Physical Space Tweets: Pst! microCONTROL

Pst! is the surreptitious beckoning of attention and the acronym for Physical Space Tweets. It is a small Ardunio storyteller installed in public space giving an audience a glimpse into a geo-tagged community’s topic feed.

For the Leeds Pavillion at Mediamatic’s Amsterdam Biennale 2009 Pst! chronicled life in Leeds through it’s twitter feed.

Pst! microCONTROL from Megan Leigh Smith on Vimeo.

The piece locates a public social narrative by pulling an information feed from Twitter User profiles geographically aligned to Leeds with Twitter’s geocode API and then prints this information onto a mini LCD screen. By removing the peripheral of the computer a Pst! device can be placed in a non-space providing a window directly into a geo-located public space.

See http://megansmith.ca/blog/?tag=arduino for more info.

Author Bio

Andy is Professor of Digital Urban Systems at the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis at University College London.

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Agent Crowds in Architecture

Its all very well creating a 3D city but it needs the addition of other factors to add to the level of realism – one of these is people. A few years ago we used the ActiveWorlds system to import buildings and create an online community with avatars walking down the streets. This is fine for a few people but if you want to simulate crowds in a city scene you need to turn to agent modelling.

To date this has been notoriously tricky with a high demand on both resources and technical expertise. Which is why we are interested in the new Crowd Choreography tool called Crowd IT.

Currently available in a free Beta version it allows the visualisation of over 40,000 crowd agents in a scene. We will be looking closer into this next week and if the results are good in city models we will post a couple of movies.

If people are interested in the multi-user avatar work a couple of papers detailing the projects are also now available in PDF format:

1) 30 Days in ActiveWorlds – Community, Design and Terrorism in a Virtual World. The paper featuees as chapter 8 in the book ‘The Social Life of Avatars’, Ralph Schroeder (Editor), Springer-Verlag UK.

2) ActiveWorlds: Geography and Social Interaction in Virtual Reality, written with Ralph Schroeder and Avon Huxor, published in Futures, 33 (2001) 569-587.

Author Bio

Andy is Professor of Digital Urban Systems at the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis at University College London.

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Editing the Template

Author Bio

Andy is Professor of Digital Urban Systems at the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis at University College London.

8 Comments

  1. Carl Ahearne - January 11, 2007

    Hi Andy,

    Personally, I preferred the old look; it was easier to read, and the distinction between different elements was more clear..

    Anyway, still a big fan of the site; I am in the 3D modelling industry so it’s good to keep up with current and future technology..

    Carl Ahearne

  2. Andy - January 11, 2007

    A vote for the old version then..
    Luckly i saved the old template so its easy to put back.. 🙂

    Anymore views?

  3. Anonymous - January 11, 2007

    The old version was much easier to read. This one looks quite untidy.
    I was still waiting for it to load up for ages.

    Great site though. I pop through each day.

  4. Anonymous - January 11, 2007

    Liked the old version. Right now when I am looking at your page from firefox the links are neither underlined nor a different color from the rest of the text. I can only tell that text is a link if I mouseover it.

  5. Andy - January 11, 2007

    I’ve changed the link colour.. its not looking good for the new layout is it!

  6. Ian Mansfield - January 12, 2007

    It’s half way there.

    I prefer the cleaner look – but it needs a little more structure to the postings to split them up – maybe a thin border around them.

    Ironically, this postings page is a lot easier to read 😉

  7. Joe - January 12, 2007

    I really liked the old look, the new one is a bit ‘Google’ and as Carl said, it isn’t as easy visually to pick out the articles from the ads.

    However, this is a good opportunity to thank you for a great site. I have no professional or technical interest in 3D, modelling, urban geography etc but wish I did after following the blog for the last couple of months!

  8. Andy - January 12, 2007

    Thanks for the comments Joe, glad you like the site 🙂

    As for the design its not going down well is it.. I’ve removed the top adverts now as it was beginning to look far to ‘ad’ driven which its not, hopefully its about original content.

    I’ve also extended the logo to pull the design in slightly.

    The reason for the change was the old site was a classic blogger template and my site looked the same as many other blogs, i also wasn’t too keen on the green to be honest.

    Still.. any more comments are of course welcome…

    Andy

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A new look for digital urban.. minimilistic or ‘we liked the old look’? Let us know…

Andy

Author Bio

Andy is Professor of Digital Urban Systems at the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis at University College London.

3 Comments

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As part of the MRes in Advanced Spatial Analysis and Visualisation, here in CASA at The Bartlett, University College London, we are exploring new methods and techniques for visualising data. As part of the course we are looking at collecting data from the Twitter API and using the resulting .csv file as an input into a variety of software, including Processing and ArcMap.

One such known example is the London Twitter map by UrbanTick, developed using the data collector created by Steven Gray and imported by Fabian into ArcMap, it developed a style of its own as the ‘NewCity Landscape’ collection. From a digital urban point of view the next stage of the map is a 3D extension, a transformation that proved surprisingly difficult due to the nature of combining the worlds of traditional GIS and game engines such as Lumion.

We are still in the early stages of development but the movie below illustrates the NewCity Landscape Map of London visualisation in Lumion as a ‘Twitter Island’:


Music by Pigeman over at MP3 Unsigned. There are of course many arguments on the pro’s and con’s of visualising data in such a way, indeed the visualisation is developed to open up the debate as part of the MRes course allowing various visualisation techniques to be compared from the same data set.

We will have more updates as the visualisation develops, along with a walk through of how to build it. If your interested in such output our MRes is now open for applications, entry 2012-2013…

Author Bio

Andy is Professor of Digital Urban Systems at the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis at University College London.

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