The field trial of the Symbian UIQ smartphone version was completed in mid-July and we are now evaluating the results. Our participants completed 6 in depth questionnaires and we are analysing these as well as the content they created on the system and log files of their usage to build up a comprehensive picture of what, why and how they used the prototype over the month of the trial.
Proboscis is finalising a UT Flash Browser to allow the public to search the content added to the Urban Tapestries, and we are also experimenting with making an RSS feed(s) available to RSS aggregators to see the latest pockets and content added to the system. The next stage of development (Stage 3) will be focused on building a fully featured web interface to the system (as well as functionality enhancements). We are also collaborating with other partners on creative applications of UT for different purposes, opening up the UT APIs to third party developers to explore how it can interact with other systems and devices.
Dissemination & Reports
A new film exploring the issues of public authoring is underway, and we are currently preparing two reports: a general one summarising the research and outcomes up to the end of Stage 2 and a White Paper aimed at policymakers and industry. Proboscis will publish a special limited edition artists' publication taking a more playful and inspirational approach in late 2004/early 2005.
Forthcoming Creative Lab
Proboscis and the London School of Economics are hosting a one day Creative Lab and Bodystorming Experience on the broader social uses of public authoring in civil society on Thursday 23rd September. This event will bring together participants from a wide area of practices and agencies and provide an opportunity for Proboscis to demonstrate Urban Tapestries and investigate scenarios for its use in civil society.
Urban Tapestries will be included in the forthcoming Archilab exhibition in Lyons, France from October to December 2004. Visitors will be able to browse the system content from the recent trials via the Flash browser as well as view the many films and items of disseminations produced for the project.
The Social Tapestries experiments are slowly beginning to take shape: our first is with a school near Hull where we will be working with Year 7 students for the 2004/05 school year, introducing the practices and creative uses of knowledge mapping and public authoring to make core curriculum subjects directly relevant to their local environment. The experiment is being co-sponsored by Creative Partnerships Hull.
The second experiment takes the form of a Visiting Fellowship by Natalie Jeremijenko: Robotic Feral Public Authoring. The experiment will attempt to bridge Urban Tapestries' spatial annotation abilities with Natalie's re-configurations of toy robots for social activist uses such as pollution sensing. The Fellowship is being funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).
Proboscis is also in discussion with the Community Development Foundation with regard to designing an experiment looking at the issue of neighbourliness in social housing, and the potential of public authoring technologies like Urban Tapestries to create new modes of local knowledge creation and exchange, and its implications for community development.
The E-Government Bulletin features UT in July's issue. Exploring uses for UT in e-government is one of our aims in the Social Tapestries research programme – looking at ways in which local knowledge mapping and sharing can have a positive impact on communities and civil society.
Will Davies new report for the Work Foundation's iSociety research project, Proxicommunication ICT and the Local Public Realm features UT as one of the case studies. Will was one of the participants in our recent field trial.
Ant Evans at Cass Business School in City University (who participated in the first public trial in December 2003) has written an essay on: knowledge geography and the fourth place; some lessons for km from urban mediascapes.
The essay proposes spatial knowledge management systems as a 'fourth place', a kind of virtual place for making unexpected connections in the digital world.