Alan to give lecture on his Walking Wales project

Wednesday 17th April 2013

Visiting Professor Alan Dix
Time: 5.45pm for 6pm start

Lecture Theatre O1.01, Cardiff School of Management Building, Llandaff Campus

More details here plus how to book at : http://www.uwic.ac.uk/staffemails/lectureseries2012/Treading-out-Technology-abstract.html

Straight after this lecture Alan will be walking around Wales following the Wales Coast Path that opened last May and Offa’s Dyke long distance path up the borders. This is partly a personal journey reconnecting with the country of his childhood, but also a technological journey investigating the IT needs of the walker and the local communities through which he will pass.

Some of this will be mundane technologically speaking, but hopefully transformative in practice. However, he also expects to be pushed to the limits cartographically and theoretically. One set of challenges will be related to the Semantic Web linking data together from many separate sources; another will be related to the areas of limited or non-existent mobile signal – being part of global network whilst disconnected.

At the heart of the walking experience is the map. It has never been easier to use high-quality digital maps with Google Maps mash-ups and the Ordnance Survey’s Open Data. However, local town plans and hand-made maps, such as the Cardigan knitted map, are rarely the standard maps of the atlas; instead they embody local knowledge and community interests – often quirky, always engaging.

A commitment to use where appropriate these non-standard local maps symbolises a broader political and social question. In an age of global communications, those on the geographic, social and economic margins can often end up further marginalised. Can we appropriate the global network to benefit those on the edge, whilst still valuing roots of locality?

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