AAG 2011: Location-based services, conspicuous mobility and the location-aware future
The 2011 AAG meetings in Seattle are over, and I'm packing up to fly down to Santa Clara, CA for Where 2.0 this week.
It was excellent to be apart of some excellent sessions. The highlights:
- I served as a discussant for a panel session, critical perspectives on software studies, with Rob Kitchin, Wendy Chun, Matt Zook, and Mark Graham, organized by Joe Eckert and Ryan Burns, chaired by Sarah Elwood. My comments were directed at the work of uncovering the 'innards' (Thrift 2011) of code/software, with a question of "to what end?" for the panelists. We discussed, briefly, the possibilities for resistance/intervention and re-appropriation. As (it seems) much of software studies focuses on use, what are the specific geographies of non-use? Here, I was particularly interested in Mark Graham's notion of 'objects of attention and bias'. I also asked a question about the 'newness' of technology in technology studies. What are the unique (or not so unique) challenges/opportunities? Finally, I leveled a question about the responsibility of geographers towards our own technologies -- although, we didn't quite get there in our discussion... Another day, perhaps!
- I also served as a discussant for a paper session, critical space-time geographers, chaired by Mei-Po Kwan and Tim Schwanen, with three very interesting papers by Anthonis Vradis, Annette Kim, and Stephen Burgess. I lumped my comments into two lines of inquiry: on method and on product. These papers illustrated for me the necessary blurring/integration of theory/method/practice in critical GIS -- in ways that might make some GIScientists uncomfortable or confused proponents of qualitative inquiry. Also, these papers show how products of mapping are made through messy and modest practices that recognize the complexity of the spatiality of everyday life. This messiness/modesty might perhaps destabilize discourses that promote a Standard of space-time geospatial geographies -- despite the increased interest in linking up these 'data' about everyday space-time interactions.
I also participated in the Volunteered Geographic Information Pre-Conference, organized by Michael Goodchild, Sarah Elwood, and Dan Sui. My remarks in a 'lightning-talk', were based on a paper/presentation that I delivered later in the week, as part of a session, Technologies of Mobility, organized by Matt Zook and Rein Ahas.
The shorter talk: