[Geowanking] Where 2.0, an open critique
andrea at panix.com
Wed Jun 28 21:10:02 PDT 2006
great point, great point, great point, and...
On 6/28/06, Andrew Turner <ajturner at highearthorbit.com> wrote:
> Does geo-groupthink happen in one location?
Nah, it's just easier to spot there.
Well, think a little more abstract. "Search" is a user input. It's a
> means by which a user specifies some action. "Find me this." When I
> move my mouse through folders and click, I am "searching" for a file.
> When I open a news page, my eyes search for relevant information (or I
> use Cntrl-F).
> Now think of Location as another "search term". Instead of typing in
> "Detroit, Michigan", my IP/Wifi/GSM automatically fills this term in
> for me.
True, and you probably know your devices and OSs well enough to understand
when the implicit search term is "Detroit, Michigan", when it's "downtown
Detroit" and when it's "a block from my office." A novice user probably
won't understand that, or (as apps proliferate) will need support in
determining which perspective should frame the search. *Ultimately* it's
still search, but with enough filters to make it pretty unlike the Google
search box. (But hey, I'm working at Yahoo! this summer, so I'm gonna say
that :) )
(All that said, I haven't used Loki, and maybe it works fine for
One problem with real-space navigation is that it's so darn slow. the
> "Armchair travelers" can be transported away from their local
> existences to find out about vacation locales, what their friend did
> on vacation, or imagine themselves surfing off the coast of Melbourne.
Very true--it would be a pretty miserable experience if you were forced to
move around Google Earth at VW Beetle speed. (I know because on a 5-year-old
400 MHz Powerbook, I *am* forced to do that :)) But there are times when you
want to browse a map with some built-in understanding of physical
navigation. This is what makes Brendon Donovan's Amble Time map viewer (
http://www.carolstrohecker.info/ProjectPages/ambletime.html--Sadly, the live
demo's no longer up) so interesting. I suspect that many people who consider
themselves map-illiterate have trouble connecting the visual information
they parse from the map with their multisensory experiences of time and
distance. Interfaces that help with that will expand the audience for the
geospatial web. (Of all the big local search sites I think Live Local is
trying hardest to do this, but in a brute force, bandwidth-intensive way
that won't port well to mobile devices.)
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