Neocartographers and the Ego-Centric Map

Neocartographers and the Ego-Centric Map
Allison Mooney
  • 21 march 2008

When was the last time you actually unfolded a map? Odds are you just pull up Google Maps/Mapquest/Hopstop or check your GPS-enabled phone/car for the right path. These new technologies and tools are changing our relationship with the world around us, putting us at the center.

“We no longer go to maps to find out where we are. Instead, we tell maps where we are and they form around us on the fly,” says Jessica Clark in an In These Times article. The ubiquity of technologies such as GPS, mobile directional devices, interactive mapping tools and social networks is feeding a mapping boom, she says. Thanks mostly to Google Earth mashups, maps are being democratized, generating possibilities for self-expression and social action. Some examples:

  • Greenmap Systems engages local teams to chart their communities’ natural and green living landmarks, including farmers markets and fair trade shops.
  • “Locative artists” are attaching virtual installations to specific locales, generating imaginary landscapes. This also brings to mind Virtual Worlds like Second Life and Chipuya Town, a mobile social network that mimics Tokyo’s shopping and entertainment Shibuya district.
  • DIY mappers are walking or cycling routes while carrying a GPS tracker, and then uploading the results online. These amateur geographers often organize “mapping parties.” (Perhaps Stavros, Nokia’s “Position Art Genius” should join!)

A few more interesting initiatives include Who Is Sick?, We Feel Fine, OpenStreetMap, Doctors of the World, Visual Complexity, and Linkfluence’s Presidential Watch 08 Map. There are hundreds of these “neocartographers.” Make that thousands: any one of us can map our “ego network” thanks to a simple Facebook App.

All of the new information being added to maps may eventually create an “augmented reality” in which “layers” of information are available to us as we walk down the street. Indeed, maps are no longer just practical, they are personal, expressive, social, artistic, and– some would say–Big Brother spooky.

[via In These Times]


Why The Apple Watch Is Taking Foot In The Restaurant Industry

Fashion Today

Scientists Have Developed A Furry Wetsuit Material Inspired By Beavers

MIT researchers created the lighter and warmer fabric to maximize speed in the water and to keep swimmers dry

Automotive Today

Toyota FCV Plus Is A Hydrogen Power Station On Wheels

The concept explores the intersection of mobility and resource sharing


Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Technology Today

Coca-Cola Has Created A Custom Gaming PC

Maingear developed a computer featuring a fully functional coke bottle water-cooling reservoir

Social Media Today

Chipotle’s New Weekly Show Broadcasts Over Snapchat

The Mexican fast food brand is trying to build goodwill with high school and college students through the social media platform

Related Expert

Eric Ryan

Style & Substance Entrepreneur

Media & Publishing Today

The NBA Is Filming Live Games With A Special Camera Just For Your Phone

Subscribers to League Pass can now access a feature called Mobile View, which is shot to be optimized for phones and tablets

AI Today

Film Touchingly Portrays The Challenge Of Relying On AI To Combat Loneliness

Director David Wilson takes viewers on a journey of the benefits and ultimate deficiencies of replacing human interaction with robots

Travel Today

Delta Lets Flyers Track Their Luggage From The Airplane To The Airport

The airline's new app allows customers to see exactly where their baggage is throughout their journey


Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry

PSFK Op-Ed Yesterday

General Electric: Lighting’s Impact On Sleep Is More Than The Off Switch

Jeff Patton, General Manager of Connected Home Products at GE Lighting, uncovers how lighting technologies can affect our sleep cycles

PSFK Labs october 25, 2016

The Keys For Exceptional Performance On And Off The Field

PSFK Labs' new report highlights five important insights for businesses to perform better than the competition

Food Today

Chef Turns Invasive Species Into Delicious Sushi

Creator Bun Lai is adapting strange new ingredients for his menu, which responds to the ecological impact of overabundant creatures in the local environment

Gaming & Play Today

Build Your Own Subway System In This Minimalist Game

Mini Metro lets you design your own fully functional transit network, simulating the flow of urban commuters with pared-down visuals

Work Today

Keyboard Designed To Help Women Use More Assertive Language

The device is a commentary on gender roles in the workplace, and features easy access to "power verbs" that help reinforce a habit of being direct in writing

Arts & Culture Today

Spanish Artist Dreams Up What Animals Would Look Like In Modern Clothing

Yago Partal's portraits depict the fantasized style preferences of creatures worldwide, from an Arctic wolf to a zebra

Fitness & Sport Today

New Data Technologies Make Hyper-Personalized Training A Reality

The Sports Debrief from PSFK Labs looks at how analytics tools are being developed to optimize human performance across all industries

Entertainment Today

IBM Watson Helps Grammy-Winning Producer Craft An EP

The computer system's data technology generated musical scores for Alex Da Kid's first solo project

Travel Yesterday

30-Year-Old Photographs Used As Travel Guides

A new photo series revolves around tracing the origins of images from the past

Children Yesterday

IKEA Is Letting Kids Design Its New Line Of Toys

The products are taken from fanciful drawings that showcase the imagination of those who use it most

No search results found.