Universidad Politécnica de Valencia (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2012 Proceedings
Publication year: 2012
Pages: 73-78
ISBN: 978-84-616-0763-1
ISSN: 2340-1095
Conference name: 5th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 19-21 November, 2012
Location: Madrid, Spain
Contemporary cities are experienced as a confluence between horizontal and vertical movements. The first one is represented by different global flows of money, bodies and objects as a consequence of the creation of communication and transport networks worldwide; the second one is represented by different processes of localization where each person develops various ways of living and creates links of identity with the environment. The polyphonic, hybrid and continuously dynamic nature of these sites make their «grammar» undecipherable and invisible for conventional urban, ethnographic and cartographic studies. All this makes it necessary to revise their methodologies and to look for new more collaborative and participative strategies in describing the city we experienced.

Therefore, new mobile devices and web 2.0 emerge as the most suitable tools to develop new trends in cartographic creation beyond conventional proposals. On the one hand, social networks and web 2.0 tools offer us the possibility of thinking an open relational and communicative space. On the net a digital map and be explored, expanded and modified by anyone, thus it can stop being a closed object determined by the will of an author and become an open, continuous and infinite process. On the other hand, the incorporation of mobile technologies with GPS navigation systems, interactive positioning software, video and images capture devices and the development of 3G technology offer users not only the possibility of making their own cartographic creations, but also to upload them immediately. This way, the personalization of the experienced city is not only democratized, but also shared.

Our project on innovative education intends to encourage the development of these new ways of writing about the experienced space through the combination of mobile technology (iPhones/iPads), the use of the Internet and web 2.0. We will borrow a set of new trends developed by contemporary artists, ethnographers, cartographers and documentalists in order to offer students a set of conceptual and practical tools that will allow them to develop a collaborative project to identify and describe the interaction with the different narratives in the contemporary city.

Somehow, this project on collaborative cartographies through mobile devices aims to question the concept of authorship in map creation. Our collaborative methodology is based on a process of democratic communication open to anybody, aiming to achieve a cartography of the experienced city constantly under construction.

Given the generic and open nature of our proposal, previous computer programming and specific multimedia design experience are not required since the digital tools that will be used and the multimedia production that will be developed will be accessible to any user. Students will be encouraged to learn by practicing and by sharing their skills with other students. The emphasis of this project will not only be on mastering technical abilities, but on being able to use multimedia and digital technology for artistic purposes.

This way our project does not merely favour the experience with new forms of creative writing about the urban space through new technologies, but it also favours the student’s experimentation with egalitarian communication through the creation of common spaces open to anybody’s participation.
Mobiles, web 2.0, collaborative education, cartography, urban studies.