Localizing the media, locating ourselves: a critical comparative analysis of socio-spatial sorting in locative media platforms (Google AND Flickr 2009-2011)

Barreneche, C. 2012. Localizing the media, locating ourselves: a critical comparative analysis of socio-spatial sorting in locative media platforms (Google AND Flickr 2009-2011). PhD thesis University of Westminster School of Media, Arts and Design

TitleLocalizing the media, locating ourselves: a critical comparative analysis of socio-spatial sorting in locative media platforms (Google AND Flickr 2009-2011)
TypePhD thesis
AuthorsBarreneche, C.
Abstract

In this thesis I explore media geocoding (i.e., geotagging or georeferencing),

the process of inscribing the media with geographic information. A process

that enables distinct forms of producing, storing, and distributing information

based on location. Historically, geographic information technologies have

served a biopolitical function producing knowledge of populations. In their

current guise as locative media platforms, these systems build rich

databases of places facilitated by user-generated geocoded media. These

geoindexes render places, and users of these services, this thesis argues,

subject to novel forms of computational modelling and economic capture.

Thus, the possibility of tying information, people and objects to location sets

the conditions to the emergence of new communicative practices as well as

new forms of governmentality (management of populations). This project is

an attempt to develop an understanding of the socio-economic forces and

media regimes structuring contemporary forms of location-aware

communication, by carrying out a comparative analysis of two of the main

current location-enabled platforms: Google and Flickr. Drawing from the

medium-specific approach to media analysis characteristic of the subfield of

Software Studies, together with the methodological apparatus of Cultural

Analytics (data mining and visualization methods), the thesis focuses on

examining how social space is coded and computed in these systems. In

particular, it looks at the databases’ underlying ontologies supporting the

platforms' geocoding capabilities and their respective algorithmic logics. In

the final analysis the thesis argues that the way social space is translated in

the form of POIs (Points of Interest) and business-biased categorizations, as

well as the geodemographical ordering underpinning the way it is computed,

are pivotal if we were to understand what kind of socio-spatial relations are

actualized in these systems, and what modalities of governing urban mobility

are enabled.

Year2012
FileCarlos_BARRENECHE.pdf
Publication dates
Published2012

Related outputs

No related outputs available.

Permalink - https://westminsterresearch.westminster.ac.uk/item/8z624/localizing-the-media-locating-ourselves-a-critical-comparative-analysis-of-socio-spatial-sorting-in-locative-media-platforms-google-and-flickr-2009-2011


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