Week – 9 ROLE OF DRONES IN INCREASING DIGITAL CITIES MEDIA CULTURE

DRONES TECHNOLOGY IN RWANDA, AFRICA

Rwanda is a rural country and thus blood products and medical facilities cannot be kept at every health care centre that increased attraction of Africa towards Drone Technology. In Rwanda, Africa the unnamed aerial vehicles are used for transporting medical equipment and essentials within the country for ensuring proper healthcare facilities (Flood, 2016).

Roles and responsibilities of drones

The major role of drones in Rwanda is the delivery of medical services and equipment which are essential for securing and saving people’s life. Due to lack of infrastructure and road facilities, the drone plays a crucial role in transporting medical products and equipment to the healthcare centre within less time utilization (Flood, 2016)

Figure: Drones deliver- Health care  Source: (Trucker, 2020)

Future developments in drown

Rwanda wants to make the drone as a supplementary transport system that contributes to facilitating the country with medical services. The aim is to establish 18 ports on the National Network for Rwanda with less capital investment. The project has consumed $70,000 for building low-tech, steel free structure till May 2016 (Flood, 2016).

SWISS POST DRONE TECHNOLOGY SERVICES

Development and deployment of drones are at the forefront for logistics in Swiss port since 2015. The drones are responsible for transporting special healthcare deliveries in the corporation in various regions of Switzerland (Corrigan, 2019)

Figure: Swiss Port Drone  –Source: (Corrigan, 2019)

 

CHINA’S DRONE DELIVERY SERVICE

In 2018, JD.com has become the first company in China to secure a license for providing logistics services with the operation of drones. The operation contributed to making deliveries in challenging areas that increased the business and popularity of the company in the world (Corrigan, 2019).   

REFERENCES

Corrigan, F., 2019. DroneZone. (Online) Available at; https://www.dronezon.com/drones-for-good/drone-parcel-pizza-delivery-service/ (Accessed on 1st April 2020).

Flood, Z., 2016. From Killing Machines to Agents of Hope: The Future of Drones in Africa. (Online) Available at; https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jul/27/africas-drone-rwanda-zipline-kenya-kruger (Accessed on 1st April 2020).

Hersh, M., 2019. Learning and Teaching Medicine in Rwanda. (online) Available at; https://scopeblog.stanford.edu/2019/11/13/learning-and-teaching-medicine-in-rwanda-part-ii/ (Accessed on 1st April 2020).

Trucker, J., 2020. Drones Deliver Healthcare. (Online) Available at; https://www.dronesinhealthcare.com/ (Accessed on 1st April 2020).

 

WEEK – 8 POKÉMON GO

In this modern age, I have identified different types of games and application which are interesting to play with friends and also make more enjoyment. Talking about Pokémon Go, my experience with this game was marvelous and adventurous. This game is for both android and IOS and when I have installed this application on my mobile phone, I don’t know about this game, how to play and find Pokémon. After installing this game I found there is some briefing about the process and getting an introduction, it is required to select one of the starters among three Pokémon’s which are (Charmander, Squirtle, or Bulbasaur) (Fettrow and Ross, 2017). The whole game is based on these three processing which is catching Pokémon, visiting Pokéstops, and gym battles, where the main process of this game is to find Pokémon and catch them from different locations which sound more interesting. We have to find different Pokémon’s from different locations.

 

A Pokémon catching is interesting process where you have to walk different locations as mention in your mobile phone in the mapping direction and tab on the Pokémon which directly connected to you with catching interface. There is a more advance process through the indication of the colorful ring surrounding of Pokémon and which are describing through different levels. Red reflects difficulty levels, yellow for moderate and green reflects an easy level of catching a Pokémon.

 

Pokestops reflexing the local location where Pokémon exists and it is an interesting process of battle with finding Pokémon to catch it. The gym is also an important part of the game, it helps to train your Pokémon and provide XP, extra power to you Pokémon to fight more efficiently against your competitors. Tap on the enemy Pokémon and decide how effectively you want to fight, here I customize the process of battling by light and hard mode (LeBlanc and Chaput, 2017).

