Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Frontseat/Backseat - a workshop

On friday I attended a full day seminar called 'Frontseat/Backseat' organised by Mark Perry at Brunel University. He invited an interesting group of researchers at different stages in their careers and projects to discuss data and analytical techniques for projects predicated in and around private and public transport (specifically cars, taxis and buses).

A quick overview of the speakers: Oskar Juhlin, the director of the Mobility Lab at the Interactive Institute in Stockholm, talked about the mobile technology design for transport systems, including music sharing, games and inter-vehicle communication systems. Carsten Sorenson from the Information Systems Deptment at the LSE introduced his work on ICT's and the management of knowledge and the work of his two Phd students - Daniele and Sylvia. Daniele Pica is in the final months of his research on contextualizing mobile informatics, the concept of location and the implications for Police organizations. Silvia Elaluf-Calderwood is in the middle of her fieldwork researching the mobile personal and working lives of London Black cab drivers. Eric Laurier presented some preliminary video data from his Habitable cars project at the Institute of Geography in Edinburgh. Allyson Noble from the Napier University in Edinburgh is also interested in buses and is conducting her PhD research on Lothian city routes asking, "What can we know about the local character of the city from the vantage point of the bus?" Finally John Paul Bichard, a digital artist and mad paddler is now associated with Oskar's work in Stockholm. I worked with him during the UTdays.

Interestingly everyone presented their data in some multi-media form. Whilst it was not the focus of the day the challenges of methodological approaches using video, photos, annotated images, drawings etc were raised in nearly every presentation.