Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Materialising information ≠ enriching relationships

SEARCHSCAPES: MANHATTAN "is an attempt to create a tridimensional map of Manhattan, using existing data from the web. The objective is to compare the city's 'physical spaces' and 'information spaces' ... Taking the metaphor very literally, a specific address is searched on Google (ex: '1 Broadway' + 'New York, NY'). Such a search will bring mostly results that correspond to this specific location. The total number of text results is parsed and then plotted on a map of the physical space. The height of the 'building' on that location will correspond to the number of results found. More results will correspond to higher 'information buildings'. This is an attempt to materialize information: to give it dimension, physicality. This project is an attempt to give 'shape' to the data that we find on the Internet, but not 'quantify'."

Interesting potential, but there's something about the renderings that leaves me wanting. The worst thing about taking-for-granted that our experiences with the city and each other will be "enriched" by more data, by more information, by making the invisible visible, etc., is that we never have to account for or be accountable to how.

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