 

REFERENCES

Fettrow, E.A.W. and Ross, D., 2017. Games as a Force for Good: Strategies for Incorporating Pokémon Go in the Classroom. Kentucky Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance18.

LeBlanc, A.G. and Chaput, J.P., 2017. Pokémon Go: a game changer for the physical inactivity crisis?. Preventive medicine101, pp.235-237.

Week 9: Drones

My case study is the incident in December 2018 of multiple drone sightings over the runway at Gatwick Airport, West Sussex, which grounded over 1,000 flights and disrupted over 140,000 passengers over a 2-day period. (BBC News, 2019)

Jensen (2016) presents the six dimensions of surveillance, two of which are particularly relevant to this case study. As the authorities are still unclear as to who was responsible for the incident (or the details have not been made publicly available) Dimension 5: Drone Surveillance is being excluded. More applicable is Dimension 2: Eyes on the Street (2016: 72).

This dimension is relevant as most of the drone sighting reports came from members of the public, over 100 of which were from “credible witnesses” (BBC News, 2019). There was no other line of enquiry, not even a photograph of the drones as they were small and moved quickly. Thus, in this instance, it is “engaged citizens” (2016: 72) who are providing the surveillance on behalf of the state, which is a more traditional form of surveillance but relevant as drones are still an unfamiliar sight in our landscape. Previously, surveillance technologies such as CCTV, relied on being attached to a building, object such as a car, or even a mobile phone carried by a person. Now, the “proximity-connectivity nexus” is being “stretched” (2016: 70) by technologies entering the empty spaces in our environment and, as we can see from emerging news bulletins, the public are yet to become familiar with the sight of drones in the air around them.

This leads me to the next of Jensen’s concepts, that of “volumetric thinking” (2016: 71) which is what architects and designers are leaning towards: “The drones in fact articulate the need for further three-dimensional understanding of cities, since many planners have perceived the city by and large on a two-dimensional surface.” (2016: 70). This includes planning and considering the space around the buildings and landscape, which, since December 2018, Gatwick Airport has enforced:

Gatwick Airport not has a flight restriction on drones 5km around the airport, and drones cannot be flown higher than 400ft in the air. Both are offences punishable by fines and up to 5 years in prison. This is an example of Jensen’s “volumetric thinking” in which “the voids and volumes in-between buildings become subject of a new special imagination.” (2016: 71) In my opinion, the next ten years will see an increase in this kind of spacial policing, around airports, public and private spaces and buildings. It will also see an increase in criminal and propriety legislation written into contracts about the use of drones in certain areas.

 

BBC News. ‘Gatwick Airport drone attack: Police have no lines of enquiry’ <https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-sussex-49846450 > accessed 02/04/2020

Gatwick Airport. ‘Drone Safety’ <https://www.gatwickairport.com/business-community/aircraft-noise-airspace/airspace/drone-safety/ > accessed 02/04/2020

Jensen, O. (2016) ‘Drone city – power, design and aerial mobility in the age of “Smart Cities”’ Geographica Helvetica issue 71, pp 67-75.

 

 

 

Week 9 – Drones (Miriam Harvey)

When the MJM20 course leaders designed this course, and posed questions for Week 9’s drone topic such as “Have you seen video footage from a drone? Why are drones so popular as present?” (Sourbati, 2019) it is unlikely that the use of drones to fight Covid-19 was anticipated. Drones have recently been used by police forces in a number of countries to enforce the new social distancing and isolation rules.

My case study for this week is Derbyshire Police’s (2020) Twitter post which included an annotated drone footage of unwanted visitors to the Peak District, during a public health lockdown period (see figure 1). This Twitter post was widely reported by news media (eg BBC, 2020; Pidd and Dodd, 2020; ITV, 2020). The remote location of the Peak District should be noted in this case because while surveillance cameras are standard fixtures in urban spaces, they have not previously been associated with the open countryside. A point for consideration is whether the drone, as used by Derbyshire Police, extended the boundaries of the digital city.

