela in the Science Gallery started doing the changes.

Gabriela sent Alan Ryan a revised timeline for the video and the additional images and had a phone conversation with him to iron out the details.

The info sheet edited by Corelia and Gabriela was then revised by Christine to make sure the language was accessible enough for the Science Gallery mediators and for the visitors. We then sent it to  Teresa for a final check.

A new draft version of the video prototype arrived shortly after 1 pm. Minor changes were suggested (mainly in the text used) and Alan in Limerick started a new round of editing. The (almost) final video was received at 4pm and Gabriela brought it to the exhibition space to be tried out on the big screen. Alan made the last edits (there were 3 visualization of trails included, and we decided to keep one only), and the final copy was transferred to the computer in the exhibition at around 5pm.

Corelia and Gabriela designed a map handout for the exhibition, to encourage the public to go for a walk even if they didn’t have a smart phone. Christine produced a great-looking handout based on this initial design.

Tim Redfern continued working on the interactive map for the exhibition.

Max Kazemzadeh worked with us for most of the day to design the part of the demo that was going to run on an Android tablet in the exhibition, using App Inventor. We ran into all kind of problems – the tablet stand needed to be adjusted to the landscape format for which the map had been designed. Although the App Inventor made it easy to include Facebook, Twitter and Youtube on the menu, these options had to be removed in the end, because they were not working as planned. As we only noticed this after the tablet was locked on its stand, we had to search for the person with the key to be able to make the changes on the tablet.

Eulalia put the last touches on the documentation we had to upload to StudioLab, selecting various materials from the huge amount we collected.

Alessio installed the trails visualization on the computer that was allocated to us in the exhibition space.

As the space at the end of the first floor was going to host another event in the afternoon, everybody had to move from there to Studio 2(where we were) and Studio 1.

There was a lot of video shooting and photo taking during the day; we were video-ed at work, the coordinators were invited to record a short sequence about the project and in the end,the collaborators had to go in front of the camera as well.

At about 5:30pm everything was ready for the launch and we started packing our things and cleaning the studio. There was another event taking place upstairs, so a lot of people came through the doors. A big screen was placed on the side of our exhibition space, showing images from different phases of the Interactivos? workshop.

The launch of the exhibition was really successful – a lot of people came to talk to us! They loved the idea, some of them had suggestions, pointed out the potential problems and generally appreciated our work.

We must give a special mention to the fantastic people who work in the Science Gallery: they were always helpful and responsive, even in the maddest moments! They are a fantastic team and nothing could have happened without them!

During the first part of the morning, Corelia, Alessio and Christine worked in the workshop space on the ground floor, choosing a set of photos to be included in the reel for the big screen, presenting both our walks and some of the points of interest. Gabriela and Eulalia collaborated on editing the wiki page created for us on the StudioLab website. In paralel, we continued to work on the Information sheet for the gallery, as some of the content was overlapping.

As the space needed to be vacated so that the preparations for the exhibition could start, we moved upstairs in Studio 2. Corelia finished with the selection and ordering of photos and put them on Google Drive for Alan to pick them up. Alessio encountered problems with the animation, as the software started misbehaving when more data was added to the existing set, but finally he was able to upload the animation to the same drive for Alan.

Eulalia went on to select audio sequences that could be attached to specific points on the trail in order to add them to the demo we were working on.

She was working in the big space at the end of the first floor, and we had a peak at what other teams were doing:

Tim Redfern worked all day with us trying to render a demo map with clickable photos. Corelia and Alessio uploaded the photos and comments to the database.

At 4pm, Alan sent a first version of the video. Gabriela watched it first and thought the video was misleading regarding the prototype. The fact that one had to first contribute before he can have a peak at trails that other users uploaded didn’t come across clearly. As it was impossible to show it to the whole group (everyone was working on something that was urgent), she checked it with Christine, who was very negative about it. They started thinking about replacing the video with a longer sequence of photos.

Gabriela also showed the video to Teresa, who was more positive about it. They also discussed the information sheet that needed some changes. As John Lynch was also working in Studio 2, Gabriela asked for his opinion as well. He was really supportive and thought the video was suggestive, and with appropriate cuts and changes could become part of the exhibition. He also offered to do the edits if necessary.

Gabriela started rewriting the video timeline, thinking of alternative solutions and of video material that needed to be added to make the video more suggestive. We all worked until late, trying to get as much as possible done before the day of the exhibition.

Our poster arrived from the printer. It looked good – we also took a photo and posted it on Facebook and Twitter:

Kathryn took responsibility for arranging the exhibition space. She came up with a concept for the hexagons in the exhibition space, and took care of  printing, cutting and displaying suggestive words, images and colours related to the project.