So the project is up to 25 participants now.  Still a few more lined up, but definitely moving towards the analysis phase now – not least because term starts in just over a week.  Will post some things as they get done, but for the time being, here’s an aggregate animation, taking the time of day people rode and creating an aggregate group cycle.  Higher heart rate reflected by the ‘hotter’ colours.


The exhibition (24 October) draws ever closer and a healthy dose of panic is setting in.  To be fair I’ve no real right to panic because most of the ‘University’ stuff is organised now and, let’s face it, it’s Jane P and Oyvind at MADE who are doing all the curatorial stuff and Dan is doing most of the artwork.  All we’ve got to do is turn up on Thursday and hang stuff on the walls then turn up on Friday and look glamorous for the adoring crowds.  Or, you know, hand out glasses of wine and make small talk, whatever seems more appropriate at the time.  But there has been a feature written about the exhibition on the BBC.

On the techie side one of the undergrads in my department at Birmingham has done an extra year in his degree doing computer science stuff.  He’s now back doing geography and I’ve persuaded (i.e. paid) him to write some software for us.  During one of the lunchtime meetings at MADE we showed off the proof-of-concept stuff we’d done using mediascapes to create Google Earth files of areas people like and don’t like.  One of the comments from a developer was how it would be really useful to be able to see what people are referring to when they register a preference.  We’ve got these, well posh mobile phones really, that have built in cameras as well as GPS so Matt was set to work creating a really simple user interface that allows people to take pictures, give them a rating (0-9) and record this against their GPS location.  Matt, being a genius, then got the program (which is 38k in size – a triumph of elegant simplicity) to automatically kick out a Google Earth KML file, with shaded dots depending on the user rating and direct links to the photographs.  This is a massive improvement on the proof-of-concept work which required a huge amount of behind the scenes data processing to get it to produce a KML.  So I’m getting another student to use this technology in a pilot project on ‘Studentification’ in Selly Oak.  It should be a really nice tool that we can use in a variety of contexts.

Some sad news to end on.  Myself and James were deeply shocked and upset to learn of the premature death of friend and fellow geographer Duncan Fuller from the University of Northumbria.  Duncan’s work was one of the inspirations behind the Rescue Geography project and he was always very supportive of what we were doing.  A natural subversive, fine scholar and all round good guy, he’ll be deeply missed.