Twitter post by Derbyshire Police

Figure 1: @DerbysPolice Twitter post, 26 March 2020 [screenshot taken 28 March 2020]
https://twitter.com/DerbysPolice/status/1243168931503882241?s=20

Jensen (2016:71-72) proposes that there are six dimensions of surveillance, two of which are illustrated in this case study. Jensen’s first dimension is “Copresent humans” where humans watch humans, with the example given being police officers watching citizens. In the Derbyshire Police example, the drone is operated by police officers and the citizens being filmed by the drone would probably have been aware of a drone flying near them. However the viewing position would not have been “from the same vertical position”, as the drone footage clearly shows the camera angle looking down on the people and their cars. The position of the drone above the people is a position of power for the drone.

Jensen’s (2016:72) fifth dimension “Drone surveillance” highlights that drones “represent a mobile tracking and surveillance scenario, creating a very versatile and situational flexible surveillance system”. As noted above, this versatility extended the reach of police activity outside of what might have been considered the boundaries of the city. In his conclusion, Jensen (2016:73) poses some pertinent questions:

“What happens with our cities if the fifth dimension of surveillance becomes institutionalised as a standard operation procedure of surveillance? Seen from the point of view of the state apparatus, this means new and unseen potential for crowd control and surveillance. Seen from the point of view of the citizen, this means the end of public space as we know it.”

The question that I think was missing in Jensen’s paper was about the use of the drone surveillance footage after it was captured. Jensen focuses on the scene when the drone is operated, but as demonstrated by the Derbyshire Police Twitter post, the sharing and resharing of the annotated video succeeded in reaching a much wider audience and challenged the notion of public spaces and the perceived freedoms in such spaces.

 

References

BBC (2020). Coronavirus: Peak District drone police criticised for ‘lockdown shaming’. BBC, 27 March. Retrieved from https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-derbyshire-52055201

Derbyshire Police (2020) @DerbysPolice Twitter post 26 March. Retrieved from: https://twitter.com/DerbysPolice/status/1243168931503882241?s=20 [accessed 28 March 2020]

ITV (2020). Derbyshire Police post video shaming people for breaching lockdown rules. ITV, 26 March. Retrieved from https://www.itv.com/news/calendar/2020-03-26/derbyshire-police-post-video-shaming-people-for-breaching-lockdown-rules/

Jensen, O.B., (2016) Drone city – power, design and aerial mobility in the age of “smart cities.” Geographica Helvetica, 71(67–75), pp.66–75, Denmark

Pidd, H. and Dodd, V. (2020). UK police use drones and roadblocks to enforce lockdown. Guardian, 26 March. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/26/uk-police-use-drones-and-roadblocks-to-enforce-lockdown

Sourbati, M. (2019). ‘MJM20 Digital Cities Module Handbook – 2019/20’, University of Brighton School of Media, Brighton

Week 8: Digital Urban Gaming

I interviewed my friend, female, mid-20s who works in digital marketing and lives in Berlin. She did her undergraduate degree in Brighton and moved here from south Germany to do so, before moving to Berlin for work. Having experienced new urban environments, both in different countries and cities, I wondered if Pokémon GO! As a locative interaction was used to “promote discovery and use of spaces” or “a method of narrative feedback for players providing a voice for comment on their local area.” (Foth, Hudson-Smith, Gifford 21-22: 2016)

It was clear from her comments that, despite what the reading suggested, for my friend the use of the game was a “dichotomy” between ‘offline’ and ‘online’ worlds. (11: 2016) “I feel like I paid less attention to whatever was going on around me” she says, when describing her experience of playing Pokémon GO! “For me, once I got familiar with my space, I decided that I’m not going to pay attention to my surroundings too much. If it’s an area that I’m not familiar with, I would not use Pokémon GO!” This contradicts the theories that location-based games (or, at least, Pokémon GO!) can be used by players to become more engaged with their environment and gain ‘civic capital’. (15: 2016)

My friend’s experience falls more in line with Hjorth & Richardson (2017) suggesting that Pokémon GO! Is “manifestly ambient […] embedded in our daily routines.” (5: 2017) She says: “I guess a lot of it had to do with routine tasks, useless tasks, walking to the train station, walking to dinner […] that tend to be boring, but you make it fun.” Interestingly, my friend spoke not of her surroundings or her location but how she used the game “to bridge time, getting from A to B […] time went by faster when you played it, once you are familiar with the space.” The game was used more to change my friend’s experience with the time that it took to pass through urban space.

