This hands-on, demo-licious evening event showcases the most exciting location-aware tools, apps, and hardware that are emerging from garages and university labs. Fair-goers can discuss the ideas behind the demos with the creators, and learn how these unconventional new technologies can be adapted into existing business strategies.
Some of this year's Where Fair participants are:
Greg Sadetsky, Denis Laprise, and Samuel Cossette
PolyTransit is a collaborative, open source transit and transportation mapping site. Following in the steps of the ground breaking OpenStreetMap project, we want to create a royalty-free worldwide transit map, and provide an intermodal transit routing system that will allow travel planning inside and between cities for local populations and visitors.
HyperCities: 800 Years of Berlin and 2400 Years of Rome
Todd Presner & Chris Johanson
What if you could know where the Berlin Wall once stood while walking in Berlin today? What if you could visit Rome at any point in time, create a social network through time and space, and seamlessly interface between the past and the physical world of today? What if a time-slider could really reveal accurate historical content for use by tourists and educators?
With content generated by architects, historians, urban sociologists, and archaeologists, as well as the general public, HyperCities are content rich, interactive digital spaces for exploring, learning about, and traveling to the great cities of the world. Using Google Earth and the Google Maps API coupled with an innovative interface and database that allows users to drill down, search, and network through time and space, HyperCities make the past come alive.
At the Where Fair, we will showcase two UCLA projects: one on Berlin and one on Rome. Users begin in the present using Google-hosted satellite imagery and journey through time by unveiling layers of geo-referenced historical maps, navigating through complex 3D environments, annotating family genealogies through time and space, searching by a single city block over centuries of time and, finally, even interfacing with the physical world with locative technologies.
HyperCities Berlin will be launched in May 2007. For a Flash Demo of Version 1.0 and information about the project, please visit: berlin.
To access a 2D version of the digital Rome model, please visit: timemap.
Geocodr: A Collective-intelligence Geocoding Web Service
Geocodr is a geocoding web service that is able to geocode places and events based on the collective activities of people uploading, geotagging, and describing their Flickr photos. There are over 20 million geotagged Flickr photos. People often also add meaningful location-specific tags or descriptions to these photos. Geocodr can find neighborhoods, towns, and cities as well as current events, landmarks, famous people, etc. For example, a photo taken of this conference might also have the tag "Where2.0." Geocodr is able to search for all the photos with "where2.0" as a tag, and using k-means clustering, return the most likely location for this place. No other geocoder can do this.
Serendipity Through A Mobile Application Sensing Framework
Jeff Burke, Jason Brush, and Eitan Mendelowitz
Geographic location, commonly used as context for emerging mobile applications, doesn't capture other dynamics that define place and interaction. Serendipity is a software system that records the changing map of Bluetooth devices near a mobile user, capturing an additional layer of context: the spatial relationships of peers. These "signatures" of different users' Bluetooth environments can be used for social analysis. For example, they define affinity among users who are often near a similar set of other devices (users and places), even if many of those devices are also mobile. By using fixed beacons, Serendipity can simultaneously deliver location-specific information without special cellular network support or GPS hardware.
Developed jointly by UCLA and Schematic, Serendipity utilizes the Mobile Application Sensing Framework (MASF) to expose native functionality on Symbian phones (e.g., cell id and high-performance Bluetooth stumbling) to a Java application. It uploads collected Bluetooth information to the UCLA's SensorBase repository, which is then mined by a server-side component. Serendipity is part of the ongoing Urban Sensing research project at UCLA's Center for Embedded Network Sensing (CENS) and Center for Research in Engineering, Media and Performance (REMAP). The project aims to enable participatory sensing applications in which everyday mobile users participate in gathering, analyzing and sharing local knowledge, moving sensing systems from the distributed and autonomous to the interactive and participatory.
WayMarkr is a self-documenting wearable device with unlimited disk space. WayMarkr uses a mobile device's camera to take continuous photographs from the vantage point of the wearer. The ubiquity of mobile devices makes WayMarkr unobtrusive, and the first image based Memex device widely available to the general public. Collected photographs create a personal narrative as a set of images in context. Captured photographic narratives give users perspective, insight, and an alternative access to memory recollection of their daily lives.
Mobzombies is a mobile game where you run away from 8-bit zombies by actually running. A motion sensor tracks your relative movement, morphing your body into a human joystick as you to control a virtual character via your physical movements. Using your wits (and and a bomb or two), you must survive the zombie onslaught while simultaneously negotiating your physical environment. Walls, other humans, and cars, all become part of the game, and even the most benign real world setting is ripe for a zombie invasion.
Will Carter: Design + Programming
Aaron Meyers: Design + Programming
Julian Bleecker: Design + Programming
William Bredbeck: Art
iFIND: a location-based social software on the MIT campus
Sonya Huang and François Proulx
iFIND is a location-aware application that puts you and your friends on a map of the MIT campus based on where you are. Taking advantage of MIT's dense WiFi network, iFIND can determine a user's position fairly accurately without the need to connect to a central server, almost always returning the exact room number. When logged in to the central server, users can share location in real time with a list of friends whose visibility permissions can be changed at any time. Users may use the service to chat with each other, while an underlying map of campus provides a spatial context to the conversation. Finally, iFIND protects the privacy of users' location data by allowing peer-to-peer data exchange only between permitted parties; even the server itself does not receive data without permission.
Continental Divide Trail Project
The Continental Divide Trail is nicknamed the King of Trails. This 3,100-mile roller coaster links no fewer than a dozen iconic destinations and some the wildest places in the Lower 48, including Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks. Yet, sadly, this trail lacks an official, definitive map. In February 2007, Backpacker magazine announced a partnership with the Continental Divide Trail Alliance and federal land managers, and called for volunteers to help scout and GPS the trail. Close to 3,000 people applied for the project. So from April to September, BACKPACKER will be sending out more than 50 teams on different segments of the trail. Theyll be collecting critical details about the trail, GPS points, photos, video clips, and sometimes podcasting live from the trail using satellite phones. The end goal: An online interactive map that tells the story of the CDT, and acts as a definitive (and updateable) resource for hikers, backpackers, and land managers.
Voicing the Earth
Google Earth zooms provide a visual experience, similar to a silent movie, about what one can expect when arriving at selected locations. Wild Sanctuary is now giving a real voice to each site - urban, rural, or the wild natural - providing a sound signature unique to each place that informs the participant what he/she can expect when they arrive. It is like the difference between watching"Star Wars" first without sound, then with the sound track.
World Without Oil
Burning Man Earth
Michael Favor & Zhahai Stewart, Team Members
Burning Man Earth is a 3D representation of Black Rock City, including theme camps, art installations, structures, people and activities. Integrated with a database, it serves as an on-site resource, and allowing remote virtual participation. As it develops, it will encompass ever more interactivity, as well as a record of Burning Man's cultural genome.
Sheena Marie Marquez
Marble Madness is a 3D game in which the player controls the motion of a marble through customizable mazes by tilting the playing surface. Players control the tilting motion using a controller wand that they can physically hold in their hands. Cameras record the motion of the controller, and translate the player's motion into on-screen action. For the player, it feels as if they are literally holding the playing field in their hand. The demonstration will allow players to play the game.
Andrew Milmoe and Melissa Gira
Plundr, a location-aware game for the Nintendo DS