Patchscapes at Digital Landscape Architecture Conference

Workshop participants were invited to map the Bernburg / Strenzfeld Campus at the Biotechnikum, Anhalt University of Applied Sciences, Germany. The workshop was meant to disrupt mapping conventions and make us reflect on live Data mapping.

A combination of photographic, text and GPS data gathered in real-time from smart phones produced a representation of peoples’ movement across the campus. By taking photos and adding captions, delegates could post images to a central map projected at the workshop base.

The digital landscape quickly became populated with images and texts that were orientated according to direction in which the photograph was taken. Each group decided upon a different theme for their landscape, for example: evidence of student life, or things that looked unusual or out of place.

The location of participants was also streamed to the map and iPhone software allowed to move across the landscape as a group. The group was shown on the map as a convex hull with members at each corner. As they moved together the shape revealed a satellite base map.

The use of text to complement each photograph provided a useful insight into the visual and conceptual focus of each participant. The combination of imagery and text, associated with a GPS trace of the group. produced a very particular representation of the place.

A representation that is filled with the personal perspectives of each participant based upon their interpretations of a group task. Back at the base, teams were given the opportunity to watch the live development of each landscape as media was streamed from the ‘field’ back to a visualisation.