Geomedia: on location-based media, the changing status of collective image production and the emergence of social navigation systems

Francesco Lapenta

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    The increased computational power of portable devices such as smart phones and laptops, and their integration with widely available global positioning systems, are opening the way for a new range of location-based applications that integrate and coordinate users' mediated interactions and data exchanges with other users' live geographical positions. This user-generated information, shared on navigable live virtual maps such as Google Latitude, Foursquare and Gowalla, illustrates the increasing use of location-based applications and the Web to create, assemble and disseminate personal information (in the form of images, sounds and text) to enable shared experiences of individually and socially relevant spaces and events. The new virtual maps, in which this information is visually blurred and merged, represent the emergence of a new paradigm in the visualisation of space. The article elaborates on the fundamental social and perceptual shifts that are being operated today by these new technologies and software applications that the author refers to as geomedia26. Lapenta, F. 2008. Define geomedia. Online publication (

    View all references. Geomedia are not new media per se, but platforms that merge existing electronic media + the Internet + location-based technologies (or locative media) + AR (Augmented Reality) technologies in a new mode of digital composite imaging, data association and socially maintained data exchange and communication. In the article the author examines the early adoption of such new geolocation-based technologies and develops a theoretical analysis of the ontological and epistemological shifts that characterise their contemporary evolution, patterns of production and exchange, and the unique form of geolocational digital re-aggregation of which digital images are now a part.

    TidsskriftVisual Studies
    Udgave nummer1
    Sider (fra-til)14-24
    Antal sider12
    StatusUdgivet - 14 mar. 2011

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