Satellite Navigation Expert Systems – Navigation in the Age of Locative Media
Two years after my graduation, I’ve decided to make my MA thesis on Satellite Navigation Expert Systems available here. The ubiquity of navigation systems in both cars and as apps on mobile phones makes it even more relevant now. For example, in my thesis I described the rise of “Turn off Satnav” signs near roadworks. In The Netherlands these signs have become standard procedure at roadworks near Utrecht and Eindhoven. Local spaces such as small villages are still subjected to consequences of algorithmic and database related information of navigation systems. Car drivers carefully divert traffic jams, but in turn become an issue for locals who see their village streets transformed to alternative routes – including damaged roads.
The actuality of the topic and the fact that I’m still confronted with the topic weekly in newspapers, on the road and in cities is the reason why I’m making this public for your reading. And most of all, I’m still amazed by stories I hear from people about their personal “satnav mishaps”. Enjoy the read and be sure to drop me a line after you’ve read it, or if you have any further questions on the topic.
This MA thesis discusses the rise of satellite navigation expert systems in the first decade of the 21st century. After global positioning became available, and more importantly affordable, for global consumer society, this changed the act of navigation. Throughout the history of navigation, processes of objectification and automation have changed human perception of navigation. The satellite navigation expert system provides users with real-time directions. These recommendations are negotiated by the user, together with already existing recommendations of local traffic protocol. In the first decade of use, various stories have surfaced in news media around the world about “sat nav mishaps”. These stories are firstly about drivers unexpectedly getting stuck, secondly these stories are about inhabitants of local spaces who witness high increases in traffic flow as a result of many users following sat nav directions. This thesis firstly discusses human – agent relation in navigation after the rise of sat nav. By discussing Daniel Dennett’s intentional strategy, we look at how such ambiguous notions as “expectation”, “trust” and “desire” can be understood in satellite positioning enabled locative media. Secondly this thesis, using Mark Poster’s definition of local and global spaces, discusses the emerging spaces of sat nav (a mobile communication technology) as being put into a place in the context of a world already filled with designated spaces, coming into conflict with these loci. This is exemplified in Baudrillard’s notion of the impossibility of staging the illusion, and his analogy of the fake robbery. Finally, this thesis looks at the possibility of going from a read-only satellite navigation expert system, towards a social satellite navigation system that is enable to engage in a dialogue with subjective meaning and emotions of the local.
Written by newmw
July 30, 2010 at 12:55 pm
Posted in New Media
Tagged with artificial intelligence, automation, critical design, geographic information systems, global positioning system, hyperreal, incompatible spaces, intentional stance, Locative Media, mobile communication technology, Navigation, new media studies, objectification, sat nav, satellite navigation expert system, shortest-path algorithms, TomTom