Monday, 3 October 2011

Location Based Library Concept


The spatial dimension of reading is an interesting aspect in so far as to how far it can actually become the main subject. A lot of narratives make extensive use of space and lace description and the location is often as important as the characters who really come to live from the description of spatial interaction and as to how they are set in the place.

There are genres based on location both from the stories, but also based on the authors. With for example a Scandinavian tradition for crime thriller and detective story. But how could this spatial aspect be translated to organise books?

lit location based literature research
Image taken from lit.sebastianmeier / The interaction tool is the touch table with the map and the wheel for navigation. At the top is a bare showing search result for books and stories.

A student project called lit from the University of Potsdam in Germany (2010), Urban Layers module (SS 2010) (WS 2010), came up with an interactive software design for location based literacy research. It was developed by Jan-Erik Stange and Sebastian Meier supervised by Till Nagel. The tool was developed for a touch table interface providing direct interaction and handling. The project won a Core77 design award in the category Interactive, Web and Mobile.

lit location based literature research
Image taken from lit.sebastianmeier / The map showing the sequence as to how the locations are the stage for the story.

On a large map background the location can play a number of different roles. For one it can define a search criteria, by defining places or boundaries to find books. Location however, can then also play the key role from within the book and the software can show the locations this story plays at. For this the project has developed a visualisation to link the linear book text and dots on the map. It is achieved by using an interaction wheel, showing the text as a circle, and drawing lines to the dots. This way the sequence becomes clear and everything can still happen at the centre of the table.

lit location based literature research
Image taken from lit.sebastianmeier / The map now showing two books in different colour to visually compare.

It is then possible to show the sequence also on the map connecting the dots, thus providing a spati narrative. Further more additional books can be brought in and be compared to one another based on the location.



Via Wrightbrian3, via the Atlantic

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