I revisit Foth, Hudson-Smith and Gifford who opened their paper: “top down deployment of these large and proprietary technology platforms may fail without a thorough understanding of the socio-cultural nuances of how people navigate and negotiate different urban environments.” (3: 2016) After speaking with my friend and knowing the success of Pokémon GO! It could be concluded that the makers of Pokémon GO! Have a thorough understanding of these nuances, but these nuances may, for the most part, have little to do with encouraging players to interact with and ‘experience’ their surroundings.

 

Foth, M. Hudson-Smith, A. Gifford, D. 2016. ‘Smart cities, social capital, and citizens at play: a critique and a way forward’ Research Handbook on Digital Transformations Edward Elgar Publishing ltd.

Hjorth, L. Richardson, I. 2017. ‘Pokémon Go: Mobile media play, place-making, and the digital wayfarer.’ Mobile Media & Communication Vol. 5 Issue 1, pp 3-14.

Week 6: City Dashboards and Open Data

According to Kitchin et al. (2015, p. 12), “the power of indicators, benchmarking and dashboards is that they reveal in detail and very clearly the state of play of cities.” Thanks to this power, people can get to know their city by the visualization and analysis made from the data. Indicators can be used to track the change of specific phenomenon. They are usually integrated with another index to provide the view for the whole contexts. In terms of cities, indicators serve as an instrument to gauge the cities’ performance. This is often illustrated by the charts of maps and can provide some forecast for the future trend. The indicator data is very helpful for the bodies to monitor and evaluate the efficiency of urban services and policy. This can also supports them to manage and govern the cities. There are two approaches for the cities to use these kinds of data. The first one is that they promote democracy and accountability and the second is that they enforce regulation to develop effectiveness.

The agenda generated by United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) has pointed out that the indicators of sustainable development should be fostered for the officials to reach wise decision in terms of protecting environment and promoting economic at the same time. Following this, city officials and citizens’ community should figure out and invent the indicator data that suffice the needs of their areas.

Data analysis is involved in 11 fields of activities run by local officials. One area is for opening government, which means data is made to be transparent for those who require Freedom of Information policy in the North of England. Another field supported by data analytics is the transformation of public service in Newcastle. Thanks to this, social workers can keep track of the changes in children’s social care services and cope with complicated family needs in a better way. Beside this, “Leeds’s Innovation Labs provide a space for local developers to experiment with open data sets to solve social problems, and develop viable new products and services.” (Symons, 2016, p.7)

 

References:

 

Brighton & Hove City Council. ‘Brighton & Hove Community Insight’ <https://brighton-hove.communityinsight.org/map/>

Kitchin, R. Lauriault, T. & McArdle, G. 2015. ‘Knowing and governing cities through urban indicators, city benchmarking and real-time dashboards’ Regional Studies, Regional Science, vol 2 issue 1, pp 6-28.

Symons, T. 2016. Wise Council: Insights from the cutting-edge of data-driven local government. London, Local Government Association.

 

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Week -6 City Dashboards & Open Data

Dashboards

Dashboards are information management tools that are used to track the performances and other key data points relevant to a business, department processes. Through the applications of data visualizations, dashboards ease complex traffic data to provide road users with a glance awareness of current performance.

