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The way we move: rethinking city spaces with user-generated data

  • Author / Creator
    Yu, Joyce
  • Since the inception of Google Maps in 2005, there has been plenty of discussion about how this type of mapping technology has changed the way individuals orient themselves and whether or not the use of technology like Google Maps changes the way we see the world. In short, it has. However, digital mapping technology is the latest iteration of how mapping has changed. The use of technology does not diminish the personal experiences that we have in the city. Instead, we are now able to study the GPS data that individuals plot in the city. This allows for a data set that reveals different layers of the city, particularly how we move through them. This research uses running routes collected from Mapmyrun. The user-generated data creates a map that informs place and changes the structure of the city. This user study examines the shift in cartography toward a decentralized model where many mapmakers recreate the city map by using their mobile devices to track the pathways that they deem worthwhile. This study follows the traditions of mapping found in psychogeography and mental mapping, along with Michel de Certeau’s definition of tactics and strategies, guide my discussion on how runners create meaningful place. This thesis aims to illustrate how data provided by digital mapping technology revealed different layers of the city. Digital apps are changing how we’re making meaning of our space by providing different value sets for us to interpret. The creation of place is personal. My analysis on Mapmyrun contributes to the discussion of creating place in a digital space.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    2015-06
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Master of Arts
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/R39Q2N
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
    English
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
    Master's
  • Department
    • Humanities Computing
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Engel, Maureen (English/Humanities Computing)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Gouglas, Sean (History/Humanities Computing)
    • Quamen, Harvey (English/Humanities Computing)