Smartphone and Mobile Territories - Technical Knowledge Transformed into an Object Producing New Territorial Layers: An Experience in the City of Strasbourg

Ezikoglu, Esin and Mortamais, Elizabeth (2018) Smartphone and Mobile Territories - Technical Knowledge Transformed into an Object Producing New Territorial Layers: An Experience in the City of Strasbourg. REAL CORP 2018 – EXPANDING CITIES – DIMINISHING SPACE. Are “Smart Cities” the solution or part of the problem of continuous urbanisation around the globe? Proceedings of 23rd International Conference on Urban Planning, Regional Development and Information. pp. 379-389. ISSN 2521-3938

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The “smartphone” is one of the individualized technical objects of the 21st century. This object is like a tool for socio-spatial reading of the territories thanks to the Internet of Things. The integration of geolocalised information with the Internet of Things opens the way to apprehend actual heritage of the cities in different ways. The relationship between digital and physical mobility in mapping physical territories in a sensitive way has been investigated only in a few studies and there is controversy about its predictors. Therefore we aimed to investigate the relationships between the invisible and non-visible elements of territories and users with their networks. We hypothesized that the circulations of 10 participants during 7 days in Strasbourg would enable us to trace a sample of images of the collective memory of the city relevant to its architecture and urbanity. The study is done by sending screenshots of the applications in use in the public space for at least three times in a day during a period of 1 week in the city of Strasbourg. The participants recorded also their daily journeys during this week via applications "Open GPS Tracker" or "Open GPX Tracker" (two open source applications). At the end of each day, they sent us both screenshots and open tracker gpx files of their journey and a total of 70 journeys were analysed. Afterwards the paths of the participants with their digital activities have been correlated by superimposing cartographically physical places frequented and digital activities carried out on each journey. By digital activities we considered all activities related to the use of smartphones, these activities may be related to the internet or not but they are categorically achievable through smartphones (messaging, communications applications, entertainment, etc.). We observed that the flow elements, such as public transport, constituted a good physical place where the diversity of digital activities was increased. Furthermore we saw that the nature of the subject's presence in the public space (rest, passage, movement via the different systems of transport, etc.) was associated with his/her digital movements. Moreover, some physical locations were more appropriate for digital activities than the others interestingly. Our work with a modest sample offered clues of the emergence of these new layers by the use of technological devices. Global computer knowledge is transformed into a mobile technical object and shared worldwide via smartphones. These objects are not just mere results of global knowledge, but they also produce socio-territorial knowledge by revealing the relations between the invisible or non-visible elements of territories and users. In other words, the people’s digital and physical mobility with new individualized objects forms new layers of territories that we name Mobile Territories. We found and illustrated with many attractive examples, for the first time, that the nature of the digital activities of the participants is shaped according to their physical location and own speed. And vice-versa, the physical location appeared to be augmented according to digital activities. By establishing connections between the digital activities and physical location, we understood that the both are moving in accordance with their relationships. Possible readings of the morphological and social characteristics of cities via layers of Mobile Territories, the consequences and the effects of these invisible layers would be remarkable for planners and architects.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: digital activities, Strasbourg, mobile territories, new territorial layers, smartphone
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Depositing User: REAL CORP Administrator
Date Deposited: 15 Apr 2018 08:09
Last Modified: 15 Apr 2018 08:09

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