Finding #Darwin – Where’s the Twitter Map?

Just a quick post this morning to follow on from yesterday’s #Darwin fun. While writing yesterday I was looking for the link to the lovely animated Google Earth 5 #uksnow tweet map, and only just found it again, so here it is: http://www.barnabu.co.uk/uksnow-twitter-animation-google-earth-5/

And if you tire of watching that vid of the animation, Barnabu has done a browser-borne version of it, minus the rather fetching music: http://www.barnabu.co.uk/visualizing-twitter-activity-inside-the-google-earth-plugin/#more-494

(Just for once, I haven’t hidden those links behind easy, short urls.)

This lovely socially-generated, but individually-curated work made me think about how people ‘situate’ themselves in cultural terms. Is it important that #uksnow tags have geodata? Yes, because there was a collective or memetic agreement, an agreed context,  that taggers were buying into when they Tweeted using the # tag.

But take the situation across to the cultural space, the place where today #Darwin taggers may well slow Twitter down, and there’s less understanding of the informational context in which people are #Darwin tagging. I can see that it would be great to be able to see where in the world people are digitally remarking about the founder of evolutionary theory.

It’d be interesting to analyse the mix of political, religeous and cultural cues that result from a geographically placed map of #Darwin tweets. Where might it take the debate between creationists and evolutionists if we can visually show the geo-distribution of the protagonists?

Getting people in the arts to begin to think about place in digital terms sounds really geeky, but when you suggest thinking about Barnabu’s #uksnow map and, say, landscape painting, or poetry, people might begin to embrace some ideas around this. As I wrote yesterday, it’d possibly need some central co-ordination, inspiration or creativity to sketch out some agreed #tags for art/artist terms or vocabularies.

Maybe that’s a useful role for cultural authorities like the Arts Council; in the past, however, ACE have shown no interest in centralised informational policy.  There’s no time like the present though…

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About Jon Pratty

Human - for now
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