John and I visited Helsinki to discuss specifications and possibilities for running a special Urban Tapestries as part of isea2004. Our aim was to explore the city and set up some dialogues to inspire the user scenarios we'll be designing as part of the experience.
Our hosts – Tapio, Hanna, Minna and Amanda – were wonderful and introduced us to some great aspects of the city, some of its exciting inhabitants, as well as the culinary delights! We returned armed with stunning treats and notebooks full of ideas for creating an Urban Tapestry that should be able to get at the nub of the city.
Having given a slew of presentations recently (at University of Surrey, The Public, Middlesex University, University of Westminster, BBCi and soon at Nokia Research Centre) I decided to use one of our other technologies (DIFFUSION eBooks) to collate and disseminate a synopsis of the project.
Download, print out and make up your Urban Tapestries eBook here.
Nick and I attended a talk and 'boot camp' on Place Lab at Intel Research Cambridge last Thursday, given by Anthony LaMarca of Intel Research Seattle. We were impressed with the vision and the software and hope to develop a collaboration with the PlaceLab team to integrate it into future versions of Urban Tapestries.
"Place Lab is an endeavor to enable a privacy-observant, planetary-scale positioning system that builds upon the increasing proliferation of 802.11 WiFi coverage in metropolitan areas as well as other cellular networking technologies. Unlike previous location systems, Place Lab is explicitly designed to be privacy-conscious and to work both indoors and outdoors without requiring significant deployment of customized hardware. A Place Lab client determines its location by passively listening for beacons emitted by 802.11 or other cellular access points and comparing them to (a cached copy of) a global location database which maps access point identifiers to latitude and longitude.
"Place Lab is an open, collaborative research project and has participants from Intel, University of Washington, University of California at San Diego, and elsewhere. We will discuss the Place Lab research agenda, describe the Place Lab toolkit and show a demonstration of the system at work. For more information visit www.placelab.org."