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Urban Informatics: The Internet, locative media and mobile technology for urbanites

15 Aug 2007

Cities are exciting. Cities are buzzing. They are alive with movement. A rapid flow of exchange is facilitated by a meshwork of infrastructure connections: road systems, building complexes, information and communication technology and people networks. In this environment, the Internet has advanced to become the prime communication medium that connects many threads across the fabric of urban life.

The increasing ubiquity of Internet services and applications has led many scholars to question the dichotomy between cyberspace and real space. New media and information and communication technology afford an increasingly seamless transition between mediated and unmediated forms of interaction.

Driven by curiosity, initiative and interdisciplinary exchange, ‘urban informatics’ is an emerging cluster of people interested in research and development at the intersection of people, place and technology with a focus on cities, locative media and mobile technology.

In this presentation Dr Marcus Foth provides an overview of the urban informatics research questions and projects which the ‘New Media in the Urban Village’ team in the Creative Industries Faculty at Queensland University of Technology (Brisbane, Australia), are currently working on. Funded by government and industry, some of the projects are exploring the communicative ecology of urban residents, community engagement using public history and digital storytelling, and social navigation for mobile urban information systems.