Sunday, May 21, 2006

Everywhere Media

Blogging is everywhere. No need to retire to your home office or computer lab to post pics. This new application called Radar allows users to post and comment on pictures directly from their cell phones. The tag line is "Share what you do, while you do it, with the people who matter most." This is reflecting and networking in real time. Designed for urban users on the go, this kind of application suggests an intimate relationship between urban space and the process of mediating it.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Is Boston an Ephemeral City?

Just when you think you know how Boston's urbanism should work, along comes a convincing argument that the city might just benefit from its ephemerality. From Joel Kotkin's book The City: A Global History, this article from the Boston Globe describes the precarious position of urbanism.

The danger, to Kotkin, is not only that vibrant cities like San Francisco will turn ephemeral, but that distressed cities will try in vain to follow the same path. Kotkin calls current efforts to jump-start Detroit and Cleveland through such a culture-centered strategy a fool's errand. Their comeback, he says, hinges on the much tougher, back-to-basics challenge of delivering good city services, including schools that will make them viable places to raise children for those who have other choices. ''There aren't enough yuppies to save Detroit," he said in a recent interview. But are there enough to save Boston?

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Google Map Mania

Google Maps has made it possible to mash-up any set of data with a dynamic map. Google Map Mania is a blog that keeps track of this phenomenon as it grows. There are countless happy hackers out there that are taking great joy in making everything cartographically visible. You can find mash-ups of The Sopranos and Google Maps, The New York Times and Google Maps, Hot or Not and Google Maps. The list goes on. So, take about a dozen hours, sit back, relax and enjoy the new map-o-vision.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Urban Representations

Northwestern hosted an Urban Representations conference this past weekend. Really it was a collection of invited speakers but I figured I'd post a link so y'all can see that others are starting to think more seriously about urban communication.



Sometimes surveillance can be fascinating. Picking up one of the more troubling aspects of urban living, cityTV questions who does the looking.

Inherent in the theology was the notion of eliminating the distance between the media-mouth and the community with which it was conversing. The camera wouldn't act merely as a spectator; instead it would be integrated into the actions and reactions it set out to cover. One variation of that is the use of other cameras to shoot the shooters. During the live CityPulse newscast, it isn't uncommon to have a Steadicam roam the room, tracking the movements of the studio cameras shooting the show. And among the one-person, eyes- ears-mouth-and-brain units known as VideoGraphers, a frequent accessory is a second Hi-8 camera provided to the story subject, so that he or she can record the recording. Citytv's assumption: Process could be at least as interesting as programming.