The use of dashboards to collect, analyze and display data in numerous ways in cities

City dashboards have drawn accumulative interest from both city workers and inhabitants. Dashboards have the capability of gathering, visualizing, analyzing and informing the local performance to support the viable growth of smart metropolises. Dashboards, therefore, provide expedient implements for assessing and enabling urban setup constituents and services. Dashboards provide a goal view of performance metrics and serve as an effective foundation for further dialogue. Moreover, the business aptitude tool is used to show data imaginings in a manner that if easily and closely understood.

The use of dashboards in measuring and monitoring

Geospatial dashboards offer fine grained measurements by providing views and factors driving the metrics. Dozens of cameras measure the nature of traffic that is moving in any given place in the city. The dashboard system provides an overview of the nature of commercial transport that is active in any given sector (Kitchin and McArdle, 119). The dashboard also provides the impact of transportation on air quality. Moreover, the dashboard provides the managers with an overview of how to keep the city clean and livable.

The use of data visualizations

Data visualization takes facts and converts them to visual context. Data visualizations convert data and make the information comprehensible for the human to detect outlines, movements, and outliers in clusters of data. Therefore, data visualization is important for maintaining and managing traffic from a central place. Data visualizations help in addressing the multivariate nature of spatiotemporal urban mobility data (Hui, 137). Furthermore, data visualization supports the analytical tasks of domain experts in the transport industry.

The kind of data used in visualizations is spatiotemporal data. This kind of data helps traffic managers to have a global understanding of urban traffic status in the level of a reading system. Spatiotemporal data, therefore, is useful in traffic regulation and route management.

Role of open data

Open data helps create smart cities through the provision of sustainable and efficient growth. The openness and availability of data create transparency to the administrations thus allowing greater creativity by the stakeholders to seek and develop traffic solutions.

Political and commercial agendas in artificial intelligence sites.

Artificial intelligence has been used by the government to access its transport and mobility services. Administrations have been adopting both the legislative and non-legislative initiatives in the field of AI. AI is potential purpose expertise which provides tremendous opportunities in the transportation industries and other fields. concisely, AI has substantial risks such as labor displacement, strategic instability as well as sacrificing safety and other transport values to the technology (Leszczynski 1703).

 

 

Reference Cited

Hui, Eric G. “Data Visualizations.” Learn R for Applied Statistics, 2018, pp. 129-172.

Kitchin, Rob, and Gavin McArdle. “Urban data and city dashboards.” Data and the City, 2017, pp. 111-126.

Leszczynski, A. “Speculative futures: Cities, data, and governance beyond smart urbanism.” Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space, vol. 48, no. 9, 2016, pp. 1691-1708, doi:10.1177/0308518×16651445.

 

Week 6: City Dashboards and Open Data

Open Data is the idea that data, mostly data about people and the movement of capital, can and should be collected and shared among companies, groups and individuals for the benefit of wider society. Open Data is based on the belief that accurate, relevant and plentiful data should be easily available for a variety of uses. The Open Data Institute teaches ethical and innovative ways of collecting data, primarily for business use, but it is also encourages smaller groups and individuals to use the data pools also. To quote their website: “We work with companies and governments to build an open, trustworthy data ecosystem.”

I have chosen the Brighton & Hove Community Insight dashboard for my case study. Kitchin et al. argue that city dashboards, “rather than reflecting cities, actively frame and produce them.” (2015: 6) This can be problematic for open data sources. The Brighton & Hove Community Insight dashboard has little transparency on where the data comes from, and difficult to tell if it is updated monthly as it claims. There is no consistency to how the data is presented.

As you change the filters on the city dashboard, the way the data is presented varies wildly. Under ‘communities and environment’, the communities are described in a euphemistic and journalistic tone.

‘indices of deprivation’ clearly comes from a different data source, is more specific and scientific.

City dashboards, as Kitchin argues, are often “assumed to have no inherent politics or ulterior agenda and can be taken at face value.” (2015: 16) When open data is presented in the way it is here, inconsistent and journalistic in tone, the data can be interpreted as face value. Frameworks and actions taken by decision-makers are then re-produced, meaning the inconsistent, journalistic and ultimately biased data is re-produced and re-presented through other indicators, benchmarks and dashboards.

