"The city itself is traditionally a
military weapon, and is a collective shield of plate armor, an extension
of the castle of our very skins. Before the huddle of the city, there
was the food gathering phase of man the hunter, even as men have now in
the electric age returned physically and socially to the nomadic state.
Now, however, it is called information gathering and data processing." Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media
Traditionally, the mapping of territory has been a form of visual knowledge generated by the military, but web-cartography applications have started to open up the practice of mapping for individuals. The Cartographic Command Centre is a forward command post that draws together a set of ideas on military conversion, locative media, and radio ecology in order to plot a map of the new networked data space surrounding us using public visualization and acoustic interfaces. The installation incorporates public participatory projects, such as FRIDA V. (Luka Frelih) and Bio Mapping (Christian Nold), creating geo-located data encoded to local maps of the city of Rotterdam, which people can navigate and annotate.
The Cartographic Command Centre consists of a space with three display areas, each presenting different locative media projects and free GIS applications such as GPD3D, path tracking, and GPS satellite monitor/WorldView. In the center of the room stands a movable terminal (with orientation tracking) that allows visitors to access and navigate a particular window. The mock military-style command-and-control center engages people in a technically stimulating environment to discover "locative space", depicting the relationship between the wireless mapping technologies on offer and issues of surveillance and control.
The data used for the web-cartography applications of the installation stem from different sources. Christian Nold's Bio Mapping system, for example, allows people to measure their Galvanic Skin Response (GSR), a simple indicator of emotional arousal, in conjunction with their geographical location. By sharing this information, the system can construct maps that visualize where a community feels stressed and excited. Frida V, on the other hand, is a bicycle equipped for the efficient exploration and mapping of public urban spaces. It carries a small computer, a GPS positioning device, an 802.11 wireless network transceiver and a basic audiovisual recording unit, creating location-tagged media through the streets of Rotterdam.
In the related Tactical Urban Map Hack workshop, the artists work together with the public to create open urban cartographic systems. The emergent and real-time data, integrating the content delivered by the workshop participants, will be consolidated in an online digital map that will be displayed live within the Cartographic Command Center.
Marc Tuters (CDN), Jaanis Garancs (LV), and Mobile Digital Commons Network (CA), in collaboration with: RIXC, Locative Media Lab, Projekt Atol PACT SYSTEMS, the Ljudmila Digital Media Lab and Govcom.org
Cartographic Command Centre by Tuters / Garancs (DEAF04) from V2_ on Vimeo.