More Location-Aware Narrative

A few months back, I linked to Kate Armstrong's trAce article on location-aware narrative.Jill then found a list of wireless art projects and later linked to The Case of the Molndal Murder, a full-immersion, non-linear narrative utilizing PDAs and Bluetooth technology that is installed in a Swedish Museum. I revisited the topic this afternoon, and discovered that Jeremey Bushnell is also tracking the topic. The Annotate Space project, an electronic walking tour of the Brooklyn waterfront neighborhood of DUMBO, looked particularly interesting. A 2001 article from the New Scientist provides some general background on the technology. A dailywireless.org post from last year links to a bunch of sites on streaming location-based content sites. The Embedded Theatre project by Ryan Genz looks like a compelling and technologically advanced use of location-aware narrative, using GPS and mobile technologies as well as “a simple and unobtrusive garment that can provide directional video and sound, becomes a participant in a context-specific story that evolves based on his position and movements.” The user scenarios used to illustrate and test the concept included “Invisible Cities, Venice Ghost Stories, and Harry Potter.” There is a good short quicktime video on the invisible cities scenario.

Stockon is currently involved in a GIS project. I'm wondering how much of a learning curve I (and my students) would have to mount in order to put together some kind of location-aware narrative, and if we could do it using available technology.

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