GEOMEDIA SPEAKER SERIES - Rowan Wilken (RMIT University, Melbourne)
MOBILE GEOMEDIA AND AUTOMATION
Mobile geomedia services shot to prominence from around 2007 onwards, with the arrival of smartphones, the integration of GPS into these devices, and the development of maps and navigation apps, as well as location-based mobile social networking apps.
These developments were significant at the time in that they permitted smartphone users to interact with existing local information and create locally relevant information that they could share with others (including by pinpointing where they were in time and space). However, a great deal has changed with respect to mobile geomedia since these early days. For instance, while location-based mobile social networking services have fallen out of favour, it remains the case that their architecture and functioning have become a core part of other, bigger social networks and a ‘normal, integrated aspect of social media use’ (Evans and Saker, 2017: 95).
We have also seen the rise of spatial big data, and manifold struggles between large tech corporations for control of geodata given its richness and economic value. We are also beginning to see significant moves towards the automation of geodata capture. In this talk, I draw from my recent and present research to give an account of key moments in the conceptual and methodological challenges that face us as geomedia researchers.
Rowan Wilken is Associate Professor in Media and Communication, Principal Research Fellow in the Digital Ethnography Research Centre (DERC), and Associate Investigator in the ARC Centre for Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society (ADM+S) at RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia.
He has written extensively on location-based services and locative media and on social media platforms.
His most co/authored and coedited books include:
- Automating Vision (Routledge, 2020)
- Digital Domesticity (Oxford University Press, 2020)
- Cultural Economies of Locative Media (Oxford University Press, 2019)
- Location Technologies in International Context (Routledge, 2019)
At present he is working on three coauthored books:
- Wi-Fi (Polity)
- Everyday Data Cultures (Polity)
- Bodies and Mobile Media (Polity)