tracerouting with gps

This video was done over 5 years and 8000km by a cyclist who had a GPS affixed to his person at all times.

Originally found here.

Pretty neat.

I have some ideas about making maps based on my movements throughout the city.

Initially they were about tracing my meanderings onto an already drawn map, but that quickly shifted to something like this where the city, or at least my city, emerges from a blank canvas. The second idea seems much more suited to encouraging discussion on what a city really is.

Can you consider it a part of your city if you've never seen it? Maps give the impression of knowledge...how is that knowledge compromised by walking a street again and again? Never having actually been somewhere? Only having driven a road, never walked? ...And so on.

My mapping project also leads to all sorts of fun considerations around how to map my movement. Just a foot map? If it includes cycling or public transit how are those recognized? Do I try to draw the map to account for speed? For time travelled? Distance? For experience and depth of engagement with a route or destination?

I think the solution to all that might be to simply start a journal, or just have a sheet of paper on my room wall where I make notes whenever I get home. Recording my movements, modes of transport, experiences had or shared...whether I was walking alone or with others is a good stat too.

Or I could cease being Ludditic and get a GPS machine of my own...along with a notebook for all the mushy non-scientific stuff.

Anyway, the point is collecting the data.

And the video also made me realize why facebook, google, etc are all excited about data. Data is the hard part. Once you have it, there are all sorts of things you can do with it, but you have to collect it first. As I consider this project the data collection is the part that strikes me as daunting...the aftermath of expressing it in whatever form or forms, that's just exciting. There are so many ways to go about it and if I mess it up or do something I don't like the data will still be there.

No one will possess more data on me than me!!! I'll commercialize it and make so much money.

Clowning tomorrow. Also a full day at work. Good times I hope.

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