Symons (2016) explores how councils are collecting data on citizens through mobile apps, third party data, social media and low-cost sensors. One example is in Bristol City Council, who are collecting data on damp in houses through ‘Frog Boxes’.

a politically charged frog box

Although the reasoning given for increasing data collection across councils resonates with that of the Open Data Institute and cities who run a city dashboard, the results for the citizens themselves are framed differently. The data collected by ‘Frog Boxes’ aims to “help them solve identified issues of damp and challenge landlords to take action” which empowers residents with data and knowledge to assert their rights as tenants, but also to “give residents the ability and tools needed to fix problems themselves, rather than be reliant on the council.” (2016: 28)

The second point suggests a political ideology that moves responsibility of social housing maintenance away from the state and on to the individual, whatever their circumstance or the state of the building they are renting. The data collected by the council is, as Kitchin illustrates, “full of values and judgements shaped by a range of views and contexts.” (2015: 18)

 

Brighton & Hove City Council. ‘Brighton & Hove Community Insight’ <https://brighton-hove.communityinsight.org/map/> accessed 11/03/2020

Kitchin, R. Lauriault, T. & McArdle, G. 2015. ‘Knowing and governing cities through urban indicators, city benchmarking and real-time dashboards’ Regional Studies, Regional Science, vol 2 issue 1, pp 6-28.

Symons, T. 2016. Wise Council: Insights from the cutting-edge of data-driven local government. London, Local Government Association.

Week 6 – City Dashboards & Open Data (Miriam Harvey)

This week’s topic explores how cities use ‘dashboards’ to collect, analyse and display data in various ways.

Kitchen et al (2015: 6-7) set the scene:

“Since the early 20th century, social and economic indicators, such as unemployment rate [and] inflation […] have been used by governments to assess how a nation is performing (Godin, 2003). Likewise, in the post-Second World War era, many supranational agencies […]  measure, collate, and track the performance and productivity of various health, economic, and social phenomena across nations and regions.”

“Since the turn of the millennium, these indicator suites have been accompanied by numerous city benchmarking projects that compare and rank the relative performance of cities against one another. […] Whilst many urban indicator and benchmarking projects are relatively closed in nature […] there has been a recent move to open up the data underpinning indicators and share them with citizens through online, interactive data visualizations, often termed ‘city dashboards’”.

An example of such a dashboard can be viewed at https://data.london.gov.uk/ which describes itself as “a free and open data-sharing portal where anyone can access data relating to the capital” (London Datastore, n.d.). Figure 1 shows examples from the health section of this website, where data has been selected to support the Greater London Authority (GLA)’s promotion of London as a healthy place to live.

These graphs show a trend of life expectancy at birth being increasingly higher in London compared to England and Wales, and mortality rates declining and lower in London compared to England. It should be noted that data for Wales is only included for the life expectancy at birth comparison, even though mortality rates for England and Wales are publicly available from the Office of National Statistics. This raises the question of whether the GLA are distorting the image of London by excluding the Welsh mortality rates, to support their narrative.

An increase in childhood obesity is highlighted in the text about health, and the graph displays the data in an exaggerated way to imply that it is much higher in London compared to England. The scale used in different graphs are inconsistent. It may be highlighted to support a decision to prioritise work and funding for this issue. The tooth extraction for children graph lacks meaning as it has no comparison to other geographical locations or historic records, although it could be seen as being linked to childhood obesity if it is caused by an unhealthy diet. Kitchin et al (2015:14) note that “some municipalities use indicator and benchmarking initiatives to underpin forms of new managerialism, wherein they are used to guide operational practices with respect to specified targets and to provide evidence of the success or failure of schemes”.

Screenshot of health data from London Datastore

Figure 1: Screenshot of some of the health data graphs displayed on https://data.london.gov.uk/

The data used by the GLA is selective, and the way it is displayed is inconsistent. According to Kitchin et al (2015:18), the “indicator, benchmarking and dashboard initiatives […] do not simply act as a camera reflecting the world as it is, but rather act as an engine shaping the world in diverse ways”. This dashboard demonstrates an attempt to influence people’s perceptions of London. By presenting the dashboards as factual evidence, the GLA is using data to give credibility to their claim that London is well governed and successful.

 

References

Kitchin, R., Lauriault, T.P. & McArdle, G., (2015). Knowing and governing cities through urban indicators, city benchmarking and real-time dashboards. Regional Studies, Regional Science, 2(1), pp.6–28.

London Datastore (n.d.), Greater London Authority (GLA). Available at https://data.london.gov.uk/

 

Week 5 – Locative Narrative + Actionbound (Miriam Harvey)

“spaces we move through are media that tell stories” (Ritchie, 2013)

Ritchie (2014:53) describes “transmedia” stories [which] “blur the line between storyworld and physical world, requiring that authors tell stories across a variety of media, including architectural space and the physical environment.” My case study this week is an actionbound I have built on a web browser and played on a mobile phone to gain first hand experience of designing and using media that can “blur the line between storyworld and physical world”.

My actionbound topic is a dog walk, because it is a daily activity which does not obviously or intrusively involve technology. The walks are a simple physical exercise, so I was interested to see how the actionbound I designed could add a new dimension of “navigating across digital and physical spaces” (Ritchie, 2014: 65).

Ritchie (2014: 55) explains that “design choices and materials of everyday things afford and constrain the behaviors of users”. In this case study, the affordance I experienced from playing the bound was the gamification. An uneventful walk through quiet streets and empty parkways became a game, and therefore more interesting. There was though an effort required to play the game, which Ritchie (2014: 57-56) describes as “”nontrivial effort””. He warns that “the narrative must offer a reward perceived to be greater than the effort required by the audience” and I don’t think my simple actionbound achieved that.

My actionbound started with an ‘information’ screen to introduce the bound and a ‘mission’ to ‘evidence’ that the player was ready for the dog walk by uploading a photograph taken on the phone’s camera of poo bags and a dog lead. It included a ‘find spot’ [figure 1] using the phone’s ability to use GPS and a map displayed in the app; a second ‘mission’ to find a specific location based on text description and a photograph [figure 2] and upload a similar photograph. There was also a ‘scan code’ [figure 3] to ‘evidence’ that a poo bin was reached in the trail. It concluded with a ‘quiz’ to gauge the time taken to complete the dog walk. The results can be seen in Figure 4.

 

The experience of playing the bound made me aware of the two distinct worlds of the digital space and physical space. For most of the walk, the digital space was a passive overlay on the physical environment. The “digital bridges” (Ritchie: 2014: 63-64) of finding a spot through GPS and map or text description and photograph, and scanning QR code were active elements that made the story more engaging as a user and demonstrated the “co-authoring” (Ritchie: 2014: 65) aspect of transmedia storytelling.

The actionbound was played in public areas – public roads and public parks, maintained by the local town authorities. I felt like I was appropriating public space for private use when playing the game because I was using the space in a manner that is different to the way I expect it is intended. Adding a QR code to a poo bin was the strongest appropriation because I was making a (temporary) physical change to public property. Berry et al (2013:3-5) points out that there are many ways to understand the term “public” and “[t]he traditional idea of space … has become fundamentally problematized by the presence of media distributing and redirecting data flows that transverse the boundaries of an enclosure”.  Therefore, what I perceived as a private use of a public space could instead be understood as a creation of a new dimension of a public space; the production of a “heterogeneous space” that is “comprised of diverse things and qualities”.

 

References

Berry, C., Harbord, J. & Moore, R.O., (2013). Public space, media space, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan

Ritchie, J. (2013). Ch. 4: Wayfinding on Campus, The mobile story. Available from: http://themobilestory.com/ch-4-wayfinding-on-campus/

Ritchie, J. (2014). The Affordances and Contraints of Mobile Locative Narratives. In The Mo- bile Story. Narrative Practices with Locative Technologies, ed. J. Farman, 53–67. Oxon: Routledge.