Tuesday, 7 October 2008

GPS tracks one year Plymouth


Wile in Plymouth I was recording my person movement on a daily basis with a simple Garmin Handheld GPS device. It is a collection of tracks over the period of one year and it visualizes my interaction with the built environment. Two characteristics can clearly be seen in the image produced. One is that the movement was almost solely purpose orientated. It draws usually a straight line ( as direct as possible respecting the built form and the topography) between point A (initial position) and point B (destination). Further more, I can say that also the number of destinations are rather limited. Although recorded over the period of one year the movement is restricted and highly predictable. There seems to be only a handful of important location to be that are worth going to. Obviously there are the three main destinations, home, work, essentials.
The second characteristic is closely related to the first one. The routes stay the same, the movement between the points are repetitive. At the beginning there might be some optimizing going on, but after two three times it seem to lock in and stay how it is.
Overall it is a very personal record of my time in plymouth. It could be called a dairy, a spacial dairy. It definitely helps to bring up memories from activities and experiences trough recapturing the spacial configuration. I am wondering how long this will last. Will it prove to be as good as a photograph to help me remember certain anecdotes in twenty years time?

2 comments:

Manuel said...

a normal garmin handheld had the power to track a whole day? That is interesting to read. Than it could work with mine too. I just never tried longtime tracking. Thought you did it with a small logger and wanted to find out wich one you used.

fan said...

I am using the Garmin Foretrex 201. it is a swatch like device that you can wear around your writs. It is quite comfortable and easy to use. I can use it for about three days before recharging and download the tracks about once a week, depending on what the activity is.
hope this helps. Let me know about your experience with the device.