urban tapestries
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Proboscis is developing a series of experimental prototypes for Urban Tapestries to help explore and understand scenarios of use and the emergent possibilities that this new form of communication and marking of space implies.

The Urban Tapestries system enables users to create a relationships between geographic places via the creation of pockets and threads.
are the relationship a user makes to a specific geographic place (with a granularity of 1 metre square) and contain the media the user chooses to associate with that place (such as a story and/or audio file and/or a picture).
are the thematic relationships between pockets and geographic places and can vary from the practical, 'Fair Trade Goods Sold Here' to the personal, 'My Favourite Bars & Cafes'.


Prototype 2.0 (Spring 2005)
From Autumn 2004 Proboscis will begin Stage 3 of UT prototype development to enhance the current functionality in support of the civil society experiments we are developing for the Social Tapestries research programme. Prototype 2.0 will be include multi-platform UT clients running on PDAs and Symbian mobile phones as well as having a web interface for remote authoring/browsing from laptops and desktops.


UT RSS Feeds & UT Web Browser (Autumn 2004)
Proboscis has created a Flash Web Browser and location-based RSS Feeds to make the system accessible to the general public. The RSS feeds that allow people to subscribe to all new pockets on the system, or to individual authors, or threads, or major towns or local areas. The web browser is a graphical viewer for the UT system content from our December 2003 and June 2004 trials, giving an insight into the possibilities of spatial annotation using high-definition mapping.

Web Browser :
UT Browser Screenshot Oct 2004

RSS Feed (in NetNewsWire on Mac OS X):
UT Sample RSS Feed


Prototype 1.1 (June 2004)
The second prototype was given a field trial in London during June 2004 with the aim of the trial being to begin to understand how people might use the system over time. 15 participants were loaned Sony Ericsson P800s and explored the system (covering a 3km square area of Central London) for a period of 4 weeks each.

Proboscis has enhanced and optimised the system architecture (with map data again provided by Ordnance Survey) for use with Symbian UIQ smartphones (SonyEricsson P800/900s – with France Telecom R&D). The GPRS network access is being provided by Orange UK.

View a full-scale map of all the pockets and threads.

Prototype 1.1 (Symbian smartphone) Screenshots
Login Drifting Early Filters
Selecting Content Entering Content Zoomed Out View
UT Symbian Prototype Map

Prototype 1.0 (December 2003)
The first prototype had a live public trial in London during December 2003. The aim of the trial was to give people a taste of public authoring using mobile and wireless devices.

Proboscis designed and built the system architecture (with map data provided by Ordnance Survey), and client application for wireless PocketPC PDAs (HP iPAQ 5450s). The 802.11b mesh network supporting the wireless iPAQs is Locustworld's MeshAP, with whose help Proboscis installed and maintained its own local WiFi mesh covering public spaces in Bloomsbury, London.

Proboscis also researched and created sample content to populate the trial system, as well as inviting a small group of people to create independent 'threads' for the trial (Peter Cusack, Usman Haque, and Rob Rainbow). Participant feedback is available via the project weblog.
An online prototype of this version is available here.


Prototype 1.0 (PocketPC PDA) Screenshots
Drifting Authoring  
Viewing Content    

UT Prototype Map
UT Network Architecture Map July